Two college football players in their senior year have been removed from their team after the government formally filed criminal charges against them for first degree rape and kidnapping. The two 21 year old men who played NCAA football for The Ohio State University were arrested based on an incident that happened on February 4th. They had each appeared in about 35 games throughout their collegiate careers.
Facts from the arrest warrant
The crime scene was the apartment that both of them shared in Columbus, Ohio. The victim says that she was at the residence having consensual sex with one of the men about a week before the arrest when the incident happened. After they had finished and she was ready to leave, his roommate entered and she was forced to have sex again with both of them. The arrest documentation details how she was grabbed by the neck by one of the suspects and held in place by the other. Afterwards, she claims the two men forced her to make a video recording where she admits to having consensual sex with both of them while they laughed about it. They also made her take a shower before leaving the apartment. One of the men drove her home after the conclusion of these actions. Both men are approximately 6 feet tall and weigh just under 200 pounds.
After a warrant was issued for their arrest, the two defensive backs were both booked into a local jail for felony charges filed by the Franklin County Municipal Court based on these accusations. Their arraignment was scheduled for the following day, but there was no information available regarding whether they had retained legal representation.
The football team’s head coach said he did not want to comment on the criminal charges specifically, but mentioned that they were removed for not meeting standards set out by the program and the university. They will have limited access to some of the university’s resources for health and wellness while the case is ongoing. A spokesperson for the university only stated that they are aware of the charges against two of their student athletes, but declined to comment further per university policy.
Ohio State University had recently dealt with another scandal where a player accepted a personal loan in violation of NCAA rules. That offense resulted in a two game suspension for the player in question. Many other major athletic programs have dealt with criminal charges against players and scandals involving coaches and staff members in recent years. These incidents always create large scale public relations problems for the schools in question. This is at least in part due to large scale media exposure and scrutiny of the university’s admissions standards.
The gravity of this case
Charges for first degree felonies are serious and they can result in decades of jail time if the defendants are convicted. It is possible that they could spend most of their adult lives incarcerated. The defendants can either accept a plea deal for a lesser sentence or have a formal trial where witnesses testify and other forms of evidence are presented by both a local prosecutor and their defense attorneys.