USC Players Are Accused of Assault
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is reviewing allegations of sexual battery involving three USC freshmen football players after interviewing the victim Tuesday, said Bruce Campbell, head of the office’s Child Abuse/Sex Crimes unit.
No charges have been filed against the players--Michael Jones of Panorama City, Willie McGinest of Long Beach and Jason Oliver of Bakersfield. Campbell said he is not sure how long it will take to determine whether charges should be filed.
A sexual assault charge could be filed as a felony or misdemeanor offense. Lt. Alan B. Kerstein of the LAPD’s southwest detective division said any misdemeanor charges would be handled by the city attorney’s office.
The allegations stem from a July 20 incident during which a 22-year-old student at USC said the players took her to a dormitory room in Pardee Tower and assaulted her.
The woman was a peer counselor in the school’s summer college indoctrination program in which the three were participating. The incident allegedly occurred during a program-ending party in the dormitory.
Kristine Dillon, USC associate vice president of student affairs, said school officials will not conduct an investigation until the police are finished.
“Anything we do prior to charges being filed would be premature and speculative,” Dillon said.
USC football Coach Larry Smith declined to comment on the case.
Smith put the players on probation after the incident, but all are participating in preseason drills at UC Irvine.
Times staff writer Jerry Crowe contributed to this story.