Oritse Williams: JLS singer cleared of raping woman in hotel, court rules

Ex-boyband member’s tour manager also cleared of charges of sexual assault and assault by penetration

Maya Oppenheim
Tuesday 28 May 2019 12:11
Former JLS singer Oritse Williams leaves court after rape acquittal

Former JLS star Oritse Williams has been found not guilty of raping a woman in his hotel room in 2016.

The 32-year-old singer denied the attack after a solo concert in Wolverhampton in December that year.

The ex-boyband member’s tour manager Jamien Nagadhana, a 32-year-old from Hounslow in west London, who was sleeping in the same room, has been cleared of charges of sexual assault and assault by penetration.

Prosecutors alleged Mr Williams “jumped on the woman” as she looked for her phone.

During a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Mr Williams, from Croydon, south London, said he met the woman, who is not able to be named for legal reasons, and two friends, at a meet-and-greet event.

He told jurors he got along “very, very well” with the woman after she and her friends had initiated “quite raunchy” behaviour, and they then engaged in consensual sex in his hotel room.

Mr Williams, whose band sold over 10 million records before they split in December 2013, told his nine-day hearing that he had a consensual encounter with the complainant, which ended in embarrassment when he was “unable to perform” sexually.

The boyband star’s defence lawyer suggested the woman’s complaint to police was influenced by the “extreme reaction” of her friend to being told of the encounter.

Mark Cotter QC, his lawyer, said there was “no realistic answer as to why he [Mr Williams] would do it”.

Mr Nagadhana said he had tried to start a threesome, because the sex was “cringey” and he thought the woman was “probably not” enjoying it.

He told the court he had touched the woman in an intimate area for five to six seconds, reasonably believing she was consenting, but she did not respond and he returned to his bed.

Mr Nagadhana declined to comment in an interview with police, but submitted a prepared statement which alleged he had kissed the woman and touched her but had backed off when he became aware she was “getting together” with Mr Williams.

Prosecutors said the woman had gone to Mr Williams’ room to look for her mobile phone. She told the court she lay “like a dead body” during sex, which she said she “didn’t want to happen”.

Prosecutors said the woman and her two friends had felt “a lot more affected by alcohol than they felt was normal” and one had to be put in a taxi home after having “blacked out”.

Ex-JLS star Oritse Williams departs Wolverhampton Crown Court

The woman and her other friend then went back to the hotel with Mr Williams and Mr Nagadhana, where she said she was pushed on to the bed after making it clear she did not want to have sex with him.

“I was quite scared. I felt more pathetic, if that makes sense. I just felt worthless,” she told an interviewing police officer.

The woman told jurors she had a “bits and pieces” memory of her night after drinking Malibu, sambuca and shots but added: “The memories I do have, I know took place.”

The jury deliberated for two hours and 17 minutes before Mr Williams and Mr Nagadhana were unanimously acquitted.

JLS rose to fame on ITV reality series The X Factor, on which they finished runners-up in 2008. The boy band went on to release four albums before they split. Mr Williams has since released music as a solo artist under the name OWS and appeared on the ITV dancing show Stepping Out.