Rape allegation carries new academic fraud claim

by Anthony Maggio

The University student who reported being sexually assaulted by two University of Minnesota football players now says she also wrote a paper for one of them the morning of the incident.

Mackenzy Toussaint, 20, and Steven Watson, 19, were released on $50,000 bond each late Thursday night after being charged with first and third degree criminal sexual assault. The alleged incident occurred in Roy Wilkins Hall on campus.

The victim’s mother told the Minnesota Daily her daughter would not conduct any more interviews, but did confirm the comments the victim made to the Star Tribune in an interview Friday.

“Right now she is just not in the position to keep talking about this,” the victim’s mother said.

The victim said Toussaint called her the morning of July 6th, asking for assistance with an English paper due at noon that day. When she arrived to help him, he was finished less than two pages of a six-page paper. The victim rewrote what Toussaint had done, then finished the remaining four pages of the paper about Toussaint’s views regarding the death penalty.

The latest allegations of academic misconduct come in the wake of the academic fraud scandal in the men’s basketball program which ended with both self-imposed and NCAA sanctions last fall. The University will add the latest allegation to its ongoing investigation into the alleged attack.

“Obviously plagiarism is a clear violation of our rules,” University President Mark Yudof said. “At this point, though, they are only allegations. We will refer it to the proper internal systems for investigation and resolution.”

The penalty for academic misconduct can be anything from a disciplinary warning up through suspension and expulsion, depending on the investigative panel’s recommendation.

Watson and Toussaint were automatically suspended from the football team after University police informed Tonya Moten Brown ñ who oversees men’s and women’s athletics ñ of the complaint.Both are scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Sep. 12.

— Staff Reporter Tim Sturrock contributed to this report.

Anthony Maggio welcomes comments at amaggio2