Student claims UTEP unfairly handled alleged sexual assault involving football player

KDBC
Friday, June 21, 2013 - 11:41pm

A woman claims she was attacked by a UTEP football player in her dorm room on campus. The football player was cleared of any wrong-doing, but now the woman and her family are speaking out because they don't believe the University handled her case fairly.

NewsChannel 9 is not identifying the player because he has not been formally charged. The victim's name is Tina, but her last name will not be used. Tina talked about the night her friend of two years texted her late at night on April 6th saying he needed to talk. He went to her dorm room and she let him in.

"When he came into my dorm complex he told me a bunch of things, feelings that he had for me for quite a long time and he began to undress himself in front of me," said Tina.

Tina said she wasn't strong enough to defender herself against the football player. Weeks later, Tina found out she was pregnant, but decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Things only got harder after that. Tina was not performing well at work and was having trouble at school. Finally, more than six weeks later, she spoke up. She went to the Women's Resource Center on campus, which then contacted her alleged attacker. He requested a hearing that would only include Tina, her alleged attacker and a UTEP professor who would act as a mediator. When Tina arrived at the hearing Monday, she said it did not go as she expected.

"He (alleged attacker) sat there and said a bunch of stuff that was untrue. I didn't have a voice that whole four or five hours and it was hard," Tina explained.

NewsChannel 9 contacted UTEP and Jeff Darby, the Associate Athletic Director sent a statement about the alleged attacker:

"...a walk-on student athlete who has been dismissed from the team at this time for not meeting academic expectations. Any further comment would be inappropriate until a ruling is made by the university regarding his case."

Friday morning Tina received an email from the University. It said the hearing determined that her alleged attacker is not responsible for the allegations.

Tina's mother said that is not fair.

"Everything she's been though how can the university let the one mediator, one professor decide," said Tina's mother.

Tina filed criminal charges with the UTEP Police Department. Their records show it is an open investigation. Tina said she also plans to pursue the case with the District Attorney's office.

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