2 UM players arrested on sexual assault charges - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

2 UM players arrested on sexual assault charges

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) -- Coral Gables Police have arrested two University of Miami football players after they were accused of sexual assault.

Police arrested UM linebackers 20-year-old Alex Figueroa and 20-year-old JaWand Blue on the charges, Tuesday. According to police, last Saturday, Figueroa and Blue took a 17-year-old teenage girl to a dorm room at Pearson Hall and allegedly raped the victim.

According to arrest documents, Figueroa and Blue both had something placed in the victim's drink, without her knowledge, that left her physically incapacitated.

Tuesday morning, Coral Gables Police said both players came into the police station and admitted to buying the victim drinks. They also admitted to performing sex acts on the victim without her consent and she was physically helpless to resist. They were both placed under arrest after that confession and taken to jail.

All parties involved are University of Miami Students.

News about this case has spread quickly around campus. "I am speechless," said a student.

Students around the UM campus were in shock when they first heard about the news. UM student Maria Rodriguez said, "That is just scandalous. How do they think they could do that, especially to someone in their own school?"

Another UM student, Christopher Galarza, said these types of crimes are not uncommon. "It is something that you need to make sure that you are always aware of so that if something does happen, you can have back up," said Galarza.

The two players have since been released from the UM Football team and have been suspended from the university.

UM Director of Athletics Blake James released the following statement Tuesday after the arrests, "Earlier today, I permanently dismissed JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa from the UM football team," said James. "The University has also suspended the students from school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement."

He continues on to say, "Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus. We hold all of our students-- especially student athletes-- to the highest standards of moral conduct. The University is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all."

Shortly after University of Miami President Donna Shalala released the following statement, "The safety and welfare of our students is fundamental to our mission as a university. We have zero tolerance for sexual assault and gender-based violence. There is no confusion about our responsibility as a university: We will fully and compassionately support the victim of sexual assault. I have spoken to her myself and reassured her of our full support. We have suspended the men involved, and they have been barred from campus. Our athletic director has taken firm action ending their involvement in the football program. We have notified the individuals involved that the university is beginning an investigation immediately, which we expect to conclude quickly and fairly. We will also continue to cooperate with the police in their ongoing criminal investigation."

Both Figueroa and Blue were recruited in 2013 as linebackers for the UM football team. Monday happened to be Figueroa's birthday.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned on July 29.


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