Teen recounts alleged rape by San Diego State football players

She was 17 on the night that turned her life upside down, the night she claims several San Diego State University football players took turns raping her at a Halloween party just blocks from campus.

The bruises healed, but the trauma didn’t.

She dropped out of high school and finished her senior year online. She went to a therapist and started a journal detailing her experiences.

Speaking publicly for the first time this week, the young woman, now 18, who is at the center of a university sexual assault scandal, recalled details of what happened at the October 16, 2021 party, as well as her frustration at the ongoing one police investigations and the inaction of the university.

Last month, in response to a Times investigation detailing the alleged rape, university officials defended their decision not to investigate, saying they did so at the request of the San Diego Police Department. They also said the woman never reported what happened to the university and police never confirmed her identity.

But the woman’s father, who spoke to the Times on Friday on condition of anonymity to protect his daughter’s privacy, said he met with a university police officer on October 19, three days after the party. He said he gave the campus police lieutenant his daughter’s name, phone number and a detailed description of the alleged rape of soccer players. The lieutenant, he said, later told him the case was being handled by the San Diego Police Department.

The father said it was “absolutely ridiculous” that the university held back from launching its own investigation or issuing a statement until The Times first reported details of the alleged attack last month.

“To hide it now for over nine months, the same people who allegedly did this were allowed to roam freely, graduate and continue to practice their sport,” he said. “It’s driving me crazy.”

His daughter said she was disappointed with the university’s response. The Times generally does not identify alleged victims of sex crimes.

“Something like that stays in your memory forever,” said the woman. “And all I can really do right now is just hope that somehow I can come to some kind of justice and feel like people are facing consequences for their actions because I feel like they’re facing consequences for theirs.” to be confronted with actions.”

Their concerns were echoed by student-athletes, who reported the alleged rape to officers through an anonymous messaging system operated on campus, saying they were concerned the university was not taking action against the footballers, according to internal records reviewed by The Times have. One athlete questioned whether officials were “trying to sweep it under the rug because our football team is doing so well.”

One of the players at the center of the allegations has graduated. The university can no longer force him to comply with a Title IX exam since he is not a student. Title IX is the federal statute prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions.

San Diego State issued a statement this week confirming that a relative of the woman had visited campus police on Oct. 19 and told them a report had been filed with the San Diego Police Department. The statement said the university launched its own investigation after police told them last week it would not jeopardize their criminal investigation.

A San Diego state spokeswoman said Friday that university president Adela de la Torre was unavailable for comment. In a statement, San Diego State said the school asked police to provide the woman with information about her complaint and the Title IX procedures, and that the university was “and remains eager to liaise directly with the victim.” to set”. The statement did not explain why the father was not given this information when he met with campus police.

“While complying with the SDPD investigation, the university has been active in maintaining and increasing educational activities and training, including compulsory training,” the university said in its statement. The training covered topics such as consent, sexual misconduct and sexual violence.

The woman, who first spoke publicly to CBS8 in San Diego this week, said a detective on her case was responsive for the first few months and police monitored pretense calls between her and the students she accused of sexual assault. But since then, she said she’s had few updates.

In a June letter to De la Torre, Deputy Police Chief Paul Connelly said police conducted interviews, executed search warrants and analyzed more than 2 terabytes of data. San Diego police on Friday did not respond to inquiries from The Times asking if a criminal investigation was still ongoing and what had changed in the case so university officials could continue their investigation. A spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said police did not escalate the case for possible prosecution.

The young woman’s experience continues to haunt her.

She came to the Halloween party dressed as a fairy. She’d already been drinking with her friends, she said, when she met a San Diego state football player at the house a few blocks from campus. The player gave her a drink and finally led her inside the house to a bedroom, where she said several of his teammates took turns sexually assaulting her, beating her on a bed and ripping out her piercings.

Covered in blood, she found her friends outside after more than an hour.

“I just got raped,” she told them.

The next day, she reported bruises to her neck and legs to the San Diego Police Department and was subjected to a rape investigation at Rady Children’s Hospital. The arduous process lasted all night as her body was wiped and she was tested for pregnancy and STDs.

Photos provided to the Times by her attorney Dan Gilleon show dark bruises on her neck, knee and calf. One photo shows blood on part of her costume. Gilleon said he was preparing a lawsuit that would include names of known suspects.

The situation in San Diego state comes as the California State University system continues to grapple with its Title IX grievance process. The state legislature recently authorized a state audit of how universities are handling such issues, and ongoing research by The Times has uncovered inconsistencies in how the country’s largest four-year public university system handles such cases among top executives, professors and students.

Although the woman’s father said he was reassured by San Diego and campus police that the accused men’s standing as college football players would not affect an investigation, he believes their status is why they are so little has been done.

He said his daughter wanted to “make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. That these guys don’t sign NFL contracts and make a lot of money, get a free pass and let it happen to someone else. Because they got away with it once, they can get away with it twice.”

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call RAINN’s Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-29/teenager-recounts-alleged-rape-by-san-diego-state-football-players Teen recounts alleged rape by San Diego State football players

Alley Einstein

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