Attorney for alleged victim in UNM rape case speaks out

Elizabeth Reed,
Updated: 04/21/2016 4:09 PM
Created: 06/26/2014 4:49 PM

Two days after rape charges against a University of New Mexico football player and a Central New Mexico college student were dropped, the alleged victim's attorney has released a statement about victim shaming, date rape drugs and post assault trauma.

"The victim in this case continues to be traumatized and is not ready to speak publicly, especially in light of the attack on her by a lawyer willing to release sex tapes as an 'argument' of consent, when the tapes are more likely evidence of 'rape drugging,'" read a statement released by the Law Offices of Brad D. Hall.

In April, a UNM student told police she was raped at gunpoint inside a BMW. Police later arrested and charged Ryan Ruff, SaQwan Edwards and Crusoe Gongbay in the case.

On Tuesday, the district attorney's office temporarily dismissed charges against Gongbay and Ruff. The charges against Edwards were dropped on Thursday.

During a news conference Tuesday, Ruff's lawyer told reporters he has cell phone video and witnesses that can prove the woman lied about the rape.

But the alleged victim's attorney writes that she has always told the truth of what she could recall about the night she was raped, but that she was apparently drugged by someone after going to a party, and there are several hours that are "completely blank."

Four or five hours after the party, the woman said she recalls a BMW and being dropped off on the edge of campus. She entered a dorm confused and without her shoes, keys or cellphone, the attorney wrote. A UNM security guard found her and called UNM police.

"Being the victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault does not make women victims (or male victims) into liars," the attorney wrote. "The assertion that the victim in this case is a liar is simply wrong and intentionally ignorant of the use of rape drugs."

Ruff's attorney responded to the statement on Thursday afternoon, saying it was "irresponsible" for the attorney to allege the use of a date rape drug almost three months later.

The district attorney's office said Tuesday the charges were temporarily dismissed, but that they may be refiled at any point.

"At this time, we are awaiting a complete case from UNMPD," Anderson wrote in a statement on Tuesday. "In addition, we are reviewing DNA evidence.  We will review all evidence once it is available and make our determination.  It would be inappropriate for us to try this case in the media."

SaQwan Edwards (left), Crusoe Gongbay (center), and Ryan Ruff (right).

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