Local News

UNC Football Players Detail Night of Alleged Assaults

Posted January 3, 2008 3:19 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2008 7:49 a.m. EST

EDITOR'S NOTE: Despite District Court Judge Alonzo Coleman's order that the UNC football players' identities in the story below not be released by the media, WRAL has decided to name the player who said he was not sexually assaulted, based on North Carolina General Statute 7a-276.1.

HILLSBOROUGH — One of three UNC football players robbed and held at knifepoint at their apartment last month said he pretended to be sleeping while one of the suspects rummaged through his room while naked.

During a probable cause hearing on Thursday, Lowell Dyer testified the man also put a knife to his throat and tied him up with shoelaces before robbing him of his wallet and other items.

"When you've got a knife to your throat, you're not thinking about fighting back," Dyer said when defense attorneys tried to discredit his story, pointing to his size and stature.

The suspect, Michael Troy Lewis, 32, of Durham, sat in court shaking his head and laughing as Dyer testified.

Lewis is one of three suspects charged in the Dec. 16 incident in which, authorities said, two of the players were also sexually assaulted.

WRAL generally does not reveal the identities of victims of sexual assaults. Dyer said in court he was not sexually assaulted.

A second player testified he was blindfolded, touched against his will and was worried about his safety when Lewis allegedly held a knife to his throat.

"The larger female started fondling me, and that is when I became unglued and tried to push her off of me," he said.

The defense maintains the fondling was consensual.

The player testified he didn't mind the woman taking off his shirt and getting on top of him – that he was consenting until she started tying him up. That's when, he said, he "went crazy."

"I repeatedly said 'No, no. I don't want any of this. What are you doing? Quit tying me up.' And I made that very clear," he said.

Dyer said he and his two teammates had been out for a night of drinking and celebrating his 21st birthday when two of them lost track of third. The suspects were already at the apartment when he and his teammate got home.

Lewis faces 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.

Monique Jenice Taylor, 28, and Tnikia Monta Washington, 29, 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.

District Court Judge Alonzo Coleman said he would rule on Friday whether there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

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