UNC football player Allen Artis repeated the phrase “I did not rape her” five times Thursday outside the Orange County Courthouse.
Artis appeared in court with his lawyer, Kerry Sutton. He was seen briefly in front of a judge to announce the date for his next appearance, which will be Dec. 5.
Artis was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and sexual battery on Sept. 13 by Delaney Robinson, who said she was sexually assaulted in February, and her lawyer Denise Branch.
“We shouldn’t be here right now,” Sutton said in a press conference after court.
“There are rules for lawyers where you don’t try your case in the public. But there’s also a part of that rule that says if someone else has started a firestorm in the media, you have every right to respond.”
Sutton said her goal in speaking to the press is to respond to Robinson said in a press conference on the same day the misdemeanor charges were filed.
“Although we did not start this, and I’m not blaming this on Ms. Robinson at all, the way this has turned out, Mr. Artis cannot possibly get a fair hearing in the Title IX process,” Sutton said. “There is not a person in Orange County, in Chapel Hill, at UNC who's not familiar with this firestorm that has been created.”
Sutton said she wanted the chance for people to see Artis as a person rather than just a mugshot.
“This has been manipulated sadly, poorly, horrifically so that this young man has had the arc of his life altered,” she said.
Sutton said she reviewed all the witness statements and the people who gave statements said Robinson did not appear to be inebriated. Sutton said Robinson's friends said a person would not know she was drunk if they did not know her.
"She’s a very good drinker, her friends have said," Sutton said.
Branch released a statement after Artis' court appearance.
"Delaney Robinson is a rape victim, and she has chosen to exercise her rights as a victim to be involved in these legal proceedings. We are pleased with the actions Mr. Woodall and his office have taken since Ms. Robinson had the courage to come forward. Ms. Robinson remains resolute in her pursuit of justice," the statement said.
Artis’ mother Stephanie Artis and father Johnny Artis said they stood behind their son and believed he could not have done this.
“Also as a mother, it saddens me that this could be any of our sons,” Stephanie Artis said.
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