Woman who accused San Diego State football players of rape speaks out

Editor’s note: The following story includes a description of a sexual assault, which some readers might find disturbing.

It was supposed to be a Halloween party. But it ended up changing the life of a young woman. She said she was raped by members of the San Diego State University football team.

The woman told her story to KPBS this week. We are withholding his name as a victim of sexual assault.

She said it happened at an off-campus house on October 16, 2021. At the time, she was a 17-year-old high school student. A friend posted about a college party and she decided to go with a group of friends, dressed in a fairy costume, with wings.

“We entered at the back and it was very crowded,” the 18-year-old said. “My friends ended up parting with me, and a guy came up to me, handed me a drink. We were talking. One thing led to another.”

She didn’t know what was in the drink. She said the man took her to a room inside the house. She said there were already several men there.

“They threw me on the bed, face down, and they took turns attacking me from behind, other things in the mix,” she said. “And I was bleeding all over. My piercings were ripped out. I had my belly button, my nose and my ear piercings.”

She was in and out of consciousness during the assault. After the attack, she was bloody and bruised. She had bruises on her neck and said she didn’t know if they were hickeys or something else. There were also bruises on his legs.

“It was really aggressive. It was aggressive. It was really scary,” she said.

Then the men left and her friends found her. She told them she had just been raped.

“Of course they were freaking out,” she said. “They didn’t really know how to react to something like that.”

SDSU Resources for Victims of Sexual Assault

SDSU Counseling and Psychological Services: (619) 594-5220 (non-emergency)

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Access to counseling and crisis line: (888) 724-7240, www.sa.sdsu.edu/cps/

Student Health Services, Calpulli Center: (619) 594-5281, shs.sdsu.edu/index.asp

SDSU Police Department: (619) 594-1991

Community Solutions Center: (888) 385-4657 (bilingual rape hotline), ccssd.org

She told KPBS she did not know how many men were in the room or how many had assaulted her. She also didn’t know where the reported number of five came from. She said the first time she heard about it was when the Los Angeles Times broke the story in June. The Times reported that rumors had been circulating at SDSU for months that five football players raped the girl at an off-campus party.

She said she only knew the names of three suspects, given to her by police based on descriptions she gave them. These names have not been made public.

On Monday, the SDSU announced that it had begun its Title IX investigation into the reported rape. The university said it has been asked not to do anything that might interfere with the investigation, including launching its own investigation so far.

“Had the university taken action, including launching its own investigation, it could have compromised the SDPD’s already active criminal investigation,” university spokeswoman La Monica Everett-Haynes said in a statement. an email to KPBS. “Ignoring the SDPD’s request could have caused irreversible harm by misidentifying potential suspects – who were not confirmed by the SDPD at the time and remain unconfirmed.”

She said potential suspects could destroy evidence, collude or harass or harm witnesses.

But the victim said she thought there was another reason the university waited so long.

“It’s hard not to imagine the worst,” she said. “It’s like, since this football team is doing so well, since they’re so well-known, it could be the fact that they’re good players (that the university was trying to smuggle under the rug).

The Aztecs were 12-2 last season after winning the Frisco Bowl and finishing the season ranked 25th in the Associated Press poll.

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The victim said it made no sense for the state of San Diego to drag its feet for so long.

“Especially because I feel like we have very strong evidence that we found in the first two months,” she said.

About a month after reporting the rape, she said police asked her to make “pretense” calls to suspects, which are recorded phone calls.

“I sort of went there, looking like I was just worried about what happened, trying to figure out what happened, worried about STDs, worried about the pregnancy,” he said. she declared. “And I had to call each of the suspects and kind of have them tell me what happened that night. And the majority of them admitted what they did or lied about it. . And so I feel like that’s pretty strong evidence in itself.”

She said one of them apologized to her for what happened.

“Which is really hard to hear because it almost makes me feel like I should feel bad, even though I know it’s not my fault,” she said. “The others weren’t.”

The university maintains that the police did not share the names of the suspects with SDSU. The school created a webpage detailing the steps it has taken since learning of the assault, as well as resources for people seeking help after being assaulted.

As for the victim, she said she was doing the best she could with everything that has happened in recent months.

“I went to therapy. I talked about it a lot and over-analyzed what happened,” she said. “It’s hard for me to talk about it with people close to me, so I kind of took it with myself, but mostly just therapy and time, honestly.”

She doesn’t think she will begin to fully heal from the trauma until the suspects are held accountable and she gets closure.

KPBS is a service of San Diego State University

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