Letter: Alleged UO rape victim expresses anger at athletic department

Letter: Alleged UO rape victim expresses anger at athletic department »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. – The woman who says she was raped by three University of Oregon basketball players in March expressed her anger at the University of Oregon’s athletic department in a letter published in school’s newspaper, Daily Emerald, Thursday morning.

“I know a lot of people are angry. I am angry, too,” the woman wrote in the letter to the editor that was submitted through her attorney, John Clune. “I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over safety of our students.”

She specifically referenced the recruitment of Brandon Austin from Providence College. While there, he and another Providence player were accused last year of sexually assaulting a female student on campus. The two were suspended and Austin subsequently transferred to Oregon. He had to sit out a calendar year under NCAA transfer rules.

“I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene,” the woman wrote.

The woman, a university student, met Austin, Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis at a party on March 8, the same night the Ducks beat No. 3 Arizona in the final game of the regular season, and before they went on to the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments. The woman's father called police the next day to report the alleged rapes that occurred during the party.

The allegations against the players came out in a police report released to the media in early May. The Lane County district attorney declined to pursue charges because he said there was not enough evidence to do so.

The university suspended all three players and said they would never play basketball at the school again.

Questions, however, have been raised about what and when the university knew about the police investigation.

The alleged victim’s attorney, Clune, told KATU News Thursday in a statement that his client felt she needed to say something amid all of the publicity and protests surrounding the incident.

“It hasn’t been easy to silently sit and watch all of the publicity and protests on campus about her assault that may or may not have always represented her feelings,” Clune wrote. “It was very important to her to not only to thank the Dean of Students office for their strong support of her but also to comment that the athletic department’s explanations are not sufficient.”

He also said his client feels that the “UO community deserve transparency even if it means that a particular coach or athletic director may not look especially good in the process. It is the only way that the school can meaningfully move forward from this.”