Verdict in Ekiyor trial expected this month

Ontario Court Justice Trevor Brown is dealing with a textbook case of “he said, she said” as the weeklong trial of Barrhaven basketball star Eddie Ekiyor concluded last week.

In August, 2019, Ekiyor, then 22, was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, and overcoming resistance to commit an offence. He was released on bail to a surety. Ekiyor pleaded not guilty on all charges.

On April 7, 2019. Ekiyor and some of his Carleton Ravens teammates were celebrating their USports national basketball championship less than a month earlier. The night ended with Ekiyor and a woman, then 23, at the house of a friend of Ekiyor’s on Bellamy Street in Ottawa. The woman alleged she was sexually assaulted, while Ekiyor said they had consensual sex.

The woman testified that she had been drinking at the bar when she met Ekiyor, but added she was not intoxicated. She said they had been talking, and that he gave her a vodka drink which made her feel inebriated. She alleged that after leaving the bar, she suffered blackouts, but remembered vomiting in the car, going into a house, having a shower, and waking up on a couch to find Ekiyor having sexual intercourse with her.

Eddie Ekiyor (number 10) joined the Quebec Junior Football League champion Ottawa Jr. Riders as a wide receiver in 2019.
QJFL Photo by Nancy Bento

Ekiyor, meanwhile, testified that he met the woman at the bar, left together to go to a friend’s house, and then had consensual sex. He denied giving her a drug or sexually assaulting her.

The incident was not the first time Ekiyor found himself in legal trouble. Ekiyor pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily harm after a hit-and-run incident. On August 8, 2015, Ekiyor was driving home from a party at about 7:20 a.m. when the vehicle he was driving struck cyclist Val Crucio, an off-duty police officer. Before the incident, Ekiyor had been planning to play basketball for Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He opted to stay in Ottawa and play for Carleton.

A legitimate NBA prospect, Ekiyor ended his career at Carleton with a national championship and was also named Most Valuable Player of the 2019 USports Final 8 championship tournament. Ekiyor was planning to turn professional for the 2019-20 season, and Carleton’s basketball coaches were aware he was not returning. It was heavily speculated that the 6’9”, 235-pound forward was heading to Spain to play.

Ekiyor was especially impressive in exhibition games between Carleton and NCAA schools. He led the Ravens to victories over the Cincinnati Bearcats and Alabama Crimson Tide. In a Ravens win over South Dakota State, Ekiyor scored 35 points and added 10 rebounds.

While his arrest in August, 2019 prevented him from pursuing professional basketball, he did resume his once promising football career. Ekiyor, who grew up playing in the Nepean Redskins (now Eagles) program and also played high school football for the St. Mother Teresa Titans, joined the Ottawa Junior Riders of the Quebec Junior Football League. Ekiyor, one of the most gifted wide receivers to ever play for the Redskins or Titans, caught 27 passes for 505 yards and six touchdowns. He helped the Junior Riders win the QJFL championship. The verdict is expected to be delivered this month.