Lawsuit claims New Mexico violated Title IX in alleged gang rape
A woman who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by at least three New Mexico football players in April 2014 has filed a lawsuit against the university's board of regents, claiming that administrators and some Lobos coaches failed to follow Title IX regulations in investigating the case, according to KOB 4 in New Mexico.
You can read the full lawsuit here
The suit alleges that Crusoe Gongbay and SaQwan Edwards, who were both seniors on the 2014 Lobos team, were among the men involved in the alleged gang rape of the woman, which was reportedly filmed on cell phone video. From KOB.com:
The suit also says that "UNM administrators, including the Office of Equal Opportunity (OE) and the athletic department interfered with the police investigation of these rapes," and that "administrators demonstrated more concern with returning its football players to team play, protecting the athletic department, and protecting males" than with investigating the victim's report of being drugged and raped.
The lawsuit claims that Gongbay met with head coach Bob Davie the day after the alleged assault and that neither Davie nor the athletic department reported the allegations to the university's Title IX coordinator, as required.
The players, plus Central New Mexico Community College student Ryan Ruff, were arrested in April 2014. In August, the district attorney announced that it would not pursue rape charges after it was determined "that there is insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury or a judge."
The attorney for the three men told KOB 4 that his clients are innocent of all wrongdoing and would have been cleared early in the investigation if police had "done their job."
The university released the following statement in response to the lawsuit on Monday:
"UNM takes sexual violence allegations very seriously. The university’s primary concern is the safety and well-being of its students, as well as ensuring that there are fair processes in place for all involved."
- Molly Geary