Terrence Shannon Jr.  [600x400]
Terrence Shannon Jr. [600x400] (Credit: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire)

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A jury in Kansas found former Illinois basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. not guilty of felony rape and aggravated sexual assault Thursday following a weeklong trial.

Shannon was arrested in December for an alleged incident in September at a bar in Lawrence, Kansas, after a woman alleged that he pulled her toward him and penetrated her vagina with his fingers shortly after they met.

Shannon consistently denied the allegations, and witnesses for his defense during the trial said they never saw Shannon approach a woman in the manner described by police. Following the alleged incident, the woman found Shannon's picture in a roster of the team online and then went to police.

"We're happy with the outcome," said Mark Sutter, one of Shannon's attorneys. "Terrence Shannon Jr. finally got his day in court. We denied the allegations back in September and on that date, we pledged that one day soon, we would have our day in court and we did. And we're happy with the outcome. And, at the end of the day, I think the public at-large owes Shannon Jr. an apology."

After his arrest, Shannon was suspended by Illinois, which launched its own investigation. He missed six games before he retained a temporary restraining order and returned to the court. He then led the team to the NCAA tournament. The school subsequently dropped its investigation, citing a lack of evidence.

"I am thrilled for Terrence with the news of today's verdict," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "Under six months of intense scrutiny, Terrence has shown tremendous composure, maturity, and focus. He can now put this behind him and move forward with his life. I, along with everyone in our Illinois Basketball program, will continue to offer Terrence our full support as he looks to fulfill his NBA dreams."

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman echoed that sentiment, saying the verdict was "a tremendous sigh of relief" for him and others close to Shannon.

"This has been a very serious and unfortunate situation for all parties involved, and I am happy for Terrence that it has been resolved and his name has been cleared," Whitman said. "We look forward to cheering for him as he begins his NBA journey."

Prior to his arrest, Shannon was a projected top-25 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He will attend multiple workouts with pro teams beginning Friday, according to his attorney, as he continues preparation for the draft.

Last week, his attorneys filed a motion to use video evidence to support the possibility of a mistaken identity case. But Shannon relied on character witnesses and others who were at the bar that night, including Kansas players Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar Jr. He also testified in his own defense when he took the stand Thursday.

In their closing statements, his attorneys stated that Shannon's DNA evidence was not found on the woman's body after she was examined at a local hospital that night, and they also criticized the investigation that pointed to him as the suspect in the case.

"He's a good kid and we had a lot of really good character witnesses in addition to the investigation and the challenge of all the evidence, or lack thereof," Sutter said. "It was a nice turnout for him."

Sutter told ESPN on Friday that a civil lawsuit was a "possibility" following Thursday's verdict.

ESPN's Jeff Borzello contributed to this report.