Two student athletes at the University of Texas will not be on the field with their teammates as a criminal investigation against them continues. Accused of sexual assault, the head football coach decided to suspend both of them from the team indefinitely. Although few people would likely argue that suspected acts of sexual aggression should not be treated seriously, it is still important to remember that these claims are still only allegations, and neither of these two men have been convicted of anything.
The charges stem from an incident in June 2014, when one of the players apparently engaged in consensual sexual relations with a woman at a dormitory on UT's campus. After the initial consensual relations, the woman alleges that another player was let into the room. The woman claims that this was when the sexual assault occurred.
Both of the men face charges of sexual assault, and one is also accused of improper photography after allegedly taking a photograph of the event. Police officers also believe that text messages sent between the two were intended to make sure that their accounts of the encounter matched. Additionally, as the supposed sexual assault occurred on the university's campus, UT chose to launch an internal student review alongside the authorities' criminal investigation.
It is not just their place on the University of Texas' football team that is at stake. Their education, future careers and personal lives are all on the line while dealing with these sexual assault charges. The defendants may be well advised to carefully consider what the potential outcomes from these charges could be and then proceed in the manner most appropriate. For some accused individuals, this means negotiating plea deals that can result in reduced charges or a lighter sentences, while others find that the most appropriate courses of action for their situations are to fight their charges in court.
Source: kxan.com, "Montrel Meander expected in court for sex assault charges", Jackie Vega, April 29, 2015