University of New Mexico football player Crusoe Gongbay is being held on a $50,000 bond after being arrested Monday in a reported rape of a UNM student on April 13.
Gongbay, who was slated to be the Lobos’ starting running back as a senior in the fall, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy, according to UNM Police Lt. Tim Stump.
An arrest warrant was issued for a second suspect, Ryan Ruff, who turned himself in on Monday night and is being held on a $100,000 bond. Officers are trying to determine the identity of a third man reported to have been involved. Ruff and the unidentified suspect are not UNM students.
“We are aware of the allegations involving Crusoe Gongbay,” Lobo coach Bob Davie said in a news release Monday evening. “Due to the obvious serious nature of these charges, he has been suspended indefinitely from our football team. Once this process is complete and all the details have emerged, we will handle the outcome appropriately. As this is an ongoing situation, we will not be able to comment any further at this time.”
The UNM report said the victim said she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse with three subjects while inside a moving motor vehicle. Stump told the Journal that no other part of the report would be released.
Gongbay practiced with the team last week and played in Saturday’s scrimmage.
A news conference was held at the UNM president’s office on Monday evening.
The 20-year-old Gongbay, a 6-foot, 205-pound player from Rockville, Md., came to UNM as part of former coach Mike Locksley’s final recruiting class in 2011.
After leading the Lobos in rushing that season, Gongbay told Davie that he planned to transfer. But after his plans to join Locksley at Maryland — Locksley is the Terrapins’ offensive coordinator — fell through, Gongbay asked to return to UNM.
Davie, citing Gongbay’s good academic standing and the esteem in which he was held by his teammates, welcomed him back in August 2012.
The past two seasons, Gongbay has played sparingly but effectively as a backup running back while excelling on special teams.
Last week, Gongbay told the Journal that his decision to return to UNM had worked out well. Davie has described Gongbay during the current spring practice as a team leader, and running backs coach Apollo Wright said he believed the powerful, hard-running senior-to-be was primed for a big year.
UNM police are working to obtain a composite of the third suspect and will release it when it becomes available. The suspect is described as about 6 feet tall, 180 to 200 pounds, dark complexioned with dark hair that was short on the sides and longer on top.
A news release from UNM director of communications Dianne Anderson says, “Investigators say on Sunday April 13, just before 3 a.m., a female student came back to her dorm on campus and notified the Community Assistant (CA) that she was the victim of criminal sexual penetration. The CA contacted UNM Police. An officer responded and transported the victim to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) Unit. Evidence collected by SANE was sent to the State Crime Lab for processing. UNMPD also notified an investigator from the Sexual Assault Response Team, who initiated an investigation, as well.”
Anderson said investigators consulted with the District Attorney’s Office on Monday, then met with a District Court judge and obtained arrest warrants.
Results are not back from the state crime lab and the investigation is continuing.
“The University of New Mexico takes charges of this nature very seriously,” Tomas Aguirre, UNM Dean of Students, said in a statement. “The Dean of Students office has met with the survivor and her family and offered our support and any other accommodations she might need. 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. Since this is an open investigation, we are unable to provide any other details at this time.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call UNM Police at 505-277-2241 or use the anonymous tip line on the UNMPD website, police.unm.edu, and follow the links to “submit an anonymous tip.”