Hillsborough, N.C. — Three UNC football players were the victims in a kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault incident involving two women, the university confirmed Thursday afternoon.
Chapel Hill police said the assault happened about 3:30 a.m. Sunday at an apartment complex where all three victims were bound with tape and then assaulted by the suspects.
At a bond hearing Thursday, Orange County Assistant District Attorney Morgan Whitney said police arrived at the scene and found two of the victims, tied up, in boxer shorts. The third victim was fully clothed with his hands tied.
At least two were sexually assaulted, Whitney said. He is still waiting on the final police report to see if the third man was also. None of the victims required medical attention.
"I am relieved that the players were not injured," UNC head coach Butch Davis said in a prepared statement Thursday. "We will assist them in any way we can."
Prosecutors said the victims met the suspects – Monique Jenice Taylor, Tnikia Monta Washington and Michael Troy Lewis – during a birthday celebration at a downtown bar and that they all went back to the victims' apartment.
Initially, one of the football players welcomed sexual advances from Taylor and Washington, Whitney said.
"They brought him back and put him in the bedroom," Whitney said. "When the victim left the bedoom, there was a naked black male in the hallway who had a knife."
Whitney said Taylor then pulled off the victim's pants, pushed him down on a bed, attempted to tie his hands with his belt and started to fondle him against his consent.
"The more that he wrestled, Mr. Lewis put his knife further, or closer, to the victim's neck," Whitney said. "Ms. Taylor fondled his private parts. He repeatedly said no, and as he continued to resist, Ms. Taylor and the codefendant, Ms. Washington, began to beat him in the face."
Taylor's attorney, Glenn Gerding, said the fondling was consensual.
A neighbor, Bobby Roberson, who lives across from the players, said he heard shouting and yelling coming from the apartment .
"Somebody sounded like they were getting slammed up against a wall," Roberson said. "Then, all of sudden, you heard a guy saying, yelling for help. It was like, 'Help, help, help!'"
Police arrested Taylor and Washington at the scene. Lewis fled after a confrontation with officers, Chapel Hill police said. He surrendered on Wednesday.
Taylor, 28, of 209 Millbrook St. in Greenville, and Washington, 29, of 814 Belvin Avenue in Durham, are each charged with one count of first-degree sex offense, three counts of kidnapping, one count of resisting arrest and three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.
Lewis, 32, of 2118 Lexington St. in Durham, is charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of assault on a government official, two counts of possession of stolen goods, three counts of kidnapping, one count of resisting arrest and three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.
All three suspects were initially placed in jail under a $500,000 secured bond, but Judge Cathrine Stevens reduced Taylor and Washington's bond to $50,000 Thursday. All three were in the Orange County Jail Thursday afternoon.
"This is a very unusual case," Gerding said. "Almost unbelievable, at first blush."