Four Purdue football players have been accused of sexual assault by two female students and have been suspended from the team, lawyers for the two women announced today.
The alleged assault happened on Oct. 13, at an off-campus house where the players lived, and was immediately reported to police as well as Purdue officials, according to the attorneys. The local paper, the Lafayette Journal & Courier, reported that day on a police investigation but got very few details from authorities, except that a sexual assault had been reported and was being investigated. Police at the time did not say that the investigation involved members of the football team.
West Lafayette police Capt. David Van Vactor told the Journal & Courier today that police had an investigation ongoing that “involved four Purdue student-athletes,” who had been cooperative with police.
According to the law firm’s press release, the players have been suspended pending the results of their formal hearing, but they are allowed on campus to attend classes. The press release did not give the names of the players, which attorney Mario Massillamany said was “due to the fact that this is a pending investigation.” In his press release, he also called for Purdue to expedite the expulsion process.
“School officials must move quickly to hold these players accountable for their actions and show these victims that their voices are being heard,” Massillamany said. “Purdue and other schools have an obligation to send a message that this type of activity will not be tolerated.”
Massillamany said that one other female student has come forward since the initial report with similar accusations against members of the Purdue football team. Massillamany encouraged other victims to come forward.
As for the criminal investigation, the Journal & Courier reported it has been forwarded to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office.
UPDATE (4:35 p.m.): According to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, there will be no criminal charges filed against the men after the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the evidence.
The Journal & Courier also obtained police reports that included statements from the two women and the four accused football players. According to the Journal & Courier:
The two women told police they were drinking wine at their apartment when one began messaging a football player about having a threesome. Eventually, he picked them up and took them to a residence 800 block of Hayes Street in West Lafayette.
There, investigators say, they reportedly drank more alcohol and smoked marijuana with four football players before the women asked for a ride to a nearby sorority house. By 12:30 a.m., the females requested a ride back to the Hayes Street apartment, according to the police report.
The women told police they began having sex with two of the football players in a bedroom upstairs. After several minutes, the other two footballs players who were in the room at the time initiated unwanted sex with them, they said. When questioned by police, the football players said they believed the sex was consensual but said, however, that one of the women asked one of the men to stop, and he did.
There is still an ongoing investigation by the University.