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/Tennessee State QB Demry Croft charged with six counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery
Tennessee State QB Demry Croft charged with six counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery

Tennessee State QB Demry Croft charged with six counts of rape, two counts of sexual battery


Campus sexual assaults and the process that follows has created a fear among students, parents, university presidents and others for many different reasons.

Kate Murphy, kmurphy@enquirer.com

Demry Croft, who started four games at quarterback for Tennessee State last season, was arrested Monday and charged with six felony counts of rape and two counts of sexual battery stemming from a Dec. 1 incident.
Croft, 22, a transfer from Minnesota, missed the last five games of the 2018 season after suffering a shoulder injury.
He rejoined the team at the start of this preseason and was the first team quarterback through the first scrimmage on Aug. 10.
According to records from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Croft was booked into jail Monday at 2:04 p.m. and then released at 6:18 p.m. He has a $50,000 bond, according to court records.
The grand jury operates in secret and decides if there is enough evidence for a case to move forward. It can take months for the 14-person panel to consider the evidence and issue indictments.
Public TSU crime logs show someone reported a Dec. 1 rape months later, on April 4. According to the crime log, the rape was reported as occurring at about 2 p.m. on campus. The indictment lists TSU police officer Thomas Phelps as the prosecutor, indicating the university police department led the investigation and presented evidence to the grand jury.
Experts say it is not uncommon for campus sexual assaults to be reported months after they took place.
A TSU statement responding to questions about Croft’s arrest said the university was “aware that a student athlete was arrested in a criminal matter.”
“Due to federal and state student privacy laws, no further comment can be made at this time,” the statement read. “However, the University takes seriously any allegation of sexual misconduct that may affect our campus community.”
Croft’s future on team is unclear
TSU officials would not confirm if Croft has been suspended from the football team. He is still on the team’s roster online.
After Croft played in the first scrimmage, TSU coach Rod Reed said Croft was not allowed to speak to the media because of a personal matter.
Croft was not at TSU’s second scrimmage last Saturday.
When asked why Croft was not there, Reed said, “He had some personal issues he’s dealing with so we allowed him to be off today. Whenever that gets handled, we’ll see what happens.”
Reed also said he did not know if Croft would be available for TSU’s season opener Aug. 31 against Mississippi Valley State.
Cameron Rosendahl took over the first team unit in the last scrimmage.
TSU closed Tuesday’s practice to the public and the media.  
Croft was TSU’s second-leading passer last season, which was his first with the Tigers. He completed 61-of-101 passes for 888 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
In November 2017, Croft tweeted he was transferring from Minnesota after being suspended for three games, according to published reports. Croft said in a tweet at the time he had been falsely accused of damaging a door.
The charges against Croft follow several other high-profile rape cases involving Tennessee college athletes.
Four Vanderbilt football players were charged in connection with the June 2013 rape of an unconscious student in a Vanderbilt University dorm. Three players – Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey and Brandon Banks – were convicted of aggravated rape and are serving time in Tennessee prisons. The fourth player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, accepted a plea deal for 10 years probation on a charge of facilitation of aggravated rape.
In 2016, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville settled a sexual assault lawsuit for $2.48 million. The suit involved allegations by eight women against student-athletes.

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Adam Tamburin and Andy Humbles contributed to this report.
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 on on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
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