A former running back on the Bethel University football team has been charged with raping three fellow students of the Arden Hills-based college during the fall of 2018.
In one alleged incident, Gideon O. Erhabor, 21, of McKinney, Texas, is accused of raping a Bethel student on Dec. 8, 2018 at a house party on the 5000 block of Lexington Ave. N. in Shoreview.
The victim told investigators that she brought a can of hard seltzer to the party and then blacked out about an hour after being there. She woke the next day at her friend's apartment, feeling groggy and queasy, in addition to finding signs of a possible sexual assault.
The criminal complaint explains that one of the victim's few memories from the night was of Erhabor on top of her, and when she asked him if anything happened he responded: "I used a condom. You're fine."
The victim said she remembered making it clear that she did not want to have sex with him. She later learned, in April 2019, of another student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Erhabor at a house party on Sept. 9, 2018. They then helped each other file formal complaints to the university against Erhabor.
The Star Tribune reports that a third victim accused Erhabor of raping her in his dorm room two days earlier, on Sept. 11, 2018.
Police located Erhabor at an ice cream shop his hometown in Texas in August and he claimed that the victim of the December 2018 house party consented to intercourse, then changed her mind during the act so they stopped, the charging document says.
Bethel University issued the following statement in response to the charges:
“We are saddened and concerned by this news and are committed to cooperating with law enforcement. As a community, we strive to ensure our campus is a safe, welcoming and respectful place for our students to learn and our employees to work. ... Please join us in prayer for all those involved.”
Erhabor was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He will be extradited from Texas to Minnesota.
Erhabor was listed on the Bethel football roster in 2017 and 2018, but is not on the 2019 roster.