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Allegations against 5 SDSU football players involve rape of minor

San Diego State University said the SDPD advised the school not to investigate - to not interfere with SDPD's criminal investigation

SAN DIEGO — We're following shocking allegations that five San Diego State Football players raped a underaged girl and the university has not stepped in to investigate. The LA Times broke the story Friday morning saying the incident happened on October 16, 2021 off-campus and that the victim in this case is a minor. The claim that SDSU did nothing after hearing about the alleged incident by the LA Times is inaccurate, SDSU officials said.

CBS 8 spoke with California State University Board of Trustee Jack McGrory who confirmed that the University knows about the allegations and that San Diego Police told SDSU twice not to investigate the allegations because the incident happened off-campus and is in SDPD’s jurisdiction. McGrory shared his insight into the situation:

"We know they've (SDPD) had trouble gathering evidence. We at the University want to get to the bottom of this. We don't want people on our campus that are a part of our student population potentially committing this crime." McGrory said, SDSU’s hands are tied. "We invited the victim to file Title IX complaints with the university and they declined to do that – probably under the advice of their attorneys and they're still dealing with the police department."

Alex Zalkin is a local attorney with years of experience representing survivors of rape in legal cases against colleges and universities. Zalkin said, "When I see an article like this, it doesn't surprise me - unfortunately." 

Zalkin also said according to Title IX, the federal law aimed at protecting students and staff, if San Diego police are investigating then SDSU indeed can wait for the green light to act. However, Zalkin added, "It doesn't mean they have to sit on their hands and do nothing. They still have an obligation to access the safety risk that the individual may present to not only the person that complained of this conduct but to the campus community as well."

McGrory admitted, more should be done when it comes to sexual assaults and rapes on college campuses: "Higher Ed usually moves too slow. That's probably a somewhat valid criticism. We've got to speed up the process, address the complaints and take quick action." 

We reached out to San Diego State University for comment on the allegations.

In a statement to CBS 8, SDPD said:

“We understand that the nature of the alleged crime has raised concerns, especially in a tight-knit college community. Since taking the initial report in October, San Diego Police Department Sex Crimes investigators have made this case a priority and have been diligent in pursuing leads and conducting interviews. We continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure this investigation is comprehensive. The investigation itself is complicated and ongoing. We appreciate the community’s understanding that these investigations take time. Revealing any information prematurely would not only compromise the integrity of the case but could be damaging to anyone directly involved with the investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call SDPD. They can also contact Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous.

In a statement to CBS 8, SDSU said:

“For your awareness, we have called for a correction on the Los Angeles Times website headline; it is inaccurate to state that SDSU has remained silent during the initial reporting. Since the San Diego Police Department informed the university of its investigation in October, the university has been in regular communication with SDPD in support of its active investigation. The university also provided direct information to SDPD of all anonymous reports, including anonymous third party reports submitted to the university, and encouraged individuals to contact SDPD in support of the agency’s ongoing investigation. Further, SDSU has held a range of sexual violence training and education sessions with students, including those in residence halls, athletics and fraternities and sororities.

You can also read a message from SDSU President Adela de la Torre online

Details on the San Diego Police Department's investigation can be found on SDSU’s public-facing website. Click here to read.

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