Editor’s note: This story contains alleged accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.
San Diego State University said Monday that it has launched an investigation nine months after a woman says five football players raped her.
The woman, who is now 18 years old, publicly shared details about the incident that occurred in October 2021, when she was a minor. In her account, the young woman said she was attacked in a bedroom during an off-campus party Oct. 16.
“I know I was not at fault. I know being a 17-year-old girl, almost unconscious 90% of the time in a room with several guys, bloody, and going in and out of consciousness is not something that was consensual,” she said to CBS 8.
According to a report in June from The Los Angeles Times, two athletes who were not at the party sent messages through the school’s anonymous reporting system, which were reviewed by SDSU’s executive associate athletic director and deputy Title IX coordinator. One athlete provided the name of one of the players, a senior.
“Ninety-nine percent of the football players are aware of the five-person rape so the rest of the student-athletes are left wondering why nothing is being done,” the student said, according to records obtained by The Times. They added, “Every person in authority here at SDSU needs to be aware of this, including [San Diego State President] Adela de la Torre.”
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The university addressed why it had not launched an investigation until now in Monday’s announcement, citing “San Diego Police Department requested that SDSU not take any action, including launching an investigation and conducting interviews, regarding the reported off campus sexual assault to avoid compromising its own criminal investigation.”
In a message to the university community, de la Torre wrote Monday that SDPD gave the school the green light last month to launch its own investigation into the matter. It had originally asked the university to “not do anything that could jeopardize or interfere with its criminal investigation, including launching our own investigation,” per de la Torre.
San Diego State told Sports Illustrated in June that it had not received the confirmed name of the survivor, nor names of anyone considered a suspect by the SDPD, and that no survivor or witness has reported the off-campus incident to the university. According to de la Torre’s latest community message, the school now knows the identity of the woman.
Additionally, the university created a public-facing website that includes a timeline and FAQs.
The woman also recently spoke with The Times and expressed disappointment in how the university responded to the matter.
“Something like this sticks with you forever,” she said. “And all I can really do now is just hope that I can get some sort of justice somehow and feel like people are facing consequences for their actions because I feel like I’ve been facing the consequences for their actions.”