Five University of Minnesota football players barred from their home stadium after being served a restraining order are scheduled to appear again in court on November 2, just three days prior to the Golden Gophers’ next home game.
Ray Buford, Carlton Djam, KiAnte Hardin, Dior Johnson, Tamarion Johnson and Kiondre Thomas were accused of sexual assault by a University of Minnesota student and game-day employee for the Gophers. The incident allegedly occurred off-campus on September 2.
Following an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department, the players were neither arrested nor charged. Authorities told the Los Angeles Times, “There is insufficient, admissible evidence for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either force was used or that the victim was physically helpless as defined by law in the sexual encounter.”
The alleged victim then petitioned the County Court to place a restraining order barring the players from both her home and her place of work, the TCF Bank Stadium. The restraint was filed on Saturday, October 22, just prior to Minnesota’s homecoming game against Rutgers.
The charges against Thomas were dropped on Monday, while the remaining players appeared before the Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday, where the order was upheld.
The players’ attorney Lee Hutton told the Minnesota Daily, “Ultimately, we are ready, willing and able to produce evidence that completely contradicts the petitioner’s story.” The implicated players are currently active on the team and will participate in the Gophers’ away game against Illinois this Saturday.
At the hearing November 2, Judge Mel Dickstein will decide whether or not to continue the restraining order.