Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha was acquitted by a New York jury Friday morning. He had been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration. Sefolosha released the following statement through the Hawks earlier this afternoon:
"This morning's verdict ended a long and emotional period for me. Justice was served and for that I am eternally grateful to the judge and jury for their quick and deliberate decision.
I would like to thank my attorney and friend Alex Spiro for his counsel and dedication to my case. I would also like to thank Coach Bud and the Atlanta Hawks organization for their continued support. They believed in me, my word and my innocence all along. The support of the NBPA was also appreciated and I'm thankful for the friendship and counsel of Executive Director Michele Roberts and General Counsel Gary Kohlman.
It's troubling to me that with so much evidence in my support that this case would even be brought to trial and that I had to defend myself so hard to get justice. It pains me to think about all of the innocent people who aren't fortunate enough to have the resources, visibility and access to quality legal counsel that I have had.
It was important to me as a man, a father to two young girls and as a role model, to stand up for what I believe in and have my name cleared of any wrongdoing.
Today's verdict will not make up for the pain and trauma my family and I have suffered over the past six months or bring back the opportunity to have played in the Eastern Conference Finals and have a shot at an NBA title, but it does bring me some peace and closes a painful chapter in my life.
Now I look forward to returning to the team and focusing solely on my rehabilitation for the upcoming season so that I can get back to playing the game I cherish so much."
Mike Budenholzer also released a statement on behalf of Sefolosha
"Thabo is a man of great character and we are proud that he took a principled approach to proving his innocence. We are extremely happy for him and his family, and we are very pleased with today's verdict in his favor."