University of Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus was charged with two counts of sexual assault Monday. Per reports, police claim the 20-year-old junior, who was set to be the Badgers’ top receiver this season, assaulted two women on the same night at his apartment.
Citing a violation of the school’s student-athlete discipline policy, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez announced Monday that Cephus was “suspended from competition and practice pending the availability of further information relating to his case.” Cephus had posted a note on Twitter on Saturday, saying he was being “forced to take a leave of absence from the team in order to focus all of my attention on clearing my name.”
He said he has been “wrongfully accused of unlawful conduct” and was “innocent of any allegations associated with this consensual relationship.” He added, “My football family has been supportive to me and I have too much respect for Coach [Paul] Chryst, his staff and my teammates to become a distraction in what I know will be an outstanding year for the Badgers.”
Cephus was charged with one count of second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and one count of third-degree sexual assault. Police in Madison, Wis., reportedly said the charges stemmed from the night of April 21, when Cephus went home with two women he had met at a bar near the campus.
According to the criminal complaint (via the Wisconsin State Journal), police were called to an emergency room at 4:30 a.m. on April 22, where they met a woman who said Cephus raped her in his apartment. She said the second woman was already drunk at the bar when she was introduced to Cephus, who “seemed like he was a gentleman” and appeared to be sober.
The first woman said she was drunk, as well, per the complaint, and didn’t remember all the details of the evening but recalled her and the other woman being naked as Cephus assaulted them and encouraged them to have sex with each other. The woman also said that Cephus’s roommate, Badgers wide receiver Danny Davis, was laughing and taking photographs.
“I was shocked because I have no memory of [having sex],” the second woman, who could only recall being in Cephus’s car and fleeing his apartment at around 2:30 a.m., told police. “I was grossed out. We don’t know this guy. I was so very confused. I was thinking, ‘How could this happen?’
“I know I would never consent to have sex with someone I didn’t know.”
Cephus told police, per the complaint, that he did have sex with one of the women but said, “It was all good. She was all into it.” He claimed (via the AP) that he and the second women had sex and that he and both women were “all in my room together.”
“I will not be defined by these allegations or this episode,” Cephus said Saturday on Twitter. “I have great hope in my future and know that My Lord and Savior uses all situations for his good.”
According to the State Journal, the Dane County district attorney’s office had yet to decide whether to file charges against Davis. Cephus is set to appear in court Thursday.
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