Local News

UNC football players describe alleged assault

Posted November 17, 2008

— Three University of North Carolina football players testified Monday that they were tied up in their apartment and robbed last year, and one said a woman fondled him during the incident.

The testimony came during the trial of Michael Troy Lewis, 33, of Durham, who is charged with three counts of attempted felony larceny, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count each of criminal conspiracy, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault on a government official in the Dec. 16, 2007, incident.

The defense didn't call any witnesses in the trial, and closing arguments are expected to be made Tuesday.

Offensive lineman Aaron Stahl said the night of the alleged assault began as a celebration of a teammate's 21st birthday.

"We went uptown to the bars," Stahl said. "It was one of the most drunk times I've ever had in my life."

When he got separated from his friends, he said he met Lewis and two women. Lost, drunk and out of cash, Stahl says he asked the three for a ride.

"Somewhere along the ride home, I kind of faded out," he testified. "When I came to, I was bound in my chair in my underwear."

A second player said he found Lewis standing naked in the apartment hallway when he returned home later that night. Lewis beckoned him back to Stahl's room, where the women lured him into bed, he said.

Then, he and Stahl were tied up with belts, ties and stereo speaker wire and were blindfolded, and the player said one of the women fondled him.

"She ripped my belt off and started trying to tie my hands," the player said. "They tied up my legs with a shoelace."

WRAL News doesn't identify sexual assault victims.

Lewis was stealing electronics and other items from the apartment while the women kept the players occupied, the player said. When the player tried to resist, Lewis held a knife to his throat and threatened him, he said.

"He came running in and stuck the knife to my throat," the player told jurors. "He said, 'You don't want your mother to go to your funeral do you? Because I'm going to kill you.'

"I was scared for my life."

Defense attorney Russell Hollers told jurors last week that Stahl wanted to pay the women for sex and that any sexual contact that night was consensual.

A third player, offensive lineman Lowell Dyer, testified that he went to bed upon returning home from the bar. He said he was awakened by the commotion and was able to call 911 before being tied up.

Three Chapel Hill police officers testified last week that one of the players called 911 to report the robbery and that they found the players tied up when they arrived at the apartment. The players were trying to get the women to leave, the officers said.

Monique Jenice Taylor, 29, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual offense and resisting a public officer in the case. She will be tried separately.

Tnikia Monta Washington, 30, is charged with resisting a public officer in the case.

14 Comments

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  • yellow_hat Nov 18, 2008

    1) I invite you guys who question their manhood to do it to their faces, and 2) go buy some athletic shoe shoestrings, wrap an end around each fist & try to pull them apart. Then come back & let us know how easily you did it. I'll wait here......

  • TeresaBee Nov 17, 2008

    This has nothing to do with being manly. It has to do with being sober and drunk. Why do people have to get so drunk over being 21? Where is it written in the growing up manual? To drink that much that your asking for a ride home one minute and finding yourself half naked in your own home. Thank God he wasn't driving himself.
    People who rob prey on drunks. Such easy targets.

  • Eduardo1 Nov 17, 2008

    Are they in Pop Warner football or college? You are telling me that 3 "stud football players" got taken by these dirtbags. No wonder it has taken one year to get to trial. This sounds more like a sham and should be on one of those Judge shows during the day. We either have 3 wimps or 3 liars

  • colliedave Nov 17, 2008

    They tied up my legs with a shoelace," he said.

    And this guy leg presses how much? Sorry, something seems amis here.

  • ArtVandelay Nov 17, 2008

    I think these kids had a crime committed against them but the longer they stick with this crazy story the less likely they are going to get justice. No judge/jury in America is going to buy that these three "lured" these football players back to their own apartment and somehow overpowered them and robbed them; and oh by the way the only dude in group just decided to take his clothes off in the process :-/

    I'm not sure if the players story is untrue ('cause I wasn't there) but considering the circumstances and the confusing version of events the likelihood of that it is...is slim.

    Be real guys...you wanted to get freaky with these three and it went to far...case closed end of story. Get these three sentenced and call it a day.

    By trying to convince the judge that it was anything different to keep your sexual preferences secret is crazy. Trust me guys the secret is out. Don't jeapordize justice to save face.

  • TheWayISeeIt Nov 17, 2008

    While these footballs players should have known better than to go home with random people from a bar, they have rights to justice as well. Y'all are overlooking the "against their will" part of this. That's what makes it a crime.

    And how dare you question these guys' masculinity in a case like this? It takes great courage for victims of sexual assault to come forth and tell the police, and it's partly due to fear and mockery by the police, and the general public once the media gets wind of it.

  • tarheelalum Nov 17, 2008

    Would this have been just as "comical" had it been two female athletes tied up, sexually assaulted, and robbed?

  • Armando de Cabana Boy Nov 17, 2008

    Itsnews2me: You got that right! I've had a hard time understanding how this all happened. They sure don't seem like manly men to me. Musk up dudes!

  • johnkirby Nov 17, 2008

    C/mon they tied up a football with a shoelace?

  • juppinjack Nov 17, 2008

    Three Chapel Hill police officers testified last week that one of the players called 911 to report the robbery and that they found the players tied up when they arrived at the apartment.....I really don't understand...how did they call the police if they were still tied up when the police arrived

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