Two weeks ago, Auburn tight end Landon Rice left the football team due to what coach Gus Malzahn said were “personal reasons.” Those reasons, it turned out, were actually a rape investigation by police and a request for a restraining order filed by the woman who said Rice raped her. Rice’s lawyers responded by saying that the “true facts” would vindicate him: “When the true facts are revealed, those who made false accusations and vilified Landon will be held accountable.”
Yesterday the woman’s lawyer, Jeffrey Herman, responded by releasing copies of a string of text messages that he asserts were between the woman and Rice. They show Rice apologizing several times, within a week of when she said she was raped.
The full copies, as they were released by the attorney’s office, are embedded below. (These screenshots have been trimmed only to reduce some overlap that would lead to the same message being reproduced twice). This is where they start, on April 18, which would be less than a week after the woman said she was raped.
The text messages pick up again in June.
AL.com reached out to Rice’s lawyer yesterday for comment, but their message “was not immediately returned.” I reached out today and got a copy of the statement from before the text messages were released.
An unidentified 19-year-old female reported a rape to the Auburn police department on the morning of July 27, according to an incident report, which does not list Rice or the accuser by name. The incident is alleged to have taken place between 11 p.m. April 12 and 6 a.m. April 13 at the South Donahue Residence Hall, which is located across the street from the Auburn athletics complex.
... The Auburn police list the case as is “inactive” as opposed to “pending” or “closed,” but that classification does not mean the investigation is complete.
The woman also requested a temporary protection order, which was granted. The Ledger-Enquirer reported that the woman requested the order on Sept. 12 and that it mentioned “abuse in fear of ‘relation from a Title IX investigation.’” A court hearing on possibly continuing or ending the order is scheduled for Oct. 4, the Ledger-Enquirer reported. Rice’s lawyers have filed a motion asking for the order to be dismissed, saying the allegation is false and the two haven’t communicated since mid-Summer, according to AL.com.
The full text messages, as they were released, can be seen below or by clicking here.