Sexual assault charges against UNC football player Artis dismissed

The reserve linebacker was accused of misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a female following an incident last February. He is now eligible for reinstatement to the team.

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
UNC will open its 2017 football season Saturday against California at Kenan Stadium

Sexual assault charges against suspended North Carolina football player Allen Artis have been dismissed, opening the door for his potential return to the team this fall. Artis was scheduled to go to trial next month, but the case against him was dropped Thursday. According to Orange County district attorney Jim Woodall, “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.” A reserve linebacker from Marietta, Ga., Artis was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a female after a UNC coed accused him of having sex with her against her will at an athletic dormitory last Valentine’s Day. The woman, Delaney Robinson, came forward in September, when she held a press conference to announce she had taken out a self-sworn warrant against Artis. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound football player claimed the sex was consensual. But Robinson countered that she was intoxicated at the time, thus “mentally incapacitated and physically helpless” and that Artis should be “held accountable for his actions.” In April, however, UNC’s Title IX office ruled that “in the context in which it occurred,” evidence did not support a finding of forcible sexual assault. Although Artis said he was relieved that the charges against him have now been dropped and the case is closed, both he and his lawyer indicated that that the accusations will continue to have an adverse affect on his future prospects. “Understand that just an allegation like this changes the horizon for him permanently,” attorney Kerry Sutton said at a press conference in front of UNC’s Old Well on Thursday. “I’ve lost a lot,” an emotional Artis added. “My grades have suffered. I had to change my graduation date, so my postgraduate plans have suffered — just career plans, moving forward with my life. It’s going to be hard.” Artis will begin his senior year at UNC this fall and will have at least one more year of athletic eligibility. He said he is still undecided about resuming his football career. “I’m just keeping my options open,” he said. “I’ve been working out. Hopefully now that it’s done I’ll be reinstated and I’ll have that opportunity to play football if I’d like to.” Artis played sparingly for the Tar Heels in their first two games last season before being suspended indefinitely, making one tackle while playing mostly on special teams. UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham issued a statement about Artis’ potential return to the the team shortly after the charges were dropped. “Allen Artis is eligible for reinstatement to our football program,” Cunningham said. “Coach (Larry) Fedora and I look forward to meeting with Allen and his family soon to discuss next steps moving forward.”Robinson’s attorney added that her client “suffered immeasurably” as well.”The parties worked diligently at mediation to resolve this matter to their mutual satisfaction resulting in a dismissal of the charges. The resolution is confidential. Delaney has suffered immeasurably and hoped that today’s resolution could begin her healing.”