Saturday, May 04, 2002

Notre Dame players accused in rape being expelled



The Associated Press

        SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Three Notre Dame football players and a former player accused of gang-raping a female student are being expelled from the university, the men's attorneys said.

        No criminal charges have been filed against any of the men, the South Bend Tribune reported in a story for Saturday's edition.

        St. Joseph County Prosecutor Chris Toth said he would decide by May 15 whether to file charges against any of the men.

        Notre Dame has not released the men's names.

        The men were expelled for alleged sexual misconduct and are likely to appeal the university's decision, the newspaper said. The deadline for an appeal is Tuesday.

        Attorney Anthony Zappia, who represents the former player, said the university can set its own standards for student disciplinary cases, which are not the same as those for a criminal case.

        Under Notre Dame's campus policy, a student may be suspended or dismissed for sexual misconduct including sex without consent or unwelcome touching.

        Zappia told the newspaper he was confident the appeal would show that his client “did not engage in any wrongful or criminal conduct whatsoever.”

        The men were notified of their expulsions Thursday, the newspaper said.

        Attorneys for two of the current players said they believed their clients would file appeals. The third player's attorney declined to discuss the case until the appeals process was completed.

        The Associated Press left messages seeking comment at the homes of all four men late Friday night.

        The four men went through a university disciplinary hearing last week to address charges by a female student that they raped her March 28. The university has declined to comment on the disciplinary process.

        According to the police report filed in the case, the alleged assault took place in the former player's bedroom.

        Police said the former player also drove the female student back to her dorm on the Notre Dame campus. She reported the incident to police five days later.

       



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