UNC athlete linked to alleged rape turns himself in to authorities

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Allen Artis is seen in a booking photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Allen Artis is seen in a booking photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Orange County Sheriff's Office

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill football player, who has been linked to an alleged rape earlier this year, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office tells WTVD-TV that Allen Anthony Artis was served with misdemeanor warrants for sexual battery and assault on a female when he turned himself in to the magistrate's office just after 9 a.m.

Authorities said he was accompanied by his attorney and was released by the magistrate on a $5,000 unsecured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

Artis, a linebacker and junior at UNC, was suspended from the school's football team on Tuesday - per university policy - after fellow UNC student Delaney Robinson held a press conference to talk about the alleged incident. She said it happened on Valentine's Day in the Ram Village apartments on UNC's campus.

According to Robinson's attorney's office Tuesday: "Robinson requested self-sworn warrants for misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor sexual battery as a result of the Orange County District Attorney's refusal to prosecute the case despite sufficient physical evidence."

The UNC sophomore spoke publicly in Raleigh, along with her father and her attorney, not only to talk about delays in her case, but to also promote change for how sexual assault and rape victims are treated. Robinson said she came forward not for herself, but for the other students who are "not protected."

WATCH: Raw video of news conference for UNC student who claims she was raped by UNC football player

"I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do," Robinson told reporters at Tuesday's press conference. "I reported it. I allowed the rape kit to be taken. I gave a statement. I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office. But six months later the University has done nothing," she continued. "I'm taking this public stand not for me, but for the other students on campus who are not protected, despite what the University tells us. I love this University. It's my home. I plan on graduating. But I expect the University to fulfill its promises to me and to all students."

Robinson's attorney, Denise Branch, said that in an email, the UNC Department of Public Safety claimed they didn't have enough evidence to support criminal charges. Branch said her client went to the hospital the night of the alleged incident and allowed the hospital to examine her and get all the required evidence for a rape kit. Branch stated that the physical exam showed blunt force trauma to Robinson's genitals as well as bruising to her neck.

Robinson immediately cooperated with law enforcement and continues to do so, according to her attorney.

"Delaney Robinson had the courage to report she had been raped. In response, she has been treated with indifference, disrespect and inordinate delay," Branch said in a statement Wednesday. "Delaney has been resolute since her attack on Valentine's Day. Everyone should be accountable for their actions, and we are pleased the process is finally moving forward."

Branch also said Wednesday: "From the beginning, we requested the UNC Department of Public Safety forward Delaney's rape kit to the North Carolina SBI Crime Lab. It took a full month for UNC DPS to agree to submit the rape kit. Once submitted, we urged the Orange County DA's office to expedite the analysis of the rape kit. For five months they refused to do so. Because Mr. Artis admitted to sexual contact with my client there is no need to waste the very valuable resources of the SBI Crime Lab to test the full contents of the rape kit. We are pleased the Orange County DA's office has finally requested the toxicology report be expedited. If Mr. Woodall believed this evidence was necessary to prosecute or vindicate Mr. Artis, it should have been requested at least six months ago."

Branch claims Orange County District Attorneys told her that "unconsciousness is rape, black out drunk is not rape."

Robinson admitted to underage drinking on the night of the alleged incident and said in a statement that she takes "responsibility for that, but that doesn't give anyone the right to violate me. I did not deserve to be raped."

Robinson repeated during Tuesday's news conference that she loves her school and does not have any plans to transfer. She said she still sees the alleged attacker every day on campus and that it is difficult for her.

Orange County DA Jim Woodall told WTVD-TV that the case was "investigated thoroughly," but that the investigation was ongoing and the length of time it's taking shouldn't deter victims of sexual assault to come forward.

"These are very serious cases," he said. "As we've seen in the past, sometimes cases like this- a lot of information comes out even after charges are filed so you have to be very careful and very deliberate whenever we're investigating these cases. You never want someone accused unless there's proof beyond a reasonable doubt- not just proof that something occurred- but proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred."

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill issued a statement Tuesday afternoon after Robinson's news conference.

"While the University is aware of allegations made today by attorney Denise Branch regarding a student, under federal privacy law we are prohibited from responding to those allegations," said Joel Curran, a spokesman for the school.

The university said they take all allegations about sexual violence or misconduct extremely seriously.

"Chancellor Carol L. Folt and her administration have made addressing these issues our highest priority. Two years ago, the University adopted a revised comprehensive policy on discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct, that was developed based on recommendations and broad input from the campus community and outside experts. That policy establishes a rigorous process conducted by well-trained investigators. The University provides compassionate care to all students who need support," the statement read in part.

UNC coach Larry Fedora said in a statement that he's aware of the situation. He said, in part, "I cannot comment on either the allegation or the investigative process. We take these matters very seriously and are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities."

Typically, WTVD-TV does not name victims of sexual assault, however, Robinson has come out publicly.