A day after San Diego State University announced it was opening an independent investigation into allegations of a gang rape of a 17-year-old girl involving several of the school’s football players, the alleged victim’s father is calling it a public relations move.
“I think it sounds more like a PR, CYA situation from the university than it does an actual intent to try and discover something that they could have found out 9 or 10 months ago,” said the father.
The father has asked not to be identified, in part, to protect his daughter.
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Previously, the university said San Diego police asked the school not to take any action that would jeopardize or interfere with their case.
“SDPD requested on Oct. 19, 2021, and in subsequent letters that SDSU — including UPD and the Title IX office — not take any action that could compromise SDPD’s criminal investigation, including launching a university-led investigation,” a university spokesperson told NBC 7 in an email.
In a statement released Monday, SDSU President Adela de la Torre said the university was given the green light on July 22 by San Diego police to launch its own investigation
“From the moment we learned of the alleged assault, our only interest has been in justice and legal accountability for anyone who violated the law,” wrote de la Torre. “As I have stated before: No one is above the law, and anyone found to have violated the law and university policy should suffer the consequences.”
But the victim's father feels, at the very least, the university should have notified students of the alleged incident.
“They should have done it from the get-go, in my opinion," the father said. 'To hear them just defer 100% to the San Diego Police Department for such a long time, until the media came out, and now all of a sudden, a good deal later, they’ve decided to open their own investigation. What happened between Day 3 and 9-10 months later that made it OK?
“I think that it is incumbent on the university to take steps to make sure that they provide an environment where something like this can’t happen again, or at least people don’t put themselves in situations my daughter did,” he said.
The university, however, said it informed the father of how it was proceeding with the case.
“Importantly, SDSU complied with the wishes of the alleged victim and with SDPD’s request not to compromise its investigation,” a university representative told NBC 7 in an email.
While the father said police told him the investigation could take months, he feels it has dragged on much longer than anyone could have reasonably expected.
“As a father, I would like to see the people that did this to my daughter held accountable," the man told NBC 7. "I don’t know what that means — I’m sure that there’s plenty of statutes and laws that dictate what that is. But I would like them to not feel like they can do it again."
A representative for San Diego police said its investigation is moving forward, but for now, the case has not been referred to the district attorney’s office for any potential legal action.
The alleged victim has now turned 18.
“My daughter is doing well, all things considered," her father said. "I think she is as well-adjusted as a recently turned 18-year-old could be, given the circumstances of what happened to her."