She was 17 on the night that turned her life upside down, the night she alleges several San Diego State University football players took turns raping her at a Halloween party a few blocks away. blocks from campus.
The bruises have healed, but the trauma has not.
She quit going to high school and finished her senior year online. She saw a therapist and started a journal detailing her experience.
Now 18, the young woman at the center of a college sexual assault scandal spoke publicly for the first time this week, recalling details of what happened during the evening of October 16, 2021 as well as his frustrations with the ongoing police investigation. and university inaction.
In response to a Times investigation detailing the alleged rape, university officials last month defended their decision not to launch their own investigation, saying they did so at the request of the San Francisco Police Department. Diego. They also said the woman never reported what happened at the university and the 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 a college police officer on October 19, three days after the party. He said he provided the campus police lieutenant with his daughter’s name, phone number and a detailed description of the alleged rape involving football players. The lieutenant, he said, later informed him that the case would be handled by the San Diego Police Department.
The father said it was ‘absolutely ridiculous’ that the university had delayed launching its own investigations or released a statement until the Times first reported details of the alleged assault last month .
“To keep it quiet for over nine months now – the same people who would have done this have been allowed to roam freely, graduate and continue playing their sport,” he said. “It makes me crazy.”
Her daughter said she was disappointed with the university’s reaction. The Times does not generally identify alleged victims of sex crimes.
“Something like this stays with you forever,” the woman said. “And all I can really do now is just hope that I can get some kind of justice somehow and feel like people are facing the consequences of their actions because I feel like I’ve faced the consequences of their actions.”
His concerns were echoed by student-athletes who reported the alleged rape to officials via an anonymous messaging system run by the campus, saying they feared the university had taken action against the football players, according to internal records reviewed by The Times. One athlete asked if officials were “trying to sweep it under the rug because our football team was doing so well.”
One of the players at the center of the allegations has graduated. The university can no longer compel him to submit to a Title IX investigation since he is not a student. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally funded educational institutions.
San Diego State released a statement this week confirming that a relative of the woman visited campus police on October 19 and informed them that 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 that 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 had asked police to provide information about its complaint and Title IX proceedings to the woman and that the university “has been and remains eager to connect directly with the victim”. The statement did not explain why the father had not received 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 mandatory training,” the university said in its statement. The training included topics such as consent, sexual misconduct and sexual violence.
The woman, who spoke publicly for the first time this week to CBS8 in San Diego, said a detective on her case was responsive in the first few months and police monitored pretext calls between her and students whom she accused of sexual assault. But since then, she said she has received few updates.
In a June letter to De la Torre, Deputy Chief of Police Paul Connelly said police conducted interviews, executed search warrants and assessed more than 2 terabytes of data. San Diego police did not respond Friday to inquiries from The Times asking whether a criminal investigation was still ongoing and what had changed in the case to allow university officials to continue their examination. A spokeswoman for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said police have not forwarded the case for possible prosecution.
The young woman’s experience never ceased to haunt her.
She arrived at the Halloween party dressed as a fairy. She had already been drinking with her friends, she said, when she met a San Diego State football player at home a few blocks from campus. The player gave her a drink and eventually led her inside the house to a bedroom where she said several of her teammates took turns sexually assaulting her, pinning her to a bed and snatching her her piercings.
Covered in blood, she found her friends outside after what she thought was over an hour.
“I was just raped,” she told them.
The next day, with bruises on her neck and down her legs, she filed a complaint with the San Diego police and was examined for rape at Rady Children’s Hospital. The arduous process lasted all night as her body was cleansed and she was tested for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Photos provided to The Times by his lawyer, Dan Gilleon, show dark bruises on his neck, as well as on his knee and calf. A photo shows blood on part of his costume. Gilleon said he was preparing a trial that would include the names of known suspects.
The situation in San Diego State comes as the California State University system continues to struggle with its Title IX complaint process. The state legislature recently authorized a state audit of campuses’ handling of these issues, and ongoing investigations by The Times have revealed discrepancies in how the world’s largest public four-year university system country deals with such cases among senior staff, professors and students.
Although the woman’s father said he was reassured by San Diego and campus police that the stature of the men charged as college football players would not affect any investigation, he believes their status is why if little has been done.
He said his daughter wanted to “make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. May these guys not sign NFL contracts and make big money, get a free pass, may 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 reach RAINN’s Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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