A student at UNC is claiming that she was raped by a member of the UNC football team in February and is scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
A press release says the incident happened in February and that the press conference will focus on “the struggles she has faced in bringing her attacker to justice.” The release also says the victim “will address the ineffective investigation by University of North Carolina Department of Public Safety and University violations of its new Title IX regulations.”
The accuser – Delaney Robinson – is a sophomore at UNC. She released her prepared remarks ahead of the press conference.
When I entered Carolina as a freshman a little over a year ago, I was excited about new experiences, new friends, great faculty and classes. That all changed in February when I was assaulted and raped on campus.
I did not realize that rather than receiving support and concern from the University, I would only be further victimized by the people who should be working to keep us safe.
Yes, I was drinking that night on Valentine’s Day. I’m under age, and I take responsibility for that. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to violate me. I did not deserve to be raped.
My life has changed forever, while the person who assaulted me continues as a student and a football player on this campus.
After I was raped, I went to the hospital and gave an account of what I could remember to the sexual assault nurse. Then I was again quizzed by the DPS investigators, who consistently asked humiliating and accusatory questions. What was I wearing? What was I drinking? How much did I drink? How much did I eat that day? Did I lead him on? Have I hooked up with him before? Do I often have one night stands? Did I even say no? What is my sexual history? How many men have I slept with? I was treated like a suspect.
My humiliation turned to anger when I listened to the recorded interviews of my rapist by DPS. Rather than accusing him of anything, the investigators spoke to him with a tone of comradery. They provided reassurances to him when he became upset. They even laughed with him when he told them how many girls’ phone numbers he had managed to get on the same night he raped me. They told him, “don’t sweat it, just keep on living your life and playing football.”
This man raped me and the police told him not to sweat it. How can this happen? Where’s the protection for students? Why does the University not care that this rapist is free and could possibly harm another student?
And if this happened to me, who else has been hurt and been too scared to come forward? And what other cases are being swept under the rug by the University?
I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do. I reported it. I allowed the rape kit to be taken. I gave a statement. I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office. But six months later the University has done nothing.
I’m taking this public stand not for me, but for the other students on campus who are not protected, despite what the University tells us. I love this University. It’s my home. I plan on graduating. But I expect the University to fulfill its promises to me and to all students.
UNC football head coach Larry Fedora issued the following statement regarding the allegations against the football player:
“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.”
Multiple reports from UNC football practice say Artis has been suspended indefinitely, per team policy:
UNC spokesman tells media that UNC's Allen Artis has been indefinitely suspended, per team policy on misdemeanor charges.
— Ross Martin (@Boss_Martin247) September 13, 2016
The University of North Carolina released the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:
“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.”