Investigation into Alleged Rape at UAlbany Continues

The investigation into an alleged rape at UAlbany continues this morning.

The two UAlbany football players accused of rape have waived their rights to preliminary hearings today; but one of them, Lorenzo Ashbourne, could be in court today for a bail hearing.

Meantime, the university prepares a weekend welcome for thousands of those most concerned about the safety of students – their parents.

Just days after the two freshman football players, Ashbourne and Julius Harris, went to jail, accused of raping another student in an on-campus dorm last weekend, their team returned to practice Tuesday,

The Great Danes will play for a crowd of thousands of alumni and family members this weekend. The university is now focused on homecoming.

“We're preparing for homecoming and the team is moving forward and the coaches are moving forward, and we're continuing with our activities,” says UAlbany Athletic Director, Lee McElroy.

So far, McElroy is the only university employee going on the record about the case, after a short notification sent Monday.

“You have an official statement from the university with regard to the incident and the investigation is ongoing, and I'm not going to comment any further on that,” McElroy says.

The Albany County District Attorney's Office now says UAlbany will closely review all sexual assault cases on campus – more, so far this year, than in the past three years combined: one in 2003, one in 2004, and two in 2005.

UAlbany's website lists three reported rapes on campus in 2006, but NEWS10 combed through incident reports and counted at least six listed as rapes, sexual misconduct and assaults.

Lisa Smith heads the Sexual Assault Center at Samaritan Hospital and says while the number is high, it is good that the crimes are being reported.

“I think it's unusual to hear so many being reported, however, we know that sexual assaults happen every day, whether they're on campus or off campus,” says Smith.

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