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Police Investigating Rape at McCarthy Hall: What we Know and What we Don’t Know

There was an incident in mid-December at the athletic dorm that concerns not only the basketball program but the entire University.

Ohio State v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tuesday night, a report came out from the Lawrence Journal World that a 16-year old girl was allegedly raped in McCarthy Hall sometime on the night of December 17. Other crimes alleged that are included on the same report include furnishing alcohol to a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia.

McCarthy Hall houses 38 students, including the men’s basketball team and select upper-class or transfer students.

What We Know

University of Kansas police are investigating the report of a rape, plus three other crimes, in McCarthy Hall, that occurred on the night of December 17th into the early morning hours of December 18.

A runaway juvenile was reported to police on December 18.

No description of a suspect has been released.

No arrests have been made.

According to police, there is “no ongoing risk to campus.”

Five KU basketball players have been named and interviewed as witnesses (not suspects). They are: Frank Mason, Josh Jackson, Lagerald Vick, Mitch Lightfoot, Tucker Vang.

Per Bill Self, Carlton Bragg was not recently suspended as a result of any of these events.

Title IX applies to this case because it happened on KU’s campus. KU’s Title IX office has 60 days to conduct its own investigation.

The University utilized exceptions in the Clery Act to delay publishing the report of the rape to the crime log.

The police are still investigating, and the case has not yet been forwarded to the District Attorney.

What We Don’t Know

Whether or not the suspect is a KU student.

Whether or not the suspect is a KU basketball player.

Whether or not the suspect lives in McCarthy Hall.

Whether or not the runaway juvenile is the alleged rape victim.

Bill Self’s Comments

Here are some select quotes from Bill Self’s press conference on Thursday:

“When the administration was made aware of it, I obviously was, as well. We've talked about it.”

“So regardless of what I've been told, it doesn't matter. It's what is found out to be the facts. Hopefully that'll happen sooner rather than later. But we have no control on that timeline.”

“So no, nobody is hiding behind this at all, and I kind of resent the fact that you would even hint at that.”

“I know positively that has occurred, and I know positively that we've been given zero information that would warrant suspensions or anything like that that's connected to our players at this point in time.”

“That's what I know, and I certainly will act on it if any information is given to us in the future that would warrant such action.”

And from the Big 12 coaches teleconference:

“If there was an issue they wouldn’t be playing. There hasn’t been anything that has been brought to my attention that would keep anybody from playing.”

So Now What?

There’s nothing in Self’s history that I’m aware of that makes me think he’d let someone play if he knew they were in serious trouble. We saw an example of that a few short weeks ago with the (first) Carlton Bragg incident. Video evidence exonerated Bragg and implicated the other party, but he was still suspended by Bill Self while police were investigating that incident.

(In the past 24 hours, Bragg has been suspended again, this time for the nebulous “violation of team rules,” but Self was clear it had nothing to do with the allegations in McCarthy Hall.)

Bill Self is quoted as saying: “If information is brought to us that warrants action at any time, the appropriate action will be taken.” At this time, there is no reason to believe that anyone involved with the basketball program is involved with the crimes being investigated.

The University needs to be completely transparent with their handling of this case, from the University police who are investigating (not the LPD) and the Title IX office that is legally required to perform its own investigation. With everything that has happened across the country lately, from Baylor, to Stanford, to yes, even KU, the responsible parties need to be brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law.