JLS star Oritse Williams unanimously cleared of rape

Former JLS singer Oritse Williams arrives at Wolverhampton Crown Court where he is accused of rape. Williams, 32, from Croydon, south London, denies raping the woman in a hotel room following a solo concert in December 2016.
Former JLS singer Oritse Williams arrives at Wolverhampton Crown Court in December 2016.

JLS singer Oritse Williams has been cleared of rape.

The former X Factor star was found not guilty by jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court today in an unanimous verdict.

His tour manager Jamien Nagadhana was also found not guilty of charges of sexual assault and assault by penetration.

Williams, 32, had been accused of raping the woman, who he invited back to his hotel room after she asked him to pose for a picture following a performance at a nightclub in December 2016.

Rochelle Humes, wife of Williams’ JLS bandmate Marvin Humes, wrote on Instagram that she was “so proud” of Williams for the way he had conducted himself during the criminal proceedings, claiming he had endured three years of “hell”.

Marvin also posted his support.

The jury deliberated for two hours and 17 minutes before reaching its unanimous verdicts.

Read more: JLS Oritse Williams ‘oafish’ says manager

Williams showed little reaction as the verdicts were returned but clasped his hands together, smiled and said “thank you” towards Judge Michael Challinor QC after being told he could leave the dock.

The singer also shook hands with the dock officer after he was cleared.

Nagadhana hugged two women sitting in the public gallery as he left court, after also thanking the judge.

Williams and Nagadhana met the woman at the Gorgeous nightclub in Wolverhampton, where she had queued up with two friends to meet the singer after he performed.

Former X Factor stars, (left - right) Oritse Williams, Jonathan 'JB' Gill, Marvin Humes and Aston Merrygold of JLS during a signing at HMV in Croydon, south London.
Former X Factor stars, (left - right) Jonathan 'JB' Gill, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams, and Aston Merrygold of JLS during a signing at HMV in Croydon, south London.

They were given free alcohol and spent the the night "dancing and mucking about" in the VIP area.

Two of the women agreed to accompany the men back to the city’s Ramada Hotel but claimed they left the room after rejecting Williams’ advances.

The alleged victim then returned to the room alone to retrieve her mobile phone which she believed she had left there and it is then she claimed the attack took place.

She told the pair to "p**s off" and "f**k off" but had not been as "fighty" as she could have been before she ran from the room crying after several minutes.

The court heard hotel staff - who described the woman as looking “spaced out and zombified” - put her into a room so she could calm down, where she curled up in a ball and then said she had been sexually attacked.

Read more: Ex-JLS star Oritse Williams denies behaving like ‘sexual predator’

During the trial Williams said there was “no way” he was being a sexual predator in the club and that the women had “initiated” what happened at the venue.

The singer said he had got along “very, very well” with the alleged victim after she and her friends initiated “quite raunchy” behaviour.

During Williams’s evidence, defence QC Mark Cotter asked him whether he had a clear independent memory of the women, who were captured on CCTV while “bouncing” on his lap.

The singer answered: “You don’t forget three girls ‘grinding’ you all at the same time – you don’t need CCTV footage to remind you of that.”

Mr Cotter then asked: “Had you ever seen three girls behaving like this before?”

Williams replied: “Never, this was the first time. It just came out of the blue.

“The girls started putting on a highly sexually charged display. It looked like it was designed to attract attention and it certainly caught my attention.”