Three Ducks players suspended, not charged, after sexual assault investigation

Bulletin staff report /

EUGENE — Three Oregon men’s basketball players — Dominic Artis, Brandon Austin and Damyean Dotson — will not be charged for alleged sexual assaults at a party in March, but are suspended from the team, according to reports.

All three players were investigated by Eugene police for alleged first-degree rape of a female victim in March, but “given the state of the evidence, the crimes cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney Patty Perlow.

Dotson, Artis and Austin are “not currently participating in any (basketball) team activities,” according to an Oregon athletic department statement issued Monday.

The (Eugene) Register-Guard reported that Artis and Dotson, who were interviewed by police, said the sexual activity was consensual.

The accuser told the police that she met Austin, Dotson and Artis at a party on the night of March 8. She said they assaulted her three times over the course of the night — twice in a bathroom at the party, and later at Artis’ apartment. She said that she repeatedly said no and that alcohol inhibited her ability to fight back.

“I think I just gave up,” she said in the police report. “I let them do whatever they wanted, I just wanted it to be over and to go to sleep.”

When asked if she wanted to press charges, the accuser initially told the police that she was concerned about ruining the lives of her suspected attackers, but her father contacted the police after learning of the incident.

On April 14, the Lane County district attorney’s office decided not to prosecute the case, stating in a report that “while there is no doubt the incidents occurred, the conflicting statements and actions by the victim make this case unprovable as a criminal case.”

A statement Tuesday from Robin Holmes, the university’s vice president for student affairs, and Rob Mullins, Oregon athletic director, said in part: “Law enforcement agencies often request that the university wait to take action in order to avoid interference with an open criminal investigation. We responded accordingly in this situation. In all cases we begin investigating immediately, and aggressively address situations in accordance with the law, our internal code of conduct, and our commitment and obligation to protect and support our students.”

Oregon President Michael Gottfredso aid in a statement that the university is “deeply concerned” about the information detailed in the police report.

The university did not make the players available, and their lawyers could not be reached for comment.

The news comes less than a month after Ben Carter and A.J. Lapray announced they were transferring. Carter said Monday he’s going to UNLV; Lapray will transfer to Pepperdine.

That leaves guards Joseph Young and Jalil Abdul-Bassit and forward Elgin Cook as the only scholarship players from last season, although the Ducks have signed five players for next year.

— Bulletin wire services contributed to this report