Police say victims were bound, threatened, at least 2 sexually assaulted

Updated: December 21, 2007, 8:12 PM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Authorities have charged two women and a man with a weekend attack on three North Carolina football players, which police said was motivated by robbery and included the sexual assault of at least two players.

Police said the players were attacked early Sunday at their off-campus apartment. All three were bound with tape, and one of those charged threatened the players with a knife. None of the players required medical attention, police said.

Authorities charged Monique Jenice Taylor, 28, Tnika Monta Washington, 29, and Michael Troy Lewis, 32, with three counts of kidnapping, three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and one count of resisting arrest.

Taylor and Washington also are charged with one count of first-degree sexual offense. Lewis is also charged with robbery, possession of stolen goods and assault on government officials.

Glenn Gerding, an attorney for Taylor, said he didn't want to discuss details of the case outside of court.

"I'm sure once everything comes out in court, we'll be able to establish her innocence,'' Gerding told The Associated Press.

Prosecutors said the players and the accused went to the victims' apartment after meeting at a downtown bar.

At a Thursday court hearing, assistant Orange County prosecutor Morgan Whitney cited a police report and said one of the players was drunk and was taken to his room, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported on its Web site.

According to the newspaper, the other two had some consensual sexual contact with the women, but then became uncomfortable and told them to stop. When police arrived at the scene, two of the victims were tied up, wearing boxer shorts, and the hands of the third victim, who was fully clothed, also were tied, Whitney was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

At least two players were sexually assaulted, and authorities were awaiting the final police report to learn if the third was as well, the News & Observer reported.

Defense attorneys told the court, according to the newspaper, that the acts were consensual.

Chapel Hill police said Thursday night a supervisor was not available to discuss the case.

All three defendants initially were jailed on a $500,000 secured bond, but the bond for Taylor and Belvin's was reduced Thursday to $50,000. All three remained in the Orange County Jail on Thursday evening, where officials would not make them available for comment.

"This is a very unusual case," Taylor's attorney, Glenn Gerding, told WRAL. "Almost unbelievable, at first blush."

Gerding did not immediately return a message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

Police said they arrested the two women at the scene, while Lewis surrendered Wednesday after fleeing during a confrontation with police.

Neither authorities or the university released the players' names, with the school citing federal privacy laws that govern educational institutions.

"I am relieved that the players were not injured," said coach Butch Davis. "We will assist them in any way we can."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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