Archive for Friday, September 15, 2017

Testing complete, DA awaits input from alleged victim in KU basketball dorm rape case

The $11.2 million McCarthy Hall houses the Kansas men's basketball team to the southeast of Allen Fieldhouse on KU's campus.

The $11.2 million McCarthy Hall houses the Kansas men's basketball team to the southeast of Allen Fieldhouse on KU's campus.

September 15, 2017

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Additional testing in the case of a 16-year-old girl’s alleged rape at the University of Kansas men’s basketball dorm is now complete, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said this week.

Now, the DA’s office is awaiting input from the alleged victim.

“We are waiting on a response from the victim with regard to the extent the victim wishes to participate in prosecution of any prosecutable matter in this case,” Branson said, in an email response to questions from the Journal-World.

Branson said his office conferred in late May with the family and a “representative” of the victim and explained “the potential for prosecution of any of the alleged offenses.”

There was a request for additional testing of materials collected during a search warrant, and that testing has now been completed, Branson said. He did not say what was tested.

The DA’s office again reviewed the case with the victim’s representative after testing was finished, Branson said.

Branson declined to answer what impact the victim’s response could have on potential prosecution, or whether a suspect or suspects had been identified.

It’s now been nine months since the alleged rape occurred.

The morning of Dec. 18, 2016, the rape of a 16-year-old girl, contributing to a child’s misconduct and furnishing alcohol to a minor were reported to KU police. According to the police report, the crimes allegedly occurred between 10 the night before and 5 that morning at McCarthy Hall, 1741 Naismith Drive on the KU campus.

The police report indicates the section of Kansas rape law that reportedly was violated defines rape as the following: “Knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by the offender or was reasonably apparent to the offender."

McCarthy Hall, an all-male apartment building, is home to about 40 students — roughly half KU men’s basketball players and half upperclass, nontraditional or transfer students. Police have said the 16-year-old, who was not a KU student and not from this area, was visiting residents of the building.

The same morning the rape was reported, a runaway also was reported at McCarthy Hall. Police have not confirmed whether the runaway and alleged rape victim are the same person.

All five witnesses listed in the rape report are 2016-17 KU men’s basketball team members. The report indicates police contacted three other people in connection with the case: a KU Athletics administrator and two 19-year-old women. In the runaway report, a sixth men’s basketball player is named as a witness along with the same two 19-year-old women.

Police did not explain why any of those people were contacted in the investigations, but have noted being a witness in an investigation does not necessarily mean an eyewitness to a crime, but rather someone who may have pertinent information.

KU police completed their investigation and turned over the case to the DA’s office May 9.

Initially, the Dec. 18 police report also contained an allegation of possession of drug paraphernalia, but that was separated and prosecuted independently from the other alleged crimes.

In that case, then-KU basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. — who coach Bill Self announced in April was leaving the team with plans to transfer in the offseason — was charged in Lawrence Municipal Court with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Bragg received a diversion.

KU police said previously that drug paraphernalia was found during the McCarthy Hall case investigation but that there was no indication the drug paraphernalia was related to the sexual assault allegation.

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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