Did UW know about rape allegations against Tybo Rogers before allowing him to play?

Apr 23, 2024, 9:41 AM | Updated: 10:57 am

UW rape...

Tybo Rogers #20 of the Washington Huskies rushes against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2024 CFP National Championship game at NRG Stadium on January 8, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Jamie Schwaberow, Getty Images)

(Photo: Jamie Schwaberow, Getty Images)

According to an investigative document, Seattle law enforcement implied that the University of Washington’s (UW) athletic department staff was aware of and discussed a rape accusation against sophomore running back Tylin “Tybo” Rogers before he was allowed to continue participating in the fall season.

The document, made public on Monday through a public disclosure request by The Seattle Times, referred to emails circulated within the UW’s athletic department on Nov. 30. This was two days after one of Rogers’ alleged victims shared her experience on social media and lodged a Title IX report against him at the university.

Detective Emily Akiyama of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) noted in the report that the sequence of social media posts and Rogers’ suspension led her to suspect a link between his suspension and the victim’s revelation of the assault, particularly in light of comments made by the coaching staff.

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The emails verified that Rogers was taken off the travel roster for the Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 1, but did not provide a reason. Rogers, who is currently suspended from the team, has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of second- and third-degree rape. His lawyer maintains his innocence.

Two women, a 19-year-old student from Seattle Central College and a 22-year-old student from UW, have accused Rogers of sexually assaulting them in October and November. Rogers and another Husky football player have also been recently implicated in a separate assault on a cyclist.

The 19-year-old reached out to Seattle police on October 28 after Rogers allegedly assaulted her in her apartment. She filed a report with the university’s Title IX office and shared her experience on social media a month later.

According to The Seattle Times, the investigators also highlighted text messages sent by UW athletics staff that mentioned Rogers. These messages were sent within two weeks of the woman’s social media post and Title IX report on Nov. 28. The messages were followed by a phone call, leaving no documented responses.

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One screenshot displayed a text message sent on Dec. 6 to an unnamed UW football coach requesting that the coach provide Rogers with the contact information of a defense attorney.

Another screenshot revealed that Cameron Elisara, the director of football player development, messaged then-UW head coach Kalen DeBoer on the same day.

“WTF did Tybo do? I got people blowing me up about it,” Elisara wrote. “I won’t say anything if you don’t want me to obviously but I was just on ESPN radio and somebody brought it up.”

In the screenshot, DeBoer didn’t respond via text. Instead, he initiated a FaceTime call with Elisara.

At that time, Ryan Grubb, then UW’s football offensive coordinator, informed Inside the Huskies, a Sports Illustrated FanNation website, that they were addressing “some challenges [Rogers] had off the field,” but refrained from providing further details about why Rogers was removed from the field.

Jedd Fisch, UW’s new head coach, said he suspended Rogers indefinitely as soon as he learned of the allegations against him, but declined to say more.

Meanwhile, Rogers was one of two UW athletes charged in another assault.

According to reports, they allegedly attacked a man who was cycling home after work.

The charges against them are of fourth-degree assault, stemming from an incident that reportedly took place in March.

The individual who was assaulted recounted that he was returning home from work on his bicycle along 17th Avenue Northeast, close to Northeast 50th Street on the 11th of March. He heard two individuals shouting at him from a car trailing him.

The individuals in the car were reported to have shouted at the man to vacate the road, using profanity and making obscene gestures, as per police records. The man also claimed that the car attempted to hit him.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here

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Did UW know about rape allegations against Tybo Rogers before allowing him to play?