Saturday, November 15, 2014
Black rapists, white victim: A woman has told of a horrifying rape ordeal that took place at the hands of former Oregon State University football players over 16 years ago - but no one believed her
Brenda Tracy, 40, from Oregon, has bravely come forward to detail a chilling account of how she reported the rape to police, saying that she was sexually assaulted in 1998 by four men, three of them college football players. She was gang raped, sodomized, robbed, and then re-victimized. But a college football coach only suspended two of the players for one game and was quoted as saying his players had made a bad choice. Tracy reported the gang rape to police in 1998. She'd told investigators that the men stood around, watching it happen and cheering the others on. At one point, she begged one of the black men to make it stop but they didn't. The black men, who were accused of her rape, were young at the time and one was a teenager. Two Oregon State football players, defensive back Calvin Carlyle, 18, and running back Jason Dandridge, then 20, were named as suspects in the report. The other suspects were Michael Ainsworth 18, a Southern California high school football recruit and Nakia ‘Ken’ Ware, a 23-year-old community college defensive back who was on probation. Tracy, a mother-of-two, said the ordeal was so harrowing that she wanted to commit suicide afterwards. She said: "I'd decided I was going to kill myself." Speaking through tears, she told how she underwent a rape examination at Salem Hospital. Jenenne Stanley, the on-duty emergency room nurse at Salem Hospital that day, told investigators, "By all indications this was a case of non-consensual sex." She was also humiliated into having to relay the details of the event to her boyfriend and mother. She has never before been identified as the victim and has never before talked publicly about it. In 1998, Brenda Tracy was 24 years old and working as a waitress. The petite blonde with shoulder-length hair, standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing only 140 lbs, was a single mother to two boys, ages 4 and 5. A 28-page report by Corvallis Police Department details the events of the early morning hours of June 24, 1998, when Brenda Tracy's life changed. The report outlined a weekday late-night excursion from Keizer to Corvallis by Tracy and her best friend, Karmen McFadden, who was supposed to meet up with her boyfriend and a group of friends. But instead of a fun get-together, the petite woman ended up naked, in various degrees of consciousness, on the living room floor with men taking turns raping her. Afterwards, none of the four suspects asked for legal representation. However, all were read their rights and each blamed the other. They also blamed alcohol for the night's events at Carlyle's No. 3 apartment on Northwest 20th Street for what happened to Tracy. The black suspects told police that the 24-year-old vomited in the restroom, asked to be left alone and said ‘No,’ at different points in the course of the seven-hour ordeal. Tracy recalls waking up with someone pouring alcohol down her throat and her clothes tossed around. She was assaulted with a flashlight and digitally penetrated, and someone put ice on her groin. Tracy told investigators that she woke up at another point and found Ainsworth on top of her having sex with her. The others, she said, were standing around the room, cheering. She told police she heard someone shout, "Yea dog!" All four suspects were arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail on charges of sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration and sex abuse. Ware and Ainsworth were also slapped with the additional accusation of rape. If convicted, they would have faced up to 16 years in prison, meaning that their release date would have been this year. At the time, District Attorney Pete Sandrock had a solid case on his hands with copious amounts of evidence, witnesses willing to testify and four suspects pointing fingers at one another, but what he did not have was Tracy's cooperation. Tracy was hesitant to set the rape case in motion, in part because her boyfriend was a former OSU football player who was afraid that the explosive allegations would caused embarrassment to the entire college community. To complicate things further, Tracy's friend Karmen McFadden was dating rape suspect Michael Ainsworth's older brother and believed that Tracy was not entirely blameless. "What happened to me was not my choice," Tracy said. "What they did to me was not my choice. They violated me. I was garbage to them. I'd made my mind up after talking to police that I was going to do the rape examination, then I was going to go kill myself. I was going to commit suicide. I was already dead." Looking back on her decision, Tracy said: "I wish I'd have pressed charges."