Aztecs football team
The San Diego State Aztec prepare to take the field before the start of the Mountain West Championship game. Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire

San Diego State University said Monday that it has launched its own investigation regarding the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl by members of the school’s football team.

The allegations center around a suspected rape at an off-campus house party on Oct. 16, 2021, allegedly perpetrated by five football players.

In a statement issued campuswide, SDSU President Adela de la Torre said San Diego police initially requested that the university not conduct its own investigation or “do anything that could jeopardize or interfere with its criminal investigation.” SDSU also stated that it previously asked police for details so it could take action, but “SDPD formally requested that SDSU not intervene, as intervention could compromise their criminal investigation.”

In the interim, the school said it has received anonymous information “from individuals who were not witnesses,” which it has shared with police and encouraged all those who made reports to contact SDPD.

SDSU says that on July 22, it received formal notification from the police department that it could move forward with its own inquiry.

In a message to students, de la Torre said, “I want to assure you that we have and continue to take action. Our process, following California State University systemwide policy, has already begun and pertinent details and allegations are being examined. As I have stated before: no one is above the law, and anyone found to have violated the law and university policy should suffer the consequences.”

Unlike a criminal investigation, SDSU’s Title IX investigation would examine whether university policy has been violated rather than whether criminal acts have been committed.

If a student violated policy, the maximum possible punishment available is expulsion.

In its statement, SDSU noted that Title IX investigations lack the warrant or subpoena power available to law enforcement investigations, and that universities cannot compel participation by either the victim or accused.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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Ellen Bullock