CORAL GABLES, Fla. (CBS) — People who know him in Evanston call him a teddy bear. But police in Coral Gables, Florida call a former local star athlete a rape suspect.
He’s 19-year-old Jeffrey Brown. He’s behind bars, accused of raping a woman on campus at the University of Miami. CBS 2’s Pamela Jones talked with his attorney and family. They say he’s not a rapist.
“He’s dumbfounded that he’s in jail,” said attorney Thomas Durkin. It’s how Durkin says his client is reacting to being arrested.
“He did not commit a crime. End of story,” Durkin said.
But police in Florida arrested Brown. Investigators say he forced himself on a victim who was too drunk to defend herself.
Investigators say it all happened at a dorm on campus. They say a young woman who lived across the hall from Brown came home violently ill after a night of drinking. Police say when she couldn’t use her own restroom, she went to Brown’s room.
Detectives say the woman used Brown’s bathroom, and that Brown later helped her back to her own room where she tried to recover.
At some point, police say Brown returned to the woman’s room and knocked, under the pretense of checking the well-being of the woman. The woman allegedly told police she woke up to Brown removing her blanket and her underwear.
The victim reports Brown penetrated her.
“The police report is incorrect,” said Brown’s attorney, “The allegations are incorrect.”
Durkin says this case should never have gone this far. He believes the publicity stems from Brown’s status on the University of Miami football team.
Durkin says Brown was an honor roll student in Evanston and comes from a religious family. Relatives are supporting him, but have declined interviews so far.
The victim in the case has told police she was too intoxicated to get away from her alleged attacker, but that she did tell him “No.”
Students we talked to from Evanston Township High School say they don’t believe the victim’s version of what happened.
“Oh, I don’t believe that. I think she is lying,” said Casey Digan.
Police say while Brown was in custody, he sent a text asking his roommate to throw away his underwear. Police collected the underwear, as part of their evidence.
Brown’s attorney says he is cooperating fully with the investigation. He says Brown went to the police station because he was told he could retrieve that cell phone, but ended up in handcuffs instead.