FSW players cleared of policy violations in sex assault allegation

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Florida SouthWestern State College decided in late November to close an investigation into two basketball players who were accused of involvement in a sexual assault, a newly released report shows.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office dropped the case in October after the victim decided she did not want to prosecute.

The school’s internal investigation did not wrap up until Nov. 29, when the Title IX office ultimately concluded that there was not a preponderance of evidence to show that the players had violated the school’s policy.

The report describes that standard of evidence as “50 percent and a feather.”

The incident was first reported to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in October after the victim went to HealthPark hospital and had a forensic exam.

The victim claimed she had no memory of having sex with two members of the basketball team, but other students indicated there was a video of her and the players, according to the reports.

The players admitted to the Title IX investigator that the video did exist and was later deleted, the newly released internal investigation shows.

One of the initial reports into the assault said the victim was “staggering and sometimes had to use the wall and other means to stand.”

In interviews with the players, the heavily redacted internal investigation reveals that the victim was in a bedroom kissing one of the players when the other player came inside to get his wallet and was asked to stay and have sex.

According to one of the interviews, there was a knock on the door and someone called out “pull all the guys in” and one “friend looked into the room and said ‘I gotta go, that’s rape.'”

The school’s investigation concluded “there was no evidence to support” that the players should have known the victim “was in a state of alcohol induced blackout.”

FSW declined to clarify or comment further on anything detailed in the internal investigation.

Detectives on the case were out of the office Monday, the sheriff’s office said, and could not answer with certainty whether or not the video had been located or viewed as part of their investigation.

You can read Florida Southwestern’s internal investigation report here:

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