This UNC Student Said a Football Player Raped Her and the School Tried to Make It Go Away
A student at The University of North Carolina has publicly accused the school of deliberately stalling, and even ignoring, her sexual assault allegation. Delaney Robinson, currently a 19-year-old sophomore, said football player Allen Artis raped her on Valentine's Day of this year at an athletic dorm. Robinson alleges that the University has intentionally delayed the investigation because Artis is an athlete. (According to the University's athletic site, Artis a junior and a linebacker who played 13 games in the 2015 season.) Here's what else you need to know.
1. Delaney Robinson came forward on Sept. 13.
Robinson said she "did everything a rape victim is supposed to do." She reported it, recorded a rape kit, and cooperated with police. Robinson also admitted to underage drinking at the time of the incident, but dismissed the idea that it made her any less of a victim. Taking responsibility for drinking, she said, "That doesn't give anyone the right to violate me. I did not deserve to be raped." Robinson also said investigators asked her seemingly accusatory questions like what she was wearing and how many men she had slept with before.
Robinson added that she heard the recorded conversations between investigators and Artis and that they were particularly distressing.
"My humiliation turned to anger when I listened to the recorded interviews of my rapist by DPS (Department of Public Safety)," she said in her statement. "Rather than accusing him of anything, the investigators spoke to him with a tone of comradery. 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 he raped me. They told him, 'Don't sweat it, just keep on living your life and playing football.'"
Robinson's father stood by his daughter's allegation. In his own statement, he said, "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."
2. The school released its own statement.
The vice chancellor for communications, Joel Curran, released a statement on behalf of the school. While the statement said the university was "deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our students," he said they were unable to comment on the allegations due to federal privacy laws. Artis has yet to make a statement of his own.
3. A warrant was issued for Artis's arrest on Sept. 13.
The local assistant district attorney had previously told Robinson's attorney, Denise Branch, that "unconsciousness is rape, blackout drunk is not rape," according to Time magazine. On Sept. 13, however, the office issued a warrant for Artis's arrest on charges of misdemeanor assault and sexual battery.
A UNC official told the school newspaper, The Daily Tarheel, that Artis had been suspended indefinitely.
Per CNN, Artis turned himself in on the morning of Sept. 14 to local police; he was booked and released on $5,000 unsecured bond. Artis will appear in court on Sept. 29.
4. UNC has a history of improperly dealing with sexual assault accusations.
Robinson is certainly not the first student to accuse UNC of mishandling a sexual assault accusation. Federal investigators from the Department of Education are presently probing three separate cases where the school has been accused of misconduct by a victim. In 2014, the assistant dean of students, Melinda Manning, revealed that she had been pressured to underreport incidents of sexual assault because the number was "too high."