The basketball court at the Pan American Center at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Three former New Mexico State University basketball players have been charged with felony sex crimes and other crimes over allegations they were harassing teammates and student staff members, allegations that helped end the 2022-23 season prematurely. of the team, the state attorney general said Thursday.
Deshawndre Washington, Doctor Bradley and Kim Aiken Jr. are accused of “holding younger players and student staff against their will while raping them,” including “violently grabbing (the victims’) genital areas,” the report reported. office of New Mexico Attorney General Raúl. Torrez said in a press release.
The crimes are alleged to have occurred between August and November 2022, according to grand jury indictments released by Torrez’s office.
“Players, coaches and administrators at all levels are warned that this type of violent conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Torrez said in a statement. “They should also be aware that while this action is an important first step in addressing this inexcusable behavior, our work to correct the culture that allowed these crimes to occur is far from over.”
Each defendant faces one count of criminal sexual penetration; several counts of false imprisonment; several counts of criminal sexual contact; one count of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual contact; and one count of conspiracy to commit false imprisonment, court documents show. Each charge is a felony.
Washington, a junior guard last season, and Bradley, then a sophomore forward, each face five counts of false imprisonment and criminal sexual contact. Aiken, a redshirt senior forward last season, faces four counts of both charges.
It was not immediately clear if the defendants had lawyers. They will be arraigned in Las Cruces court on November 22, CNN affiliate KOAT reported.
CNN has sought comment from the attorney general’s office and New Mexico State University.
The charges come months after the university in February temporarily suspended the men’s basketball program and ended the team’s 2022-23 season over what the school said were allegations of hazing within the team. The school fired the team’s head coach that month.
Although university officials did not provide details about the allegations at the time, a member of the men’s basketball team told school police in February that he had been subjected to hazing in the men’s basketball locker room since the summer, according to a report. from New Mexico State University. Police Department case report obtained by CNN affiliate KVIA and shared with CNN. The report omitted the names, ages and dates of birth of the players.
“Hazing has no place on our campus, and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” Chancellor Dan E. Arvizu said in a statement. open letter to the university community in February.
Two former players filed a lawsuit in April against the former head coach, three former NMSU players and others, citing what they alleged were incidents of hazing and sexual assault within the team.
The lawsuit was settled for $8 million, KOAT reported.
Attorney Joleen Youngers, who represents two of the alleged hazing victims, said, “The allegations certainly support the allegations in both lawsuits we have filed.”
“This is a good first step on the path to justice, but we seek more than just holding perpetrators accountable,” he added. “Where were the coaches and their staff while this was happening? Where were the AD and his staff? Why didn’t they act according to what they should have seen, what they had heard? “Someone should have stopped this behavior before so many people were hurt, so many times.”
The Aggies resumed their men’s basketball program with a new coach and the team played its first two games of the 2023-24 regular season this week.