Another sad chapter in the saga of athletes committing crimes.
"Posted on Fri, Oct. 20, 2006
TCU athlete, two ex-athletes, facing assault charges
By ALEX BRANCH and DAN X. McGRAW
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITERS
FORT WORTH — A Texas Christian University basketball player and two former athletes were arrested Friday as police investigate a student’s report that she was sexually assaulted last week in a school dormitory room, police said.
Shannon Behling, 19, a sophomore forward; Virgil Taylor, 19, a former basketball player, and Lorenzo Jones, 20, a nose tackle who was cut from the football team last week, were in custody Friday night.
Bail was set at $25,000 each. Each faces a charge of sexual assault.
They have been “separated” from the university, and officials expect it to be a “permanent separation,” a TCU spokeswoman said Friday night.
The 18-year-old woman told police that she lent money to Taylor several weeks ago, Lt. Gene Jones, a Fort Worth police spokesman, said.
On Oct. 13, Taylor called and told the woman that he wanted to pay her back, she told police. Taylor invited her to come to his dorm to get the money.
The woman said she went to Taylor’s room, and at some point passed out, Jones said.
When she awakened, “circumstances led her to believe that she had been sexually assaulted,” Jones said.
She dressed and ran from the room.
On Wednesday, she notified TCU police, who called Fort Worth police. Detectives with the sex-crimes unit interviewed the woman on Thursday, Jones said.
Taylor’s dorm room was searched Thursday evening, Jones said.
“We did find items that were consistent with the victim’s claims,” Jones said.
The woman told police that $100 and a bra were taken from her, according to a police report.
Behling, a 6-foot-7, 206-pound forward and a transfer student from Aiken Junior College in South Carolina, has been removed from the team, officials said Friday evening.
Jones, a sophomore nose tackle, was dismissed from the football team on Oct. 13. Coaches said Jones had not shown up for practices and meetings since the team’s Oct. 5 loss to Utah.
Taylor, a freshman, is a former basketball player, coaches said. Taylor and Behling are related, officials said.
“This is a terrible incident,” head football coach Gary Patterson said. “It’s never easy to hear this kind of news. Our hearts and thoughts go out to” the woman.
Head basketball coach Neil Doughtery said: “It is very disheartening to learn that a current and a former basketball player were allegedly involved in the sexual assault of a student. We constantly talk to our student-athletes about the conduct we expect from them, and we are very disappointed when they choose to behave in another manner.”
TCU police Sgt. Kelly Ham said he couldn’t comment on the investigation. Ham had issued a campus-wide e-mail alert Thursday that stated: “The female student reported that the acquaintance gave her a non-alcoholic beverage which may have been contaminated by a drug which incapacitated her.”
Rape cases involving spiked drinks are “a rarity” at TCU, but such attacks are becoming more common across the country, he said.
“There are more date rape drugs out there these days,” he said. “Instead of just one drug to worry about, people are using all kinds of different things. It’s a bigger problem everywhere.”
According to the TCU football media guide, Jones played in all 12 games as true freshman, making a tackle for a loss in four. He graduated from McKinney High School, where he was named the District 9-4A Defensive Player of the Year.
When asked whether the men have been expelled from TCU, spokeswoman Tracey Syler-Jones said, “It is not at that point yet.”
“This is a horrible incident,” Syler-Jones said. “We definite expect our students to have better behavior and make better choices.”
Alex Branch, 817-390-7689