AUBURN — Former Auburn tight end Landon Rice apologized to the alleged victim accusing him of rape in a series of text messages released by the accuser’s attorney Wednesday afternoon.
In multiple text messages released to the Montgomery Advertiser Wednesday afternoon by attorney Jeff Herman, Rice apologizes to the alleged victim despite the alleged victim repeatedly telling Rice to discontinue any contact immediately. According to the released text messages, the alleged victim began a text conversation with Rice just six days after she claims to have been raped by the former Auburn tight end.
The accuser, whose identity is being protected, makes it clear in the first text that she didn’t consent to sex during the alleged incident.
“I said no to having sex,” the alleged victim texts. “I said it because I meant it. So the fact that you didn’t respect me enough to listen really, really hurts me. I’m saying this because I want you to know what you did is wrong.”
On the same day, Rice texts back a response apologizing for his role in the incident.
“Yes I knew it was wrong and I am sorry,” Rice texted to the accuser on April 18. “I should have never put you in that position, I was just in the moment. That is not the person (sic) kind of person I am.”
Herman released the six pages of text message conversations to media outlets Wednesday afternoon in a response to the statement made by Rice’s attorney Tuesday evening calling the alleged victim’s claim “false accusations”.
Rice has been accused of first-degree rape according to an incident report filed on July 27 with the Auburn police department. The first-degree rape allegation was cited in a protective order filed against Rice on Sept. 12 with the Circuit Court of Lee County due to the alleged victim’s fear of “retaliation from a Title IX investigation”.
In the state of Alabama, a first-degree rape conviction is a Class A felony crime and could carry a penalty of 10 years to life in prison.
“My client is a courageous woman who wanted to keep this matter private,” Herman said in a statement to the Montgomery Advertiser. “However, given the statement made by Landon’s attorney she feels it is important for her to speak up. She is thankful for the support from Auburn University and the criminal authorities along with her friends and family. She is a courageous example for women everywhere and refuses to be silenced.”
A temporary protective order filing against Rice by the accuser was issued by Lee County District Judge Steven T. Speakman until the initial hearing for the filing on Oct. 4.
During the text conversation on April 18, when Rice was a member of the Auburn football team while an early enrollee freshmen eligible for spring practices, Rice is repeatedly told to cease communication by the accuser but Rice sends another text to the alleged victim on June 1.
“Please stop,” texted the alleged victim on June 3. “Stop trying to reach out to me and requesting me on social media. I said I wanted to be left alone. Im fine until I have to see or hear your name, so seeing it on my phone isn’t what I want. It’s bad enough having to hear my parents read an article about auburn football and it mention you, then have them constantly question me on why I don’t like you. I can’t say anything because I’m mortified by it. So please stop, I’m sorry but I just do not want to hear from you.”
The June 3 text message conversation shows Rice trying to determine if the accuser will be reporting the incident that the Auburn city police incident report details occurred on April 12.
“Can we just please let it go, and never bring it up again and I’ll leave you alone I promise,” Rice texted on June 3.
“Why? Because you don’t want it getting around and possibly affecting football,” the accuser texts back to Rice on June 3.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced after the 51-14 victory over Arkansas State on Sept. 10 that Rice, a four-star prospect, had left the football program for “personal reasons.” Malzahn refused any comment on the situation involving Rice during his weekly media conference Tuesday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Auburn football program issued a statement Friday refusing comment on any reports regarding Rice or the former freshman tight end’s decision to leave the football program.
“Any questions regarding law enforcement matters should be directed to law enforcement authorities,” the spokesman stated. “In addition, by matter of policy and practice, we wouldn’t discuss any issue regarding the privacy of students.”