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UNM police investigate student’s charge that football player raped her

University of New Mexico police executed a search warrant of a room at Lobo Village last month after a young woman said she had been raped there by a fellow student, who is a member of the UNM football team.

The two had had a relationship, but it had ended, she told police.

The 19-year-old woman, accompanied by her father and sister, reported the incident to UNM police Feb. 20. No charges have been filed.

She said that two days earlier she agreed to meet with Nias Martin, 21, a junior cornerback, at his Lobo Village apartment on Avenida Cesar Chavez. She said in her text she would not have sex with him, but would come over as a friend, she told police.

They watched a movie but as she was getting ready to leave around 2 a.m. on Feb. 19, he grabbed her, according to the police report.

“(The woman) tried to pull away but Nias held her and said, ‘Don’t fight it; I’m stronger than you are,’ ” an officer wrote in the report. “Nias told her they were going to have sex but she told him no several times.”

The woman told police that when she started to scream Martin held a pillow over her face and raped her. She said when he went to the bathroom she got dressed and left.

Later that day, Martin texted the woman and said he was “sorry for what he did” and she “told him off for raping her,” according to the police report.

That same day, the woman went to the Family Advocacy Center for a sexual assault exam to be submitted as evidence. The results of the test have not been returned yet, Lt. Tim Stump, a spokesman for the department, said Monday. She contacted police on Feb. 20.

When officers interviewed Martin, he changed his story a couple times before admitting the two had sex, according to the police report.

He initially told police the woman was mad because he didn’t want to be with her anymore.

When the officer questioned him about why he apologized to the woman the next day, Martin said “he was afraid for his life and future and didn’t want to go to jail.”

He then said he had sex with the woman even though she repeated “no and stop” several times, because he said she was still kissing him, according to the police report.

A search warrant was executed on Martin’s room, his two cellphones and for his DNA. Bloodstains were found on his bedsheets, according to the police report.

Martin had not been arrested or charged Monday evening. Stump said police are still investigating and will turn the case over to the District Attorney’s Office to determine if charges should be filed.

Martin was not made available to the Journal. It is not known if he has retained counsel at this time.

Martin joined the Lobo football team in July after transferring from Hartnell College in Baltimore, said Frank Mercogliano, the assistant athletic director of communications.

Martin played 13 games last season for the Lobos. He had 35 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Nevada.

The police report said there were two other students in the common area adjacent to Martin’s room at Lobo Village, which is a privately run student housing facility on UNM property. Police said they planned to interview those students.

The U.S. Department of Justice is in the process of preparing a report based on its investigation into how UNM handles reports of sexual assault.

In 2014, two UNM football players and another man were accused by a female student of raping her in a car after a party. The three were charged but the charges were dropped. She is suing UNM Board of Regents alleging the university did not file proper Title IX procedures in investigating the incident.


Journal staff writer Chris Quintana and Assistant Sports Editor Ed Johnson contributed to this report.

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