Posted on May 1, 2014

University of New Mexico Cornerback, 21, Becomes the Latest Arrest in Gang Rape Case

Lydia Warren and Helen Pow, Daily Mail (London), April 30, 2014

University of New Mexico cornerback SaQwan Edwards has become the latest student to be arrested in a gang rape in which a female student claims she was assaulted by three men in a moving car.

The 21-year-old from Houston remained jailed after surrendering Tuesday on a warrant accusing him of criminal sexual penetration and kidnapping. He has also been dropped from the team.

His defense attorney, Paul Kennedy, says he has ‘surprising’ forensic evidence concerning the allegations and that the evidence will vindicate the player.

Edwards was arrested after a female student said she was raped by three men on April 13.

SaQwan Edwards

SaQwan Edwards

Crusoe Gongbay, 20, who was slated to be the UNM Lobos’ starting running back as a senior in the fall, also turned himself in to campus police on Monday and is being held on $50,000 bond.

Gongbay and another man, Ryan Ruff, a former student, each face two counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy, police said.

At around 3 a.m. on April 13, a female student reported to campus police that she had been raped.

According to a UNM report cited by the Albuquerque Journal, the victim said she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse with three subjects while inside a moving motor vehicle.

Investigators say they consulted with the district attorney’s office before requesting arrest warrants.

Investigators say the alleged victim underwent evaluation from the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Unit and the evidence was sent to the state crime lab for processing. The results from the crime lab are not back yet.

Gongbay, who is 6ft, 205lbs, comes from from Rockville, Maryland. He was recruited to UNM by former coach Mike Locksley in 2011.

After leading the Lobos in rushing that season, Gongbay intended to follow Locksley to Maryland but his plans fell through so he asked the new coach, Bob Davie, if he could return to UNM.

Davie said he was impressed by Gongbay’s good academic standing and knew his teammates liked him so welcomed him back in August 2012. He has played effectively as a backup running back the past two seasons.

In a statement Monday, Davie said he was aware of the allegations and due to the serious nature of the charges he had suspended the junior indefinitely.

‘Once this process is complete and all the details have emerged, we will handle the outcome appropriately,’ Davie added.

Gongbay’s lawyer has said his client is presumed innocent.

UNM Dean of Students Tomas Aguirre said the University was taking the case ‘very seriously.’

‘The Dean of Students office has met with the survivor and her family and offered our support and any other accommodations she might need,’ he said in a statement.

‘We have also connected her with the various resources available to her both on and off campus, including the UNM Women’s Resource Center and the Rape Crisis Center of New Mexico. Since this is an open investigation, we are unable to provide any other details at this time.’