Police complete San Diego State gang rape investigation; case submitted to prosecutors

A view of the San Diego State football field
The criminal investigation into a rape possibly involving members of the San Diego State football team has been finished and turned over to prosecutors for possible criminal charges.
(Kirk Kenney / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Detectives have completed their criminal investigation into allegations that a group of San Diego State University football players raped a high school girl at an off-campus party last fall, San Diego police said Thursday.

The department submitted its findings of the roughly nine-month investigation to the district attorney’s office, which will determine if there is enough evidence to file criminal charges. There is no time frame for the review and decision, an office spokesperson said Thursday.

The young woman, now 18, said she was gang raped at an off-campus party on Oct. 16. She said she was 17 years old at the time, a senior in high school, and intoxicated and in and out of consciousness during the attack in a bedroom.


She said her friends had been searching for her when she stumbled out of the room.

“I was super out of it and crying. There was blood over my face and body and costume,” she told the Union-Tribune in an interview this week. “I just told them I had just been raped.”

She filed a report with San Diego police the following day and underwent a rape examination at a hospital.

The Union-Tribune generally does not name victims of sexual assault.

Police officials said that since the sexual assault was reported, the department has made the investigation a priority.

More than 20 investigative personnel worked on the case, resulting in nearly 200 hours of overtime, said police spokesperson Lt. Adam Sharki. Detectives obtained and executed 10 search warrants, interviewed multiple witnesses, examined physical evidence, and reviewed more than three terabytes of digital evidence, he added.

No further information about the evidence or suspects was released, and no one has been arrested.

Within two weeks of the girl reporting the matter to police, the department sent San Diego State a letter formally asking officials to hold off on an internal inquiry for fear it could compromise the criminal investigation. Police on Thursday said that by doing that, the school helped ensure the integrity of the “very complex criminal case.”


In a message to the university community Monday, San Diego State President Adela de la Torre said the school would now open an administrative inquiry, noting that in July police had given the university the OK because the school’s probe would no longer interfere with the criminal investigation.

“Our priority was in helping to ensure a thorough and complete investigation and in justice for the victim,” university officials said Thursday.

News of the allegations surfaced in June when the Los Angeles Times reported that the university failed to launch an internal investigation or student disciplinary proceedings months after learning of the sexual assault.

Some have criticized the school’s decision to defer and stand down, citing concerns that inaction may have left others vulnerable.

Several students called a school hotline to report rumors of the incident. The school said it turned that information over to police.

The school also said it didn’t have enough information about the incident and did not know the victim’s name until late last month.


However, within three days of the incident, the girl’s father says he reported it to a San Diego State police lieutenant. The university confirmed a relative spoke with campus police — but the school made a distinction between the relative contacting campus police and filing a police report.

The young woman’s father said the school’s protestations that it didn’t have enough information to do an investigation “didn’t ring true.”

“As a parent, I thought we had done what we were supposed to have done,” he said.

The school said its police department contacted San Diego police about the incident, which was off-campus and involved a victim who was not a San Diego State student. San Diego police told them they were already investigating.