Carthage College football player accused of sexually assaulting teammate

Assault allegedly happened in dorm room
Posted at 6:31 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 19:31:57-04

A Carthage College football player has been charged with sexually assaulting a teammate in his dorm room after a night of drinking.

Lawrence Gaines, 19, was arrested Sunday morning, shortly after the alleged assault happened.

According to the criminal complaint, the teammates came back from a party and "passed out" in Gaines' dorm room.

The alleged victim says he woke up to discover Gaines sexually assaulting him without his consent, and called police.

The situation is the talk of the Carthage campus.

"It's just disturbing to know something like that happened here," Carthage senior Daniel Setzke said.

Clayton Smith says he was friends with Gaines and spent a lot of time with him freshman year.

"I was shocked, I was confused," Smith said. "It hit me on a personal level because I knew him, and I never really expected Lawrence to be able to do this, and to make it go to the extent that it did."

Erin Davis is the Program Development Manager at Women and Children's Horizons in Kenosha. She says it's unusual for adult men to report a sexual assault.

"One of the things I’ve thought about is how much courage it took this man from Carthage to make that report," Davis said. "There's a lot of stigma around being a victim of a sexual assault, and most victims don't report in general, but especially when there's an extra layer of vulnerability involved."

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college compared to 1 in 16 men. More than 90 percent of victims do not report the assault.

"It's never the victim's fault, and there's an entire community here at Carthage to help them out," Carthage sophomore Jane Eckles said.

Carthage College spokeswoman Molly Polk tells TODAY’S TMJ4 that Gaines is still enrolled at the school while the investigation is ongoing.

"Carthage is committed to creating a safe, healthy, and non-discriminatory environment for all of our students, and we take reports of sexual misconduct very seriously,” said Polk. “We are following our comprehensive policies for conduct investigations outlined in our Community Code and Sexual Misconduct Policy, and we will continue to work with local authorities. We are obligated to protect the confidentiality of all of our students, and therefore cannot comment on individual ongoing investigations."