UNC football player suspended after student says school’s rape investigation ‘ineffective’

Delaney Robinson said she was raped by UNC football player Allen Artis on Valentine’s Day in Ram Village on the campus.
Delaney Robinson said she was raped by UNC football player Allen Artis on Valentine’s Day in Ram Village on the campus.

CHAPEL HILL, NC – A UNC sophomore, who claimed she was raped by another student in February, spoke publicly Tuesday about the assault.

An image of Delaney Robinson released Tuesday during a news conference.

An image of Delaney Robinson released Tuesday during a news conference.

Delaney Robinson said she was raped by a UNC football player on Valentine’s Day in Ram Village on the campus. CBS North Carolina usually will not identify victims of sexual assault but Robinson decided to take her case public.

Late Tuesday afternoon, UNC Head Football Coach Larry Fedora identified the football player as Allen Artis, and Fedora added that Artis was facing a misdemeanor charge.

““We are aware of the misdemeanor charges against Allen Artis.  I cannot comment on either the allegation or the investigative process.  We take these matters very seriously and are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities,” Fedora said in a statement.

Later Tuesday evening, UNC Athletics confirmed Artis has been indefinitely suspended from the team. He did not practice on Tuesday.

Allen Artis in a photo from CBS News.

Allen Artis in a photo from CBS News.

A warrant issued Tuesday for Artis accuses the a junior linebacker from Marietta, Georgia of two misdemeanors against Robinson, a sophomore from Apex.

The warrant says he had sex with her while she was “mentally incapacitated and physically helpless.”

During a news conference, Robinson said she has faced struggles in bringing her attacker to justice. She claimed the University was not holding the accused attacker accountable.

She said the investigation conducted by University of North Carolina Department of Public Safety was “ineffective.”

Robinson’s attorney, Denise Branch, spoke Tuesday and was critical of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

“The Orange County District Attorney has pronounced that ‘unconsciousness is rape, black out drunk is not rape.’ Therefore, because my client did not drink to the point of unconsciousness before she was raped, the Orange County District Attorney has declined to prosecute this case,” Branch said.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said there an active, ongoing investigation into the incident.

Woodall said UNC police are handling the investigation and he has been in contact with that department as recently as August 26 and 29.

“I think that there are always some circumstances in these cases that have to be looked at,” Woodall told CBS North Carolina. “In this type of case the investigation needs to be done thoroughly and very deliberately and i think that’s what UNC is doing at this time.”

He also said he spoke with Robinson’s attorney in August, too.

The test results are still not back and Woodall said six months isn’t a long time for them to investigate.

“…and i think they’ll continue to investigate this matter until they get to a point where they feel they have no other leads to follow . There are also some lab results that are still pending in this matter,” Woodall said.

Meanwhile, UNC officials released a statement around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Here is the full statement from UNC’s vice chancellor for communications and public affairs:

“While the University is aware of allegations made today by attorney Denise Branch regarding a student, under federal privacy law we are prohibited from responding to those allegations.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our students and takes all allegations about sexual violence or sexual misconduct extremely seriously.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt and her administration have made addressing these issues our highest priority. Two years ago, the University adopted a revised comprehensive policy on discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct, that was developed based on recommendations and broad input from the campus community and outside experts. That policy establishes a rigorous process conducted by well-trained investigators. The University provides compassionate care to all students who need support.

These matters are complex and often involve multiple agencies including law enforcement. 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.

While we understand and appreciate the public interest in today’s allegations, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Joel Curran
Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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