Monday, August 29, 2022

SDSU defends handling of investigation into Matt Araiza gang rape allegation CBC Sports

WARNING: This article contains graphic material and may affect people who have experienced sexual violence or know someone affected by it.

San Diego State football coach Brady Hock said Monday he didn’t know star painter Matt Ariza was accused of participating in the gang-rape of a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party in October until a civil The suit was not filed. Week.

Hoke’s boss, athletic director John David Wicker, defended the school administration’s decision to comply with the San Diego Police Department’s request of a campus investigation of alleged gang rape until officers completed their criminal investigation. Requested to delay the lead-in investigation. The incident happened on October 17 at a Halloween party at a house where Ariza was staying.

Ariza, nicknamed the “Punt God” and hailed as a unanimous All-American who helped SDSU to a school-best 12-2 season, was cited as a graphic by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday in a civil lawsuit. Two days later it was cut. Details were filed against him and former teammates Xavier Leonard and NovellĂ­n “Pa” Ivalico. Leonard and Ivalico are no longer with the team, Wicker said.

The school’s decision to join the SDPD was criticized by rape survivor and public speaker Brenda Tracy, who was brought in by SDSU to speak to the football team and other male athletes nearly three weeks after the alleged assault. Tracy said in a statement posted on Twitter Sunday night that she was told by a member of SDSU staff that “an incident had happened.”

Tracy said that as she learns more details, “it’s becoming more clear that SDSU didn’t do the right thing. Institutions shouldn’t delay police investigations. Title IX and criminal cases can go hand in hand.” .. even without reporting the victim directly to the school, her father did, and the school could have contacted her. Anonymous tips, one of which included a name, should have been followed immediately “

Vickers confirmed that Tracy was brought to the premises.

“It’s absolutely not true that we threw it down the rug because it was football, because we had a successful season,” Wicker said. “It’s not who we are and that’s not who I am. It questions my morality and my morality and that’s not true.”

‘I still firmly believe that allowing the SDPD to handle its investigation was the right way’

Wicker and Hock tried to avoid questions about the alleged gang rape at a news conference on Monday. He read out brief statements and offered to answer questions about Saturday’s game against Arizona that will open SDSU’s new Snapdragon Stadium. When reporters continued to inquire about the case, Wicker and Hock walked out.

However, Vicker returned several minutes later and began answering questions.

“I still strongly believe that allowing the SDPD to handle its investigation was the right way,” Vickers said. “SDPD asked us not to investigate because they felt it would impede or potentially negatively affect their investigation, so we decided to do so.”

Wicker said it also included an informal inquiry such as a coach asking a player if he had heard anything.

“SDPD told us not to investigate. You can tip someone if we start asking questions, and we’re not going to investigate,” Vickers said.

No arrests have been made and police have not publicly identified any suspects. The results of the police investigation are in the hands of the district attorney, although there is no time frame for deciding whether charges will be filed. SDSU said the SDPD had given approval to start the campus investigation on July 22.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is now 18 years old. She has been identified in the complaint as “Jane Doe” because she was underage at the time.

Attorney Kerry Armstrong, who represents Ariza in the criminal investigation, called the allegations untrue based on the findings of an investigator she had hired.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Ariza’s name had surfaced within days of the party in connection with an allegation of rape, in which at least one report was made by student-athletes to San Diego state officials via an anonymous reporting system. Went.

Asked if he was aware of that anonymous report, Hock said: “I was not aware.”

Asked at what point he first heard Ariza’s name mentioned, Vicker said: “We didn’t get confirmation from anyone who was a party to the incident until the civil trial was over.”

Bill moves on from Ariza: ‘She’s not here. This is not our problem. Complete’

Meanwhile, the Bills say they have moved on from Ariza.

“We’ve already passed it. It’s over,” offensive lineman Dion Dawkins said Monday after Bill’s practice, two days after the team announced Ariza’s release. “He’s not here. It’s not our problem. Done.”

Dawkins admitted that he was upset by the allegations made against Ariza at the trial.

“Thoughts always come, but you just have to try to keep your mind right and not think about things that you really can’t control,” Dawkins said. “Because if you think about all the other messy things going on in the world, you’re going to be really screwed.”

Before practice, coach Sean McDermott addressed players about Ariza’s release, which was announced more than two hours after the team completed practice on Saturday. Team officials, including McDermott and general manager Brandon Bean, were first made aware of the allegations when they were told in late July that Ariza was one of several San Diego State players targeted in a police investigation.

When the team released Matt Hack last week, Ariza was set to become Buffalo’s punter, but the Biles reversed course. Center Mitch Morse defended the team’s handling of the situation.

“I think they handled it well because I don’t envy those situations,” he said. “In the end, I think he made the right decision.”



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