Boise State Football

Boise State football players expelled, suspended for alleged sexual assault

Marquis Hendrix, left, Donzale Roddie and Darreon Jackson
Marquis Hendrix, left, Donzale Roddie and Darreon Jackson

Two Boise State football players have been expelled from the university and a third has been suspended from the school for a year after a sexual assault investigation, according to the players’ families and BSU documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Marquis Hendrix, of Ocala, Fla., and redshirt freshman cornerback Donzale Roddie, of Compton, Calif., have been expelled, their parents confirmed to the Statesman on Wednesday night. Redshirt freshman safety Darreon Jackson, of Derby, Kansas, has been placed on a one-year suspension, according to his father.

All three have been the focus of a Title IX sexual misconduct investigation launched by Boise State last fall, after a female student told Title IX Director of Compliance Annie Kerrick she was sexually assaulted by Boise State players.

All three players were notified of an investigation in January and February, and all three signed no-contact orders in February, according to the documents.

No criminal charges

In incidents Aug. 19, Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 of last year, the alleged victim said she was coerced into performing oral sex on the three players, or in one incident, on a recruit during his official visit. The woman first met with Kerrick in person Nov. 30. She was interviewed in February in depth about the majority of details in the complaint.

“Boise State is committed to thorough and fair investigations into all allegations of sexual misconduct — and to holding parties accountable when they are found to be responsible for violating the student code of conduct. But federal privacy laws restrict our ability to comment on any student records or any specific investigations,’’ Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn told the Statesman late Wednesday.

In general, the Statesman does not name alleged sexual assault victims.

On National Signing Day 2015, current Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos and former defensive backs coach Julius Brown spoke about recruits Marquis Hendrix, Donzale Roddie and Darreon Jackson. All three have been the focus of a Title IX

No criminal charges have been brought against the players.

The Boise Police Department confirmed Thursday it did not receive a report concerning the sexual assault allegations. It’s up to the victim to decide whether to bring it to law enforcement, according to BPD.

According to the documents obtained by the Statesman, the woman stated she had a consensual sexual relationship with Hendrix prior to Aug. 19, but he “tried to intimidate and control (her) using force pressure, and through repeated texts” and guilt tactics. On that date, Hendrix allegedly pressured her into oral sex with Roddie after standing in the doorway, encouraging her to do so.

In the second alleged incident, after seven different days of text messages initiated by Roddie to come over to his dorm room, she did so, stating it would hopefully get him to stop messaging her. While in his room, he removed his pants and sat in a chair that blocked her exit. She said she felt intimidated and unable to leave unless she relented.

[Story: How much did Boise State pay to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit?]

Recruit allegedly involved

The third incident, which occurred Oct. 2, according to the documents, the day before the Broncos played Hawaii in Boise, the alleged victim came to a gathering of players, stating that Hendrix told her, “We need you to do us a favor.”

One man allegedly said, “There’s a recruit in town and we need you to show him a good time.” Hendrix and Jackson met her in a stairwell, and she said she felt trapped between the two as they walked to a common area in the dorm. Once inside, she reported she was slapped on the behind by Jackson as she was directed to a room where the recruit was waiting. Again, she said the door was blocked and felt, “It was easier to do it and get out than to keep resisting.”

Upon investigation this spring, the testimony was deemed credible, and the school made its decision to punish the three players Wednesday, according to the players’ families and the documents.

Player’s father upset

“I’m extremely upset, upset how those boys were treated,” Hendrix’s father, Jack, told the Statesman. “We feel their civil rights were violated, that they were interrogated, not given a chance to truly defend themselves. There are some promiscuous young ladies hiding behind Title IX, and there’s a vendetta against football by those investigators. There was no police investigation, or no repercussions for her actions.”

Interviewed by investigators in February, Marquis Hendrix denied the woman ever said “no,” and also said he never encouraged her to engage in any sexual activity with other players or recruits. He did say he wanted the woman to show the recruit “a good time,” but to meet him and talk to him, never directly suggesting sex.

Roddie said he had sexual contact with the woman only on Sept. 26, and they had no contact afterward. Jackson said that the woman, on other occasions, had performed oral sex on players and that he wanted the recruit to meet her, but “nobody forced her to do anything” and he did not make any physical contact with her.

He and Hendrix both denied anyone was blocking the door.

In a previous and unrelated case, Boise State went to trial after two former track and field athletes sued the university in a rape and sexual harassment case, saying it failed to act properly or timely under Title IX. The university settled with the plaintiffs in December for $800,000, according to documents.

Most recently in the football program, Boise State dismissed tight end David Lucero in January after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery involving a female student-athlete. Lucero had originally been charged with attempted strangulation, a domestic abuse charge; he and the female athlete were dating.

“This type of behavior does not align with the core values of the athletic department at Boise State,” Athletic Director Curt Apsey said at the time of Lucero’s dismissal.

Title IX is the federal civil rights law that, among other things, prohibits sexual discrimination or harassment in education.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_southorn

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