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Saturday, December 20, 2014

UNM running back arrested on rape charges

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By William Aranda / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM running back Crusoe Gongbay walks from the end zone during a game against CSU last season on Nov. 16, 2013.

sports@dailylobo.com

The UNM Police Department arrested a football player Monday on rape and kidnapping charges.

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Crusoe Gongbay, a 20-year-old junior who plays running back for the Lobos, turned himself over to the police shortly after 5 p.m. Monday and faces two counts of criminal sexual penetration, one count of kidnapping, and one count of conspiracy. Gongbay is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center with his bond set at $50,000.

UNMPD arrested a second suspect, 21-year-old Ryan Ruff, who is not a student at UNM. He also turned himself in later Monday, and his bond is set at $100,000.

The department is seeking a third individual in connection with the assault that occurred April 13, but it has not yet identified that person. Lt. Tim Stump, a UNMPD public information officer, said the third individual is a 6-foot, 180-pound male with dark complexion, short hair on the sides and longer hair on the top of his head.

UNM head football coach Bob Davie said in a statement the team has suspended Gongbay indefinitely.

“Once this process is complete and all the details have emerged, we will handle the outcome appropriately,” Davie said. “As this is an ongoing situation, we will not be able to comment any further at this time.”

On April 13, Stump said, a female student returned to her dorm room and told a community assistant that she was a victim of a sexual assault. Stump said the assault took place in a moving vehicle, but he did not give further details about the incident.

The victim was transported to a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Unit, and evidence was collected and sent to the state crime lab, Stump said.

“Any incident like this we take serious in nature, no matter what’s going on around the world or here,” he said.

UNM Dean of Students Tomas Aguirre said his office has met with the victim and her family, and has offered the victim support and accommodations she might require.

“We have also connected her with the various resources available to her both on and off campus, including the UNM Women’s Resource Center and the Rape Crisis Center of New Mexico,” Aguirre said in a statement. “Since this is an open investigation, we are unable to provide any other details at this time.”

Gongbay was projected to be the starting running back with the loss of former starter Kasey Carrier, who led the Lobos in rushing for two straight seasons.

Crusoe was UNM’s top rusher in 2011 with 500 yards but skipped the 2012 spring practice because he contemplated transferring to another school. Instead he decided against leaving and stayed at UNM. Gongbay had 97 rushing attempts and occurred 592 yards for a 6.1 run-per-carry average in 2013.

Prior to Gongbay’s arrest, Davie had talked about using a stable of running backs this upcoming season. The Lobos will now use the likes of Jhurell Pressley, Teriyon Gipson and David Anaya all of whom have in-game experience. Romell Jordan is also back for UNM but he was redshirted last year.

Stump said for people with information on Ruff or the third individual to contact UNMPD at 277-2241.