Former Baylor University football player Sam Ukwuachu, who was convicted in August in the 2013 sexual assault of another Baylor athlete, was released Thursday morning from the McLennan County Jail after posting a $100,000 appeal bond.
Ukwuachu, who has been in jail just more than two months as a term and condition of his probation for sexual assault, declined comment as he walked out of jail about 11 a.m.
He was given a ride from jail by Charlie Pickens III of Pickens Bail Bonds, who arranged for his release. His father, Charlie Pickens II, said Ukwuachu’s parents picked him up from Pickens’ office in Bellmead on Thursday afternoon.
Ukwuachu’s attorney, William Bratton III, said Ukwuachu will return home and live with his parents in Katy.
“He is probably going to take this semester to reassess what he is going to be doing,” Bratton said. “I think all of this has kind of put a kink in what his otherwise plans were going to be. Right now, his whole future is pretty much on hold.”
Ukwuachu weighed the risk in seeking a new trial, Bratton said, knowing that if he wins his appeal and he is tried again, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
“Right now, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life,” Bratton said. “We are going to have to balance things out, particularly when you take the position that you didn’t do anything wrong and Baylor, at least at first, took that position as well.”
A 54th State District Court jury convicted Ukwuachu of sexually assaulting a female Baylor athlete and recommended a probated sentence. Judge Matt Johnson sentenced him to 10 years’ probation and jailed him for 180 days as a term and condition of his probation.
Remaining jail term
If Waco’s 10th Court of Appeals affirms Ukwuachu’s conviction, he will have to go back to jail for four months to complete the probation jail term.
The woman testified that she met Ukwuachu around Baylor’s athletic complex and they dated casually. She said he tried at one point to escalate their relationship, but she told him not to rush and he complied with her wishes.
She went to his apartment after a homecoming dance in October 2013 and said he sexually assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop.
She went to the hospital the next day. Baylor officials investigated her allegations, ultimately ruling that there was not enough evidence to “move forward.”
Waco police also investigated but did not arrest Ukwuachu. Instead, police turned the case over to the district attorney’s office for screening. That led to Ukwuachu’s indictment.