War Eagle Extra

Former Auburn football player accused of rape, according to police, court records

Rice
Rice

Former Auburn tight end Landon Rice is accused of first-degree rape in an incident report with the Auburn Police Department filed on July 27 by an unidentified 19-year old female.

The incident allegedly happened in the late hours of April 12 in the South Donahue Residence Hall, a 209-room dorm located across the street from the athletic complex and housing most of the football team.

Coach Gus Malzahn announced Rice had left the football program following the team’s game on Sept. 10 against Arkansas State for “personal reasons.”

Rice has not been arrested or charged.

Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony in Alabama carrying a penalty of 10 years to life.

While the Auburn Police Department currently categorizes the status of the case as “inactive,” that doesn’t mean the investigation is closed.

Captain Lorenza Dorsey explained the designation for the Ledger-Enquirer Friday morning.

“Cases on inactive status are still open investigations, and there are various reasons why a case would be placed on inactive status,” Dorsey said. “I can’t speak to this case specifically, but some examples are: no active leads or suspect to follow up on, case is awaiting further action to be taken by court system, awaiting results of lab examination or analysis, etc.”

A 19-year old female (name withheld by the Ledger-Enquirer to protect her identity) filed a protective order against Rice on Sept. 12 with the Circuit Court of Lee County.

The plaintiff filing the petition with the court makes the same allegation of sexual assault, and seeks a protection order from abuse in fear of “retaliation from a Title IX investigation.”

Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. This includes incidents of sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and sexual violence.

The law requires schools to take immediate steps to address any sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence on campus to prevent it from affecting students further.

The filing was assigned to judge Steven T. Speakman, who issued a temporary protection order on Sept. 15 until the initial court hearing for the protection order, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 4.

A spokesperson for Auburn’s athletic department declined comment when asked what the university and athletic department knew about the July incident report filed with the Auburn police department.

They also declined to discuss whether Malzahn was made aware of the allegations and if Rice’s departure was a direct result of an ongoing investigation into the incident by the university’s Title IX office.

"Any questions regarding law enforcement matters should be directed to law enforcement authorities,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, by matter of policy and practice, we wouldn't discuss any issue regarding the privacy of students.”

Auburn’s police department is required to notify the university of sexual assault allegations designated as mandatorily reportable by Title IX and the Cleary Act. All crimes that occur on university property are shared with university officials.

Rice was one of nine freshmen from Auburn’s 2016 recruiting class to enroll early in January, allowing him to practice with the team through the spring.

The freshman was on the roster when fall camp opened on Aug. 2 and practiced with his teammates during training camp.

Rice is the second player this fall to be the subject of a Title IX complaint. Former Auburn running back Jovon Robinson was accused of domestic violence, but the accuser in that case later recanted the accusation.

Robinson was dismissed from the program on the first day of training camp in August.

Landon Rice’s brother Logan Rice is a member of the Auburn football program.

Calls and messages placed by the Ledger-Enquirer to the Rice family went unanswered.

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