Two Sides to One Story

Editor’s Note: It is important to stress that Callaway was never charged with rape, sexual assault or any crime related to this case in a court of law, as police investigators decided there was not enough evidence. It should also be made clear that at the school hearings, Callaway was found responsible only for ‘sexual misconduct,’ a vague umbrella term that includes everything from flashing to sexual assault (details of exactly what type of sexual misconduct were not available), and that UT’s system, while having far-reaching powers over consequences in the university community, does not function as a criminal courtroom.

She called it rape…

It was one of her first weeks at UT, and one of her first college parties. She had new friends, a new home, and a new group of people to meet.

Pop culture tells us college students party and drink, and so on Friday night, early in the semester, this freshman did exactly that. The party was in Straz, and the drinks were Coconut Bay rum and pineapple juice, a police officer would later write in the official report.

The details of the night were hazy for her. She recalls going to the party, and little more. The police report offered more details than she claims she ever recalled. She was introduced to a young man at the party, according to a source in the police report. She would later deny this statement.

She would tell the police that she was ‘drunk, but not that drunk.’

The police would show her photos of herself and her alleged attacker leaving Straz Hall together. At some point, she remembered being between the volleyball courts and the track, but didn’t remember who was with her.

A witness would tell police that the two held hands on their walk back. Police would also show her a photo of her with a few friends and her alleged attacker in the stairwell of her dorm. She remembered nearly none of it.

They went to her room.

At some point, she climbed into her bed, and he followed.

There was reportedly someone in the bed next to her, a friend of her roommate. The latter came in and joined the friend in bed, and both were apparently sleeping. Neither paid any attention to her, and would later report that she never cried out for help.

They started kissing, and before long he was fondling her and pulling off her shorts, she barely remembers.

‘Stop, stop,’ she said. ‘No. Stop. I don’t want to do this.’

She felt weak, later telling police that she was still feeling the effects of the intoxication.

He took off his pants and began to have sex with her.

The next thing she remembers is that she wanted it to end. She told the police that she didn’t know if he wore a condom.

When he stopped they heard yelling and arguing in the next room.

The victim got out of bed and went to check on her suitemate.

Security and police were already in the hall, checking on the disturbance in the next room. The victim was crying as she walked past them to get her friend who was still nearby.

‘He raped me,’ she said. ‘We had sex, even after I told him to stop.’

Her friend got the man to leave her room, and at that point her roommate woke up.

The roommate contacted the authorities.

Tampa Police arrived and interviewed the victim and her friends. They took her and a friend to the rape crisis center near USF for an exam that could gather evidence of forcible attack. Before they arrived, however, the police officers had to change shifts. She and her friend sat in a squad car near Howard Avenue for 10 minutes.

They complained as the officers chatted with each other, and told them to sit on a bench near the car, where they remained for 20 minutes. It was 6:10 a.m. when they finally left.

When she got back to her room, her linens were gone. She had nothing. Her RA was off duty until much later in the day. They took her sheets. They took her pillow. They took her clothes. Worst of all, she says, they took her dignity, all in the name of evidence.

She slept that night on the cold, vinyl mattress, wondering whether justice would be served in the coming weeks.

He called it consensual sex

Rashad Callaway had not been at UT very long, and the sight of Tampa Police Officer Ronda Jones-Barber at his door startled him. It was a far cry from what he thought he’d experience at UT after a life in Bayonne, N.J.

He went to a public school where he was a standout basketball player. As he improved through his career, colleges started to notice. He was the Bayonne High School MVP his senior year.

His friend, a former St. Leo College basketball player, told him about the University of Tampa. Callaway had never heard of it.

As it turned out, UT was interested in him as well. He saw some of Tampa’s games. He liked the way they played, but he knew his game was vastly different.

‘Up north, it’s all about flashy point guard play,’ he said. ‘I could bring my game down here.’

He didn’t like any of the offers from Division III schools. He liked UT and signed with the Spartans.

The decision didn’t sit well with his mother. She wanted him to stay close to home, but she’d support his choice. She wouldn’t be able to see her son play college ball until early March.

Rashad’s father, Johnny, was a different story. He had played in a number of leagues in New York and New Jersey. Johnny was a tenacious defender, Rashad had heard. He also had a great shot. Rashad idolized him.

Johnny would come to a number of Rashad’s games at UT. He would see him drain game-winning and game-tying shots. By then, they were both relieved knowing that Callaway could have had his basketball career terminated early.

Early in the fall, Rashad went to a party with his new basketball friends. He saw a pretty girl from across the Straz Hall room, and he grabbed his friend and asked him to introduce them. The friend would later tell police that he did just that.

He’d had a few drinks himself. Two, to be exact.

They walked home to her dorm.

As they went up to her room they said good-bye to their mutual friend in the stairwell.

The friend recalled to police that the two went into her room together.

She invited him into her room.

She turned on the lights, and they sat on her bed and talked and kissed. She told him to be quiet and not wake up her roommate.

She went to the bathroom, and when she came back, she turned off the lights. They kissed some more.

He later told police that he asked her if she wanted to have sex.

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘Are you sure?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ she said again. ‘Be quiet since my roommate is sleeping.’

They had sex, until she asked him to stop.

‘Are you sure?’ he asked her.

‘Yes, ’cause it hurts,’ she said. He asked her again, and she said yes again. He stopped.

They heard screaming in the other room. She got out of bed and went to check on her suitemate.

‘I’m going to stay over there with my friend,’ she said.

Rashad got dressed, left and went back to his room to go to sleep, passing a number of TPD officers and security personnel in the hallway outside the girl’s room.

The next morning, there was a knock at the door. It was Officer Jones-Barber. She read him his Miranda rights, and he signed off on them. She wanted to ask him about an accusation of rape, and he told her what happened. After the interview
was over, he was left with a sick feeling that his basketball career could be over before it even started.

For The Minaret’s other stories, follow the guide below:

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ What Is Sexual Assault?

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Minaret Special Investigation

o‘ ‘ ‘ Both Sides of the Story

o‘ ‘ ‘ The State declines to prosecute, and UT J-Board takes up the case

o‘ ‘ ‘ Lack of Charges Kept Him on the Court

o‘ ‘ ‘ Problems Plagued Conduct Process from the Start

o‘ ‘ ‘ A Challenge to our Readers

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ UT’s Definition

o‘ ‘ ‘ Related Student Handbook Policies

o‘ ‘ ‘ Definition of Terms

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Alcohol ‘amp; Sexual Assault

o‘ ‘ ‘ Speaker Emphasizes Effect of Alcohol on Sexual Assault

o‘ ‘ ‘ Authorities say use of date-rape drugs on the rise

o‘ ‘ ‘ Drunken Hook-Ups Can Blur Consent

o‘ ‘ ‘ Women and Drinkers Most Likely to be Victims

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Men’s Role

o‘ ‘ ‘ College Men Need a New Dialogue on Rape

o‘ ‘ ‘ Men Must Fight Date Rape, Too

o‘ ‘ ‘ The Myths of Rape

‘middot;‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Help for Victims

o‘ ‘ ‘ Ruling Could Open Door to Victims Suing Schools

o‘ ‘ ‘ UT Student Re-examines Personal Experience

o‘ ‘ ‘ Crisis Center Volunteers Help Victims Cope with Assault

o‘ ‘ ‘ What the Research Shows…

o‘ ‘ ‘ Campus Advocate Speaks on Experiences

o‘ ‘ ‘ Resources for Rape Victims

o‘ ‘ ‘ UT’s On-Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Program Gaining Visibility

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