07/24 14:40 CDT 2 Texas football players charged with sex assault
2 Texas football players charged with sex assault
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) --- Two University of Texas football players were arrested
and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she
was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
Wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander arrested and later released
on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and
Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their
story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to
the alleged assault on June 21.
First-year Longhorns coach Charlie Strong, who will welcome his team to
preseason training camp in two weeks, said he had suspended both players.
"We've been monitoring and addressing the situation with Kendall and Montrel
since it was brought to our attention," Strong said in a statement released by
the school. "It's been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women
with respect is one of our core values, and I'm extremely disappointed that two
young men in our program have been accused of not doing that."
The sexual assault charges carry prison terms of two to 20 years. Telephone
messages left with attorneys for both players were not immediately returned.
According to arrest affidavits filed by police, the alleged victim knew both
Police said they were called to her dorm at 3:43 a.m. and found the woman under
an entryway service desk, crying, barefoot and disheveled. The women told
police she had gone to Austin's Sixth Street entertainment district with
friends and agreed to return to Meander's dorm where they began to have
Sanders then knocked on the door and Meander let him in, according to police.
The woman said Meander went into the bathroom and that Sanders forced her to
have vaginal and anal sex.
Meander returned and joined the assault despite her telling both of them to
stop, according to police. She told police that she also suspected that Sanders
used his mobile phone to take a picture or video of her.
Detectives separately interviewed both players at the university police
station. Police said the players agreed to let police look at pictures on their
phones and detectives said they found at least one photo of the victim.
Campus police Chief David Carter said the players were initially cooperative
but later asserted their right to an attorney. He would not reveal what the
players said in their initial statements or the results of a physical
examination of the alleged victim.
The chief said there was nothing unusual about the length of time between the
initial complaint and charges being filed, and he said he did not discuss the
investigation with athletic department officials until an arrest warrant was
"The university campus must be an environment free from all sexual assault and
violence," Texas President Bill Powers said. "At the University of Texas at
Austin, student safety is our top priority and we are involved with the
national efforts to prevent a culture of sexual violence from taking root on
campuses. We educate all of our students about preventing sexual assault and
vigorously investigate all allegations so we can take the appropriate action."
Sanders, a junior, has played in 23 career games and started seven last year.
He has 39 career receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Sanders was
suspended for the 2013 season opener after a drunken-driving arrest. Meander is
a redshirt freshman who did not play last season.