Cunningham: UNC football player eligible for reinstatement after sex charges dropped
Posted June 29, 2017 4:14 p.m. EDT
Updated June 29, 2017 8:06 p.m. EDT
Hillsborough, N.C. — Prosecutors on Thursday dismissed charges filed against a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill football player by another student who alleged he sexually assaulted her last year.
A court document states that case "has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties."
"Allen Artis is eligible for reinstatement to our football program. Coach Fedora and I look forward to meeting with Allen and his family soon to discuss next steps moving forward," said Bubba Cunningham, UNC Director of Athletics, said in a statement.
Delaney Robinson, a rising junior from Apex, swore out warrants last fall charging Allen Anthony Artis with misdemeanor sexual battery and misdemeanor assault on a female. She said he raped her in an apartment at the Ram Village complex on Valentine's Day 2016, and she told police she thought she had been drugged before the alleged assault.
WRAL News usually doesn't identify the victims of sex assault, but Robinson took a public stand on her case, saying UNC officials and local law enforcement had dragged their feet and were slow to press charges.
Artis insists that he never assaulted Robinson and that they had consensual sex.
UNC-Chapel Hill's Title IX compliance coordinator determined in April that Artis didn't violate the school's sexual misconduct policy, and school administrators subsequently upheld the ruling, dismissing Robinson's appeal.
Artis, a senior from Marietta, Ga., was suspended from the football team after the charges were filed.
"I’m just thankful this process is finally over. It’s been a long time," he said. "I lost a lot. My grades have suffered. I’ve had to change my graduation date. My post-graduate plans have suffered. Searching for a job, it’s going to be hard."
"This whole thing has been heartbreaking, watching him go through this," said his mother, Stephanie Artis. "We’re relieved, but we still know we need to be there for him to get him to the next step."
Robinson's attorney, Denise Branch, said the dismissal was the result of mediation between Robinson and Artis.
"Delaney has suffered immeasurably and hoped that today’s resolution could begin her healing," Branch said in a statement.
The case though may not be over. Artis's attorneys said they are considering actions against Branch.
The defense claims at last year's news conference a photo of Robinson was handed out which they believe was significantly altered to "demonize" Artis.
On Thursday the defense released another photo taken from a different angle where Robinson looks much different.
The defense is considering submitting a complaint against Branch to the North Carolina State Bar.