DA: Not enough evidence in UO rape case

DA: Not enough evidence in UO rape case

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 3:12 AM

PORTLAND – The three University of Oregon basketball players accused of raping a woman in March will not be charged after a criminal investigation found there was not enough evidence to prosecute them.

On March 8, Brandon Austin, Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis allegedly took a woman into a bathroom at an off-campus house party, where she claims they forced her to have sex with them and raped her again when she went with them to an apartment.  

Background: 3 UO Ducks being investigated for rape

After an investigation, Lane County District Attorney Alex Gartner said he decided not to press charges because of a conflict between what the victim said and her actions. 

Click to read the Eugene police case report (graphic language)

"I'm not saying it didn't happen," Gartner said. "I'm not making judgments about what did or didn't happen. I'm making judgments about the quality, the integrity and the cohesiveness of the evidence and whether it will carry the day in court." 

Gartner said that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the three men in this case. In his explanation, he said the alleged victim did not appear to be impaired enough to constitute inability to consent to what happened.

He also said the alleged assailants stopped the sex acts three times at the woman's request.

Click to read D.A. Gardner's full report

A rape survivor advocate was outraged by Gartner's decision.

“This is victim blaming, through and through. Every one of the explanations as to why the DA's office chose not to file on this case has victim blaming attached to every one of those line items,” said Erin Ellis, of Sexual Assault Resource Center in Beaverton.

More: Rape survivor advocate outraged by UO rape case

Meanwhile, many people are asking why two of the men were allowed to play in the NCAA tournament in March after the allegations were reported. 

During the criminal investigation, administrators at the University of Oregon said police asked them not to interfere in the investigation, which meant Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson could still play during the playoffs this past March. 

Brandon Austin had already been suspended from play for a prior sex assault allegation at Providence College, where he played before transferring to Oregon. 

“I can’t think that the university didn’t know,” said sports analyst John Canzano. “I don’t want to believe the coaching staff didn’t know. This [was] a serious investigation going on, and I think the public deserves an answer.”

But on Tuesday, an ESPN report says the men will not return to the team next year, although the school has not yet publicly confirmed that report.

A source with direct contact with the Ducks' basketball staff told ESPN.com on Monday night that all three players are not expected to return to the program.

Gardner said if new and sufficient evidence becomes available, the case may be revived and prosecuted.

Click here for information on preventing sexual assaults at college campuses

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