Rape charge dropped against former basketball player

Rape charges have been dropped against one of three former Lindenwood basketball players accused in a sexual assault in campus housing last fall, according to the St. Charles County prosecutor.

Ermias Nega, Brad Newman and Tylan Birts – Mugshots from vinelink.com

Prosecutor Tim Lohmar declined Tuesday to give details for the dismissal other than to say there was “insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.”

Ermias Nega, 22, was charged with second-degree rape in October 2016 as was Tylan Birts. A third basketball player, Bradley Newman, Jr. was charged with invasion of privacy, a misdemeanor.

None of the players currently attend Lindenwood.

The sexual assault allegedly happened Sept. 18 in men’s housing in the 1600 block of Cullom Drive, according to court documents. The location is approximately five minutes away from Lindenwood’s St. Charles campus. The victim was not a Lindenwood student.

It is unclear if the dismissal of Nega’s case will affect Birts’ and Newman’s cases. A disposition hearing is scheduled for Newman on May 30. Birts is scheduled for a jury trial on Aug. 15.

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