University of Minnesota releases choreographer after he is charged in ‘gang rape’ case

U of M student facing felony drug charges is released on $25,000 bond The University of Minnesota frat boy charged in the alleged gang rape of a partygoer who told police she woke up…

University of Minnesota releases choreographer after he is charged in 'gang rape' case

U of M student facing felony drug charges is released on $25,000 bond

The University of Minnesota frat boy charged in the alleged gang rape of a partygoer who told police she woke up disoriented on a futon in a fraternity house has been removed from the university tour with his dance company.

The university announced the decision on Thursday, describing Travis Wall’s participation in Break the Floor as an error of judgment and an interim response to concerns over the safety of students on campus.

Court records show the accuser alleged she was repeatedly raped from 12.30am to 2.45am on 12 September by Wall, Clayton Woodson, 20, Kyle Duren, 19, Jordan Cameron, 20, and Matthew Wendt, 19.

Wall, who is charged with felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia, was released on a $25,000 recognizance bond, according to court records and a court official. All five defendants are scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on 9 June.

Break the Floor initially performed in the 2017-18 season, performing at the University of Minnesota theater and dance department’s awards ceremony in 2017, the university said.

Break the Floor – a dance company … at a frat party Read more

Travis’s stepbrother Clayton Woodson, 20, was also charged in the alleged gang rape and given a $10,000 recognizance bond on Wednesday. Wendt, who is charged with felonious restraint and reckless discharge of a firearm, was released on a $20,000 recognizance bond on Wednesday.

Lori Ritter, director of the department of theater and dance, called the allegations “bizarre” and said they were not comparable to any of the previous dances performed by Break the Floor, adding that a new company was commissioned to perform in their honor in the spring of 2019.

“We’re not able to dive into the detailed details of the situation but we stand firm in our determination that this must be treated very, very seriously by everyone,” Ritter said.

In response to campus outcry, which has included protests and a movement dubbed “Think before you act”, the University of Minnesota campus newspaper, the Daily Gopher, wrote an article that questions the credibility of the rape allegation against Wall, who, unlike the other defendants, is a U of M student.

“Wall denies having any contact with the complainants and has adamantly stated that he does not know how or where she came into contact with the five defendants,” the newspaper wrote.

In court documents, the woman told police the suspects offered her alcohol and gave her some blue pills to help her drink, court records show. The accuser said the men forced her to a futon on the fraternity house floor and repeatedly raped her.

Four of the five suspects are also charged with felony assault in separate incidents, which happened between 1 February and 22 February. All have pleaded not guilty.

In a statement to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Eric Wallace, a lawyer for Wall, said: “Since [Wednesday] our client is out of jail and he will remain free pending trial. Our client maintains his innocence.

“At the time the complaint was filed, Travis was at a show for Break the Floor, an award-winning dance company he and his team founded. He performed three songs that were performed in the show. After the show, the four defendants who were not students at the time were offered pizza and attend a party at the fraternity house.”

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