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A former University of Minnesota student athlete was acquitted Friday of a charge that he sexually assaulted another student at a birthday party near campus in August 2020.

Kevin Nedrick, 22, had been suspended from the track team since his August 2020 arrest, when he was charged in Hennepin County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Both he and the alleged victim testified in a trial that began Tuesday and ended with closing arguments Thursday. Nedrick, a shot-putter who is well-known in his native Jamaica, cried when the verdict was read Friday.

He had testified that the alleged victim was making sexual advances before the encounter, and he broke down on the stand when he talked about the accusation.

"I worked all my life to get here and it can be taken in a moment for something I didn't do," he said.

The alleged victim said Nedrick had overpowered her, pushed her into her bedroom, kissed her neck and assaulted her after she had told him to stop multiple times during a 10- to 15-minute encounter. The alleged attack occurred at the apartment where the party was held.

Campus police were called about 1:15 a.m. to the apartment about a possible sexual assault. The woman testified she was helping her roommate, who was vomiting in the bathroom, when Nedrick overpowered her. She underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital, where a nurse noted bruises on her left forearm and fresh marks on her neck.

Nedrick attended high school in Jamaica before competing at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan., and later transferring to the U. A spokesman for the U said Friday that Nedrick is no longer a student athlete at Minnesota and that he entered the NCAA transfer portal several months ago.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

Twitter: @rochelleolson