Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, two University of Texas football players, were charged with felony sexual assault this week for an incident that allegedly happened on campus last month. The men were also suspended from the Longhorns team indefinitely.
The men were both arrested and charged with sexual assault Thursday while Sanders, a junior, faces an additional charge of improper photography, ESPN reported
. Officials said in a news conference this week the incident reportedly happened early June 21 at the university's San Jacinto Dormitory, where the victim claims that both men forced themselves on her.
"We've been monitoring and addressing the situation with Kendall [Sanders] and Montrel [Meander] since it was brought to our attention," said incoming Texas coach Charlie Strong in a statement, according to the Austin American-Statesman
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"It's been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I'm extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that. With the recent charges against them, they have been suspended indefinitely from our football team and will no longer participate in any team functions," Strong's statement continued.
Authorities said the victim told them that she initially had consensual sex with Meander, a redshirt freshman at UT, and that Sanders arrived later in Meander's room and allegedly forced himself on her. The victim then told police that Meander, who had left the room, returned and joined in on the assault despite her telling them to stop.
"In response to recent allegations of sexual violence on campus, UT police has filed criminal charges against two student athletes, the football team has suspended them and an internal student judicial review is under way," University of Texas president Bill Powers said in a statement. "I commend Chief Carter for conducting a fair and thorough investigation and Coach Strong for making a decision that is in the best interest of his team and the university."
Sanders and Meander could face anywhere from two to 20 years in prison for the sexual assault charge, according to ESPN.
This marks the second such incident at a major university this month involving the sexual assault of a student. Two University of Miami football players were released
from the Hurricanes football team in early July after admitting to raping an intoxicated girl on campus.
JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa, both 20, were dismissed after they confessed to intoxicating and raping a 17-year-old girl in Figueroa's dorm room, the Miami Herald reported
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