In 2020, officers charged former Ohio State University standout football players Amir Riep and his teammate Jahsen Wint with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping after a 19-year-old woman told authorities the athletes raped her.
Accused of rape by a white woman, the head coach kicked the two NFL hopefuls off the team a day after encountering the unidentified woman. The two were later found not guilty of all charges in February of 2023.
After waiting for three years to prove their innocence, the former roommates are putting their lives back together again. The now 24-year-old Amir Riep exclusively shared with The Shade Room how he plans to move forward and how his father’s support made a difference before his passing.
How Did Riep Meet The Unidentified Woman?
Meeting the unidentified woman on Snapchat, Riep and the young lady decided to meet at the apartment he shared with Wint, where things would eventually turn sexual.
Prosecutors say she expected to hang out with Riep at the off-campus apartment but was allegedly forced into continuing sex with the Cincinnati native after initially consenting and Wint joining in, which authorities failed to convince a jury to believe.
What a pick by @Riep_Amir! 😳 pic.twitter.com/eLSx7JgyG0
— Buckeye Videos+ (@BuckeyeVideos) November 30, 2019
After being driven home by Riep, the alleged sexual assault victim went to authorities to report a rape, something the defensive backs were adamant didn’t occur.
Riep Realizing He Could Possibly Go To Jail
A week after the incident, the players were told to turn themselves in and were dismissed from the team.
Ryan Day has dismissed Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint from the Ohio State football team pic.twitter.com/8HX7pa0AyH
— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) February 12, 2020
I knew it was getting serious when they [player personnel] told us we had to call our parents and that we had to turn ourselves in.
Riep On Not Wanting A Plea Deal
That was never a question. I told my lawyer don’t give me a deal. I’m not signing anything. We gon’ ride this out all the way to trial.
Continuing to speak, Riep opened up about his faith. He stated that was “an area I had to grow in.”
Without that, it would’ve taken a greater toll on me. Being patient, trusting the process, and believing that he [God] will find a way and his way is better than anything we can imagine.
Support From Family & Friends
Being in jail for three days before being released on bond, Riep stated his most prominent supporters and only support were his now deceased father and his family.
My biggest supporter was my dad. I had to tell him first. He supported me the whole way, and my family supported me. If anything, we came closer together to take this on together.
Does Riep Feel Race Played A Role?
According to Ohio State University’s website, there are nearly 62,000 students on campus, with less than 5,000 being Black.
On whether he felt race played a role, Riep stated:
Sadly, Yes. But definitely, that image and title people try to give a football player that goes to Ohio State. They think we feel we can do anything and get away with it. If we weren’t two Ohio State football players on our way to do great things, it wouldn’t have gotten that much attention or [as] far as ours did.
Preparing For The NFL & What’s Next
Putting the past behind him, the NFL hopeful keeps his eyes on the prize.
“That’s the main goal,” he says, referring to the NFL. He explains that he’s an athlete who wants to continue his education and sports career at another school and has entered the transfer portal to switch schools.
I was in there [transfer portal], and coaches were waiting on this situation to be done. [I’ve] been on hold this whole time, not able to do anything, enroll anywhere or anything. The only thing I could do [was] stay ready for this time. He also stated,
We’re in contact with several schools right now. Getting back on board, getting a degree, continuing the football career collegiately, and ending up in the NFL. Riep continued, I’ll be enrolling somewhere in the summer. We have summer training and all of that, so I’ll be in school by then.
People’s Perception Since Being Accused & Found Not Guilty
I had to prove my innocence. I’ve been with my head high because I already knew the truth. So, I don’t let those things get to me, especially when I know the truth.
Friendship With Jahsen Wint
Although unable to talk to Wint for three years, Riep states they now speak daily and laugh, enjoying getting back those moments of friendship.
Former Ohio State football players Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint were found not guilty of the rape and kidnapping charges made against them.
Both were robbed of potential NFL careers. pic.twitter.com/GjuMFJ1MEo
— NFL Notifications (@NFLNotify) February 14, 2023
Describing That Period Of His Life In One Word
Rollercoaster. That incline at the beginning, right before you get to that peak, you think you’re about to get everything you wanted, the rollercoaster goes down, left, right, and it goes all ways.