Former NMSU players speak out for first time about sexual assault, hazing lawsuit
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Former Aggie basketball players and their families spoke out Wednesday morning about the lawsuit they have against former players, coaches, and the school itself.
The lawsuit says players at the time sexually assaulted others multiple times for months. It also accuses coaches of not stepping in.
“My dream turned into a nightmare real quick, and I never expected this to happen my freshman year,” said Deuce Benjamin, alleged victim.
Former Aggie basketball players Deuce Benjamin, and Shakiru Odunewu took center stage on Wednesday morning.
“Never in a million years did I think something like this was going to happen,” said Shakiru Odunewu.
Deuce, Odunewu, and Deuce’s father, William Benjamin are all suing former Aggie players: Kim Aiken Jr., Doctor Bradley, and Deshawndre Washington for sexual assault allegations stemming from last summer all the way into the basketball season.
“We’re not talking about a one time occurrence, this was going on for months,” said William Benjamin.
NMSU former coaches Greg Heiar and Dominique Taylor are also being named in the lawsuit filed in April for turning a blind eye to the sexual violence.
Things started to come to light when the university leadership canceled the Aggie’s season in February after a campus police report detailed sexual assault allegations.
Players and family members broke down when they recalled what happened to them.
“There’s a part of me that hasn’t been the same now, and I wanted people to know that, I have changed,” said Deuce as he wiped tears away.
His parents are doing their best to stay strong.
“As a father, I feel like I failed my son for putting him in this situation,” William said.
Right now, this case is civil, but according to the Attorney General’s Office they are looking into what possible criminal charges there could be.
“It’s very early for us in terms of gathering all the relevant information and I, you know, we’re taking a very comprehensive approach,” said Attorney General Raúl Torrez.
Now, families are just asking for the right people to take responsibility.
“We still hold people accountable for their actions and what it is they do, and do not do,” said William.
The attorney general’s investigators are working on gathering all the information surrounding this case to see if criminal charges will be filed.
But there’s a lot more to this story with the athletic director’s new contract extension, and a recent letter university officials wrote questioning the school’s leadership.