ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) - Lindenwood University suspended three of its basketball players Thursday after they were charged in connection with an off-campus rape.
The three suspects, Tylan Birts and Ermias Nega were charged with second-degree rape. A third player, Bradley Newman, was charged with second-degree invasion of privacy.
All three men live out of state. They are juniors at Lindenwood.
According to probable cause statements provided by the St. Charles Police Department, the crime occurred September 18 in the 1600 block of Cullom Drive. Investigators said the men and the female victim were at Birts' residence and that she had consensual sex with Nega.
Nega allegedly left the room afterwards and told the other two the victim was "ready" to have sex with them. Brits went into the room and began having sex with the victim while Newman crouched in a corner of the room waiting.
The victim quickly realized Nega was not the individual she was having sex with. She reached for the lights and saw Birts and Newman in the room with her.
The probable cause statement says Nega told detectives the victim was "in shock" and "teary eyed" when he walked back into the room. Nega allegedly told the victim she would be shamed if she contacted authorities
A spokesperson for Lindenwood University said the athletes have been suspended from the basketball team and the university was cooperating with investigators. Also, the university has launched its own Title IX investigation.
“When I read about it, heard about, I was shocked,” said Lindenwood student Sarah Jones. “I feel very safe here.”
She said sexual assault prevention is a topic discussed on campus.
“It’s talked about a good amount,” said Lindenwood student Hayley Counts.
Lindenwood student Cory Johnson said he is withholding judgment about the case until the criminal justice system runs its course.
“You can’t convict these gentlemen before it’s looked into,” said Johnson. “I hope everything gets straightened out.”