Shawn Oakman, a former Baylor University football player under indictment on a sexual assault charge, is set to start playing for an indoor football team in North Dakota on Friday.
He will likely stand trial in May, June or July, said Alan Bennett, Oakman’s court-appointed lawyer.
“We are in communication pretty regularly and once we nail down a trial schedule we will work everything out,” Bennett said about any potential conflicts with Oakman’s new football schedule. “We are in conversations with the DA’s (district attorney’s) office for a trial date. He wants to get to court and get this all behind him.”
Oakman is charged with sexually assaulting a Baylor student at his apartment in April 2016, and a grand jury indicted him three months later. There are no travel restrictions attached to his bond.
Bucks head coach and general manager Richard Davis said he followed Oakman’s college career and is aware of the charge he faces in Waco. He recruited Oakman with the support of his family, Davis said.
“One thing led to another, and here we are at this stage where I have invited Shawn in and we’ll see if we can help get his life back on track,” Davis said.
In late January, Bennett said Oakman was working a construction-related job and living in Waco. He has since started practicing with the Bucks in North Dakota, and the team’s season opener is scheduled Friday. Davis said Oakman is expected to play defensive end and will earn $200 per week.
Davis said he wants Oakman “to know there are others who have faced a bump in the road or are overcoming some tragic stuff in their world.”
According to a police report, the 6-foot-8, 287-pound Oakman forcibly removed the woman’s clothes, forced her onto his bed and assaulted her. After the incident, the woman went to a hospital and received a sexual assault exam, court documents state.
Officers seized two comforters, a fitted sheet and a flat sheet from Oakman’s bedroom, according to search warrants issued before his arrest. Police reported that Oakman tried to contact the alleged victim twice after he learned of the investigation.
Davis said he is “sensitive” to the allegations, particularly because he is a husband and father of two girls. He said he plans to help Oakman stay in shape and wait for any legal decision that may come this summer.
Oakman’s arrest came in a string of Baylor football players accused of sexual or physical assault and was not his first interaction with police during his time at Baylor. In January 2013, he was named in a Waco police report alleging he grabbed a woman under her armpits and shoved her into brick walls and cabinets at her apartment.
According to the incident report, Oakman was angered when the woman rejected a hug following a verbal dispute. He was not arrested and charges were not filed in the case.