San Diego State moves forward with investigation into suspected rape by football players
Roughly nine months after an underaged girl reported being raped by San Diego State University Football players, the university Monday said it is now moving forward with its own investigation.
The suspected rape happened at a Halloween party in October 2021 at a house off campus. SDSU spokesperson LaMonica Everett-Haynes said when the victim's family contacted SDSU's University Police Department, the UPD contacted San Diego Police Department as per protocol because the incident happened outside of SDSU jurisdiction.
SDPD said it had already taken the report from the victim and began the criminal investigation. Everett-Haynes said the university was asked repeatedly by SDPD not to do anything that might interfere with the investigation, including launching its own investigation.
The suspected rape was first reported by the Los Angeles Times in June. According to the Times' report, rumors have been spreading at SDSU for months that five football players raped the girl during an off-campus house party and "left her bloodied and bruised" in the backyard of the home.
In a campus-wide email Monday, SDSU president Adele de la Torre said she was brokenhearted about the details of the suspected rape.
"Further, I understand how claims made in media coverage and elsewhere have caused feelings of hurt and frustration within our community. I share those feelings," she said in the email. "From the moment we learned of the alleged assault, our only interest has been in justice and legal accountability for anyone who violated the law."
The victim's attorney, Dan Gilleon, said the university is skirting its duty to students by delaying its own investigation until now.
“That's what's so troubling," Gilleon said. "They know they breach their responsibility because they know that their entire purpose of investigating this is to prevent future assaults on young women there."
The age of the victim was not disclosed, but Gilleon said she was 17 at the time of the incident. He also shared photos of the bruises on the victim's neck and thighs.
Whether she gave consent or not, because of the victim's age, it is considered statutory rape under California law.
De la Torre said the university got confirmation from SDPD on July 22 to begin its own investigation.
"I want to assure you that we have and continue to take action," she said. "Our process, following California State University systemwide policy, has already begun, and pertinent details and allegations are being examined."
SDPD has since shared the name of the victim with the SDSU and the university has reached out to the victim directly. San Diego police said its investigation is still ongoing.
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