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Courtesy of University of Utah

Suspended Utah football player under investigation in rape case

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Mar. 3, 2020 at 12:54 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — A suspended University of Utah football player whose roommate is charged with multiple counts of rape is now being investigated in connection with a separate rape allegation.

On Monday, Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham announced that wide receiver Donte Banton and one other player have been suspended from the team indefinitely.

“Whether they get reinstated or not will be determined at a later time,” said Whittingham, who later noted that the suspensions followed a violation of unspecified team rules.

Tuesday, Salt Lake police confirmed that Banton is being investigated to determine whether he played a role in the sexual assaults that his roommate, Terrell Maurice Perriman, 20, is accused of committing.

Banton is also under investigation for a separate rape, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court,

As of Tuesday, Banton, a sophomore from Lauderhill, Florida, had not been arrested nor charged.

Banton was a roommate of Perriman, of Miami. Perriman was charged last month with a total of three counts of rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies; burglary and forcible sexual abuse, second-degree felonies; and aggravated kidnapping, a third-degree felony; for incidents dating back to November.

Perriman was arrested by a SWAT team after prosecutors say he held a 17-year-old high school student against her will and raped her in his Salt Lake apartment on Jan. 23.

After Perriman’s arrest, Salt Lake police made a plea for others to come forward, fearing there could be additional victims. That resulted in two more women contacting police claiming they were also victims and additional charges were filed against him. Perriman was dismissed from the U. football program after the additional charges were filed.

Now police are also looking at claims by a woman who said she was raped by Banton in the same apartment, according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 20, police say two women went to the players’ apartment. Perriman and one woman went into his bedroom, and Banton invited the other woman into his room to watch a movie, the affidavit states.

While in the room, Banton is accused of attempting to remove some of the woman’s clothing.

“The victim stated he ordered her to remove her leggings and she did, due to feeling intimidated and afraid. The suspect then attempted to open her bodysuit and she told him that she was not interested in doing anything with him,” according to the warrant.

Banton then raped the woman, the affidavit states.

After a search warrant was served on Perriman’s phone as part of the investigation into his case, detectives learned that Banton “was texting Terrell Perriman and (the other woman) while he was in the bedroom with the victim. Also through subsequent interviews it has been stated that Donte Banton and (the woman) exchanged texts messages after the rape, discussing the allegations made by the victim,” the warrant says.

On Jan. 29. Salt Lake police served a search warrant at that apartment as part of the Perriman investigation. Banton’s cellphone was seized. The warrant says police want to search Banton’s phone for evidence related to one of Perriman’s new cases.

On Feb. 12, Salt Lake police were contacted by a representative from the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, where discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct can be reported. The office reported that Banton was telling people he had videos of Perriman having sex with one of the women who stepped forward after his initial arrest.

“Donte Banton claimed that it showed they were engaging in consensual sex and he therefore knew that (she) was lying about being raped,” the warrant states.

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