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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Says UNM Covered for Rapists

ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - The University of New Mexico sabotaged the investigation of the drugging and gang rape of a student to protect student athletes, the alleged victim claims in court.

The woman, a freshman scholarship student, claims that university administrators, the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Athletic Department "re-victimized" her to protect members of the football team.

She claims she was given a "rape drug," and that while incapacitated, "(a)t least three UNM football players and a CNM student sexually assaulted her, and then lied to police about it. The men even recorded scenes on their cell phones to send around to others via Snapchat and the internet."

The woman says she was taken into a BMW and raped by two UNM football players and a former UNM student. When she recovered from the drug, she says, she reported the rape to a security person in the dorms, who called in UNM police, and she gave a statement and underwent a sexual assault examination.

She did not learn about the videos and photos of the attack until several days later, she says. She claims that her assailants were interviewed by UNM Police only after they had met with members of the UNM Athletic Department to prepare for the interview. They denied it until the videos surfaced, the woman says.

Another football player claimed that he had "consensual" sex with her in the car, she says.

"(S)hockingly, OEO decided that this football player's statement that plaintiff gave consent to him during the time she claims she was mentally incapacitated, meant that plaintiff also somehow 'consented' to whatever happened hours later in the BMW by other players," the woman says.

The complaint adds: "UNM administrators demonstrated more concern with returning its football players to team play, protecting the athletic department, and protecting males, than with promptly and properly investigating plaintiff's report of being drugged by someone and raped by football players," the complaint states.

Two of her assailants were arrested, but were not suspended from school, nor disciplined, other than being suspended from the football team during the off-season, the woman says.

She claims that the football player who claims she gave consent "was the one and only witness interviewed by the OEO in its 'investigation' of plaintiff's rape claim, despite the OEO knowing of the existence of many other witnesses, many of whom would have circumstantially corroborated plaintiff's report of having been drugged, being incapacitated and not having consented to the activity in the BMW. OEO chose to rely solely upon the one witness' testimony from hours before the BMW events, to

'whitewash' the BMW rape allegations as 'consensual.'"

As a result, she says, she suffered more harassment from her assailants and other students, lost her scholarship, had to move away to attend college in another state, and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems.

She seeks damages for Title IX violations, lost tuition and educational expenses, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life and court costs.

She is represented by Brad Hall.

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