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USC Sports

Report accuses USC’s Osa Masina of two rapes

Osa Masina
Linebacker Osa Masina awaits his turn in a drill during USC’s fall training camp on Aug. 4.
(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

Osa Masina, suspended by the USC football team while under investigation by police in Utah for an alleged sexual assault in July, is also being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly raping the same woman 12 days earlier, according to a published report.

The July 14 incident allegedly took place in Los Angeles at the apartment of a USC teammate, according to TMZ, which reported that it had obtained a search warrant used in the case. The Times was unable to retrieve a copy of the warrant.

TMZ, citing the warrant, reported that the alleged victim said Masina drugged and raped her.

A spokeswoman for the LAPD confirmed the department was investigating Masina and had interviewed him.

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Previously, the LAPD confirmed it was investigating Masina but declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

Masina is a sophomore linebacker from Salt Lake City. He has not been charged with a crime. He has been allowed to practice and has not been barred from classes. USC Coach Clay Helton said the university, not the football program, has handled the disciplinary actions.

A USC spokesman declined to comment.

The Cottonwood Heights (Utah) Police Department is investigating Masina on allegations of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, fondling and exploitation via a telecommunication device, according to a records request.

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The alleged victim was taken to the hospital to undergo a rape kit and gave a statement to the police. Masina was served a search warrant on USC’s campus last week.

Wheeler to be game-time decision

Injured left tackle Chad Wheeler practiced with the team on Thursday and did not appear to favor the injured foot that has kept him out of most practices this preseason.

Helton had announced that Chuma Edoga would start at left tackle. He said on Thursday that it would be a game-time decision whether Wheeler, who is suffering from plantar fasciitis, would be healthy enough to play a few series.

Helton said Wheeler had a good week of practice, but “after being off for so long, I don’t think he’s ready for a ton.

“If we can sneak Chad in for a series or two to give Chuma a blow, I think it would be advantageous.”

Preparing for the worst

John Baxter is considered among the best special-teams coaches in the nation. He was also burned by one of last season’s most stunning endings, when a last-minute fumbled punt cost Michigan, where Baxter was the special-teams coach, a win against Michigan State.

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On Thursday, a practice with a heavy-special teams focus, Baxter emphasized execution in similar last-minute punt situations. The punters practiced getting the kick off as quickly as possible. When blockers missed assignments, they heard about it.

“You mess up, we lose!” Baxter yelled.

zach.helfand@latimes.com

Twitter: @zhelfand


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