GONZALES — Former LSU running back Charles Scott was found innocent Wednesday in a sexual battery trial that began Tuesday in Ascension Parish, 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin said.
Scott, 24, was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail in November 2011 after allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman at his Prairieville home.
He was arraigned later on a charge of sexual battery, a lesser offense than the crime of simple rape he originally was accused of committing. In February 2012, Scott entered a plea of not guilty.
The case was heard by state District Judge Jessie LeBlanc, who waived Scott’s right to a jury trial at the request of the defense.
The trial originally was scheduled to begin last month, but it was postponed while the prosecution tried to track down a key witness, officials have said.
Simple rape, by definition, involves sexual intercourse without consent, while sexual battery involves intentional touching without consent.
If convicted, Scott could have faced up to 10 years in prison.
After rushing for more than 4,700 yards and scoring 65 touchdowns during his prep career at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, Scott earned the state’s Mr. Football award in 2005 before heading off to begin his career at LSU.
Scott made an immediate impact at LSU, rushing for five touchdowns as a freshman and then five more as a sophomore while serving as a key backup to Jacob Hester on the Tigers’ 2007 national title team.
Scott started his final two seasons at LSU, the best of them his junior season when he rushed for 1,174 yards and a Southeastern Conference-leading 18 touchdowns.
Scott still ranks seventh on LSU’s career rushing list with 2,317 yards, fourth in career touchdowns with 32 and his 5.46 yards-per-carry average is tops in school history. Scott’s 2008 season ranks him fifth on the all-time yardage list and second on the single-season rushing touchdowns list.
He was picked in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and spent parts of two seasons on the practice squads of the Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants.