UNC student claims football player from Marietta raped her

Wheeler HS graduate accused of rape at UNC

A University of North Carolina student came forward Tuesday and accused a Tar Heels football player of sexual assault, a move she said was necessary after inaction by police, prosecutors and the university.

“My life has changed forever,” UNC sophomore Delaney Robinson said in a scheduled news conference. "I see him every day on campus. ... It's distracting, hard to get my school work done. ...There won't be a cultural change without individuals stepping up. A university isn't going to feel the pressure to make a concrete change unless there are people pressing them to do so."

North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora issued a statement identifying the player as Allen Artis, a 21-year-old junior linebacker from Marietta, Ga., and said the program is aware of the charges against Artis but could not comment on the "allegation or investigative process."

VIDEO | North Carolina student claims football player raped her

A magistrate issued an arrest warrant Tuesday that accuses Artis of two misdemeanors — sexual battery and assault — both against Robinson. The warrant says Artis had sex with her while she was "mentally incapacitated and physically helpless."

Artis turned himself in Wednesday and has his first court appearance at 2:00.

He is suspended from the football team indefinitely per UNC's athletic department policy that states any player charged with a misdemeanor can only be reinstated after approval by Fedora, athletics director Bubba Cunningham, and university officials.

USA TODAY Sports does not usually name the alleged victims of sexual violence, but Robinson has made the allegations public. Robinson is pursuing charges as an individual citizen without the involvement of law enforcement or prosecutors. North Carolina is one of a handful of states that allows citizens to pursue charges individually in such cases. A magistrate decides if there’s probable cause to issue an arrest warrant.

Robinson directs much of the blame on how her allegations were handled at UNC Department of Public Safety along with the school’s Title IX office.

“Rather than accusing him of anything, the investigators spoke to him with a tone of camaraderie,” Robinson said. “They provided reassurances to him when he became upset. They even laughed with him when he told them how many girls’ phone numbers he had managed to get on the same night he raped me.  They told him, ‘Don’t sweat it, just keep on living your life and playing football.’ ”

Jim Woodall, the district attorney for Orange and Chatham counties, told USA TODAY Sports that the investigation remains active both in his office and at UNC.

“I have worked in the DA’s office for 26 years and have prosecuted many, many UNC students, including UNC athletes, for very serious crimes, including rape,” Woodall said in a phone interview. “From our perspective, it’s immaterial who the alleged person and it doesn’t factor into our decision.”

In a statement, UNC vice chancellor for communications Joel Curran said the university is aware of the allegations but could not address them due to federal privacy law. He referenced the university's "revised, comprehensive policy on discrimination and harassment" that establishes "a rigorous process conducted by well-trained investigators."

"These matters are complex and often involve multiple agencies including law enforcement," Curran said in the statement. "While the University always tries to complete an investigation as quickly as possible, our priority is to ensure that the factual investigations are complete and conducted in a fair and thorough manner."

In the news conference, Robinson's lawyer, Denise W. Branch, said Woodall has said that charges will not be filed. And so she's seeking to self-serve warrants.

Robinson said she was raped at Ram Village on the UNC campus on Feb. 14. Her attorney, Branch, said that despite her client’s “cooperation and strong physical evidence, no action has been taken against the student who raped her.”

“I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do,” Robinson said. “I reported it.  I allowed the rape kit to be taken.  I gave a statement.  I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office.  But six months later the University has done nothing."

Branch said in a prepared remarks ahead of a news conference that the alleged victim has self-sworn summons for misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor sexual battery against the football player.

Woodall said he didn’t know what impact Branch’s self-sworn summons approach would have to the ongoing investigation.

“Nowhere in this entire process have DPS investigators, University leadership or the Orange County District Attorney’s Office expressed concern for my daughter’s well-being,” Delaney Robinson’s father, Stacey, said in a statement. “What happened to my daughter is a crime and should be investigated by a professional and capable police force. UNC parents should know that their children are vulnerable and at risk.  We are standing up today to demand better treatment from the University.”


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