This is an ugly, messy story with no winners, so we’ll just dive right into it.
On the night of April 20, 2018, six high school football players were accused of either raping a then-16-year-old girl as they drove through the Seattle suburbs in a pickup truck. This much is not in dispute: Four alleged perpetrators engaged in sex with the victim, while two remained in the cab. Though much of the encounter ended up on Snapchat, no charges were ever brought — a contentious point among the law enforcement agencies that handled the case, as well as for the community surrounding it.
“While the facts of the case were concerning, there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against any of the accused,’’ King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said in a written statement to The Seattle Times. “These young men were not treated differently because they were football players, either giving them a benefit or holding them to a higher standard.’’
“We did a very methodical, and as far as I’m concerned, a very outstanding investigation,” Clyde Hill (Wash.) police chief Kyle Kolling told the paper. “It took us several months to do it and just like any other case we would handle, I know we did it right. The prosecutor’s office told us we did it right.”
Five of the players played for powerhouse Eastside Catholic, who would go on to win Class 3A titles in Washington state in both 2018 and ’19. In the two years between the incident and today, the victim transferred schools, one Eastside Catholic player transferred out, and a sixth player — who did not attend Eastside and was in the cab at the time of the incident — quit football because of bullying.
Meanwhile, three individuals involved that night went on to become major football recruits.
The first player is Ayden Hector, who is named here because he identified himself as being the other individual in the cab. A 4-star cornerback in the class of 2020, Hector signed with Stanford, but the school later rescinded his admission after, according to the Times, “filed its own records request after being tipped off anonymously in February by email about the case.”
“Under university policy, Stanford may rescind the admission of an applicant based upon a review of additional information,” Stanford assistant AD Brian Risso told the Seattle Times on Wednesday. “The university has taken that step with regard to an incoming undergraduate for fall 2020 who was scheduled to be a football student-athlete.”
“Two years ago, I was one of several witnesses who cooperated with the authorities in an 8-month-long investigation which resulted in no charges being filed. It is unfortunate that complete strangers … have passed off false speculations, rumors and hearsay about me related to this investigation,” Hector tweeted on his protected Twitter account.
Two other players — who were not named by the Times as minors at the time of the incident and will not be named here — who were in the truck bed at the time of the incident, signed with Cal and Washington. Neither school made records requests, according to the paper.
“Federal law protects records related to students once admitted to the University,” Washington assistant AD Jay Hillbrands told the Times.
(Gee Scott, Jr., a 4-star 2020 wide receiver, played for Eastside Catholic but was not present at the time of the incident.)
In the meantime, the victim, now 18, says she is dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the alleged rape and bullying thereafter, while lawyers representing some of the alleged perpetrators have threatened her family with lawsuits. From the Times:
“If you succeed in getting colleges to revoke scholarships and thus prevent one or more of these boys from pursuing a professional career,” attorney James E. Lobsenz of Carney Badley Spellman, P.S., wrote Aug. 29, 2018, to the girl’s parents, adding that could amount to damages that “could easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per child, and given the value of a professional career… could be millions of dollars per child.”
“No one raped your daughter,” he added.