UNC Student Claims Rape By Football Player; Athlete Arrested
A University of North Carolina student has taken the law into her own hands after she says school administrators failed to discipline a football player who allegedly raped her.
Delaney Robinson, 19 and a sophomore at the university, held a press conference on Sept. 13 to let media know that linebacker Allen Artis sexually assaulted her on Valentine’s Day on campus grounds at the Ram Village apartments, and of the lack of seriousness with which campus investigators were handling the allegations.
“Yes, I was drinking that night on Valentine’s Day,” Robinson said. “I’m underage, 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 remains as a student and a football player on this campus.”
Following the incident, Robinson was interviewed by medical personnel and university’s department of public safety investigators, who she said treated her like a suspect by asking her questions about her sexual history. Robinson said DPS investigators showed more compassion towards Artis than to her.
“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 that he raped me. They told him, ‘don’t sweat it, just keep on living your life and keep on playing football,'” Robinson said.
Robinson said she had tried for six months to have formal charges filed against Artis, to no avail. Her father, Stacey Robinson, blasted the botched handling of his daughter’s alleged sexual assault by both authorities and the university.
“We have watched with dismay as the UNC Department of Public Safety and the Title IX office spent far more time investigating my daughter rather than her rapist,” he said in a released statement. “Nowhere in this entire process have DPS investigators, University leadership, or the Orange County District Attorney’s office expressed concern for my daughter’s well-being.”
According to Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, the case is ongoing and is being “investigated thoroughly.”
“These are very serious cases. As we’ve seen in the past, sometimes cases like this—a lot of information comes out even after charges are filed so you have to be very careful and very deliberate whenever we’re investigating these cases,” he told ABC11. “You never want someone accused unless there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt—not just proof that something occurred—but proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred.”
On Tuesday morning, Robinson requested self-sworn warrants against Artis for misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor sexual battery, according to her lawyer, Denise Branch.
The North Carolina law 15A-304 allows citizens to initiate arrest warrants for misdemeanors if “supplied with sufficient information, supported by oath or affirmation, to make an independent judgment that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it.”
Artis turned himself in on Wednesday and has been suspended from the football team.
The mishandling of the Robinson investigation mirrors claims by five women who filed a federal complaint against the university, accusing the school of underreporting sexual assault cases. The lawsuit resulted in a revision of UNC’s sexual assault policies, which states that silence, passivity, or lack of resistance is not considered consent.
The university issued a statement following Robinson’s press conference.
“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,” read the statement. “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.”
Artis’s next court date is on Sept. 29.