Three University of Oregon basketball players who were investigated - but not arrested - in a sexual assault case will never play for the Ducks again, the university's president said Friday.
The district attorney's office said a crime could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and as a result no criminal charges were filed against Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin.
Once the allegations surfaced, the two active players - Dotson and Artis - continued playing basketball and featured in Oregon's March Madness win over BYU on March 20. The university said they were asked by the Eugene Police Department not to suspend players because it might have interfered with the investigation. As a transfer from Providence, Austin was not yet eligible to play for the Ducks.
"The police asked us to take no action during their investigation into the players," said Rob Mullens, Oregon's athletic director.
Upon seeing the police report in late April, the university president, athletic director and basketball coach chose to suspend the players and on Friday announced the players would never play basketball at Oregon again.
Also on Friday, University President Michael Gottfredson said the university is appointing an independent panel that will take a closer look at sexual violence and harassment on campus, as well as recruiting practices at the university.
Austin, Dotson and Artis were accused of sexually assaulting a female student on the weekend of March 8. According to a police report, the alleged victim said the basketball players took her into a bathroom during a party and forced her into sex acts.
She told police she was intoxicated and told them, "stop, don't," repeatedly.
According to the police report, the alleged victim then got in a taxi with the basketball players and went to an apartment with them. She told police she was sexually assaulted by all three at the apartment, while a fourth person watched.
The graphic police report includes a statement from the alleged victim that states, "I think I just gave up. I let them do whatever they wanted. I just wanted it to be over and to go to sleep."
The suspects were interviewed and told police the sexual activity was consensual, according to investigation documents.
Police reports state the alleged victim secretly recorded phone conversations with the suspects. The DA's office said the conversations are consistent with the suspects' version of consensual sex, "or at least their belief it was consensual sex."
The alleged victim also indicated to police that she only wanted the suspects to have their "wrists slapped," so the case wouldn't "ruin their lives."
In the days since the release of the police report, students on the University of Oregon campus have rallied outside the president's office and asked for more transparency from the university.
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