Cadji Ferguson Found Not Guilty

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) — Cadji Ferguson, the 26-year-old Ithaca man who was arrested in April after an altercation on the Ithaca Commons, was found not guilty. The judge ruled Friday.

According to the Ithaca Voice, the courtroom was full of people supporting Ferguson, including members of Black Lives Matter Ithaca, Showing Up For Racial Justice, and the Multicultural Resource Center.

Prosecutors declined to speak with WSKG outside the courthouse after the ruling.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Rose de Groat (left) and Cadji Ferguson (right) outside Tompkins County Courthouse on August 26, 2019 (Photo: Celia Clarke/WSKG)

Cadji Ferguson and a black woman, Rose de Groat, were charged with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct. Their arrest came after an altercation they said was prompted when an older, white man sexually assaulted de Groat. Ten police body camera and nearby security videos of the incident released by the City of Ithaca in April show police forcefully arresting Ferguson and de Groat. The white man involved was allowed to leave the scene after speaking to police. An internal police investigation found no wrongdoing by the officers.

Earlier this week, Tompkins County District Attorney Matt van Houten withdrew an offer to de Groat. It would have resulted in all felony charges being dropped against for a mediation process.

Instead, the D.A. offered a plea agreement in a hearing on Monday afternoon. De Groat would have to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and one year probation.

De Groat initially faced felony charges that were reduced then reinstated then reduced again.

In court, de Groat refused the new plea agreement.