Charges were filed against two members of the UT football team Thursday morning. Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander are out of jail after being arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a classmate last month.
Kendall Sanders, in a black jacket that covered his head, and Montrel Meander, in a gray T-shirt, were brought to jail also wearing handcuffs. As they were led inside, the two refused to respond FOX 7’s questions. Their status as players on the Longhorn gridiron will not overshadow the crimes they're accused of committing, according to U.T. Police Chief David Carter.
"We in fact create in affect firewall from the remaining part of the university, and we don’t share information. It simply does not matter who committed the offense, what stature they are, the issue for us is that we have a victim of crime that’s reported,” said Carter.
The case began when police units arrived at San Jacinto Hall June 21. A young woman was found cowering under a front desk at the dorm. She told officers she had been sexually assaulted by two male friends.
Chief Carter would not say if they have spoken to anyone who heard the incident in the dorm at the time.
According to court documents, the woman admitted that earlier in the evening she had consensual sex with Meander in his dorm room. They had recently returned from a night on 6th Street and she went to his room to wash, what may have been vomit, off of her leg. But the encounter allegedly escalated into a brutal attack by both men after Sanders arrived. Kendall Sanders is also charged with improper photography because he allegedly took a cellphone picture during the incident.
"I think based on our consultations with the District Attorney’s Office, I think it’s a solid case, yes,” said Chief Carter.
Investigators say while Sanders and Meander were being question separately by detectives, the two were texting each other, allegedly trying to get their stories straight.
In a statement released by UT, Coach Charlie Strong said both players have been suspended indefinitely - essentially kicked off the team.
Strong went on to state:
"It's been made clear to everyone on our team that treating women with respect is one of our core values, and I'm extremely disappointed that two young men in our program have been accused of not doing that."
Kendall Sanders, last season, was a productive wide receiver for the Longhorns. His defense attorney Brian Roark indicated a not guilty plea is expected as the case moves forward.
"It’s a shame that a mere allegation can affect any man's life as much as it is going to affect his, and that he is innocent, and that will be proven,” said Roark.
Kendall Sanders is a junior from Athens. Montrel Meander is a red shirt freshman from Amarillo. He did not play last year. The two completed the booking process shortly after the noon hour. Neither said a word after posting bail or as they walked out and left the Justice Center.
The woman's identity is being kept secret so it’s not known if she is still enrolled at UT.
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