Charges: College lineman sexually assaulted drunk student after hazing incident

Charges say the invitees to a campus party were plied with alcohol all night.

A mysterious email invite to "The Night That Never Happened" ended with a drunk student being sexually assaulted by a Carleton College football player, according to authorities.

A criminal charge filed against 19-year-old Taariq Vanegas alleges he took advantage of a female student who was three times over the legal driving limit.

It followed a hazing incident that Northfield News reports resulted in the suspension of 13 students.

After struggling to walk straight, the victim was helped by Vanegas – a defensive lineman for the Knights football team – and her next memory was waking up to find him on top of her, according to the complaint.

What the criminal complaint claims

The following is all according to the charges filed this week.

The victim received an email on April 23 entitled "A Sincere Invitation to The Night That Never Happened," asking her to "take part in a tradition of excellence." 

The email said not to tell anyone else about the party, not to drink beforehand and wear warm clothes. During the following days she received anonymous notes in her mailbox saying, "Do not live in fear," and two students approached her and said the same thing before walking away.

Upon arriving at the party on Apr. 27, a masked student told her there would be a s**t ton of alcohol during the night. Over the next few hours she and other students were given Jell-O shots, beer, hard liquor and bags of wine as they completed tasks at various locations before being initiated into a group called "DTX."

She remembered most of the night but eventually blacked out and vaguely remembers falling down. It was then that Vanegas picked her up.

She remembers waking up to find him on top of her naked, telling her she was "so cute." 

Two other students reported a few hours later she was wandering corridors wearing only a T-shirt, before entering their room and falling onto one of their beds to sleep.

The next day she got a text from Vanegas telling her she had left stuff in his room, and when she arrived that evening he said, "I definitely remember we had sex," a comment that caused her to "freak out."

What Vanegas told police

Carleton College served a "no-contact order" to Vanegas on May 3, and towards the end of May he was interviewed by police.

According to the charges, he told investigators the victim was the one to initiate the sexual encounter, and though he admitted she was "stumbling," he said they were both drunk and that she seemed able to keep herself upright.

He managed to describe in detail some of the sexual actions they engaged in, and said the victim seemed "receptive" to kissing and agreed to have sex with him, the charges say.

Although he described it as a "drunken encounter," Vanegas did say he felt in-control of himself the whole night, as he had to be at the gym at 6 a.m. the next day, the criminal complaint says.

He's been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Next Up