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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UPDATED: Former Track & Field athlete alleges that the university failed to protect her from assault

The+sun+sets+over+Roy+P.+Drachman+Track+and+Field+Stadium+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+24.
Alex McIntyre

The sun sets over Roy P. Drachman Track and Field Stadium Tuesday, Nov. 24.

A lawsuit filed on Nov. 20 by a former UA track and field student-athlete alleged that the UA and its athletics department failed to protect her from 2.5 years of sexual assault and intimidation from UA assistant coach for throwing events Craig Carter.

The lawsuit names six defendants, including the state of Arizona, the Arizona Board of Regents, the UA, director and head coach of track and field Fred Harvey and athletic director Greg Byrne.

The Plaintiff, whose career as a UA student-athlete spanned from the fall 2010 to spring 2015 semesters, said she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by Carter beginning in spring 2013, according to court documents obtained by The Daily Wildcat.

The document reads that Carter initially assaulted the Plaintiff following the 2013 national championships at the University of Oregon. The Plaintiff went to a house party, became intoxicated and needed a ride back to the team’s hotel—a ride that Carter offered. Sometime before reaching their destination, Carter stopped the car and sexually assaulted her, according to the documents.

Following the initial assault, court documents said that Carter blackmailed and threatened the Plaintiff, telling her that he would spread word that the assault was her fault and that he would harm her if she told anyone what he had done.

Suggesting that he exercised “tremendous emotional control” as a coach and the “power to make or break [the Plaintiff’s] sought-after career as an athlete,” the documents say that Carter continued to demand sex from the Plaintiff under threats of violence and defamation against the Plaintiff, her family and her friends.

The threats culminated in the spring of 2015.

On April 27, the Plaintiff confronted Carter and demanded that his abuses come to an end. Carter responded by choking her on the couch in his McKale Center office, holding a box cutter to her throat and threatening to kill her if she revealed him, according to the documents.

A police report obtained by The Daily Wildcat detailed the incident.

“I grabbed her by the neck,” Carter said, as detailed in the report of the April 27 incident. He went on to say that he told the Plaintiff, “I’ll hurt you,” while holding the box cutter to her throat.

Shortly thereafter, on April 29, the court documents said Carter entered the Plaintiff’s class after it ended and attempted to grab her multiple times to pull her out of the room. Witnesses in the room at the time notified the police, who questioned and later arrested Carter.

Carter subsequently admitted to assaulting the Plaintiff and sending threatening messages. He was then jailed for a short period and placed on paid administrative leave. Shortly after, Carter resigned from his position with Arizona Athletics.

The police reports detailed some of the messages Carter sent to the Plaintiff. The messages were seized by police and used as evidence to charge Carter with domestic violence charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, threatening and intimidating with injury and damage to property, stalking with fear of physical injury or death and interference with or disruption of an educational institution.

“I will blow me (sic) fucking head off because you ruined my life more than you already have,” Carter sent to the Plaintiff on April 29, according to the police report.

He continued to send messages that day stating, “If I didn’t fear for my job I would fucking blow you (sic) head off” and “See you in hell bitch … I hope you fucking die … .”

The police report further detailed antagonizing messages sent by Carter.

“If I break in to your house to see you then I will have to kill both of us because after breaking in I would go to jail and lose my job and so I may as well be dead,” Carter also sent to the Plaintiff on April 28, according to the police report.

Carter was presented with the messages that he sent to the Plaintiff after they were attained by police. He admitted to sending them, according to the police report.

“She makes me do things that I would never do,” said Carter during the police interview in reference to the incident with the box cutter in his office, according to the police report. “She changes me … I did way wrong, I did way wrong.”

The Plaintiff has since graduated from the UA, no longer resides in the state and told the Arizona Daily Star that she will never compete in track and field again.

“The day I drove away from Tucson was such a relief,” she said in an Arizona Daily Star article. “I was driving away, and I wasn’t dead.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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