Anwar Phillips, a redshirt freshman on the Penn State football team, has been charged with sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault, Penn State Police Services said.
Phillips, who left school before the spring semester because of what were described at the time as "personal problems," faces a preliminary hearing tomorrow at Centre County Courthouse, Bellefonte.
Phillips is living at his Germantown, Md., home. He turned himself over to police last Thursday when the charges were filed before District Justice Carmine Prestia. After a Friday arraignment, he was freed on $10,000 unsecured bail.
The charges stem from a Nov. 12 incident in which Phillips allegedly sexually assaulted a female acquaintance in an on-campus apartment, said Bernadette Bland, an assistant supervisor with Penn State police who assisted in investigating the case.
Phillips, who was a sophomore at the time of the alleged assault, could not be reached for comment last night.
Bland said Phillips went before the Office of Judicial Affairs in December, where he declined his right to testify and was expelled from the university. She did not know the terms of that expulsion, including whether it was permanent or temporary.
Sexual offense cases involving penetration brought before the Judicial Affairs review board are punishable by a minimum of temporary expulsion and a maximum of permanent expulsion, according to the guidelines for adjudicating sexual assault hearings.
According to the criminal complaint, the following happened on Nov. 12: Phillips called the woman at her apartment around 6 a.m. He then met her at the apartment, and the woman took Phillips inside to her room, where he sexually assaulted her. He did not stop after she said, "No, I don't want to do this." After leaving the room, Phillips returned
to pick up the cellular phone he left behind, at which point he apologized to the woman and left.
Later that morning, the complaint said, the woman went to the University Health Services Women's Health Clinic for treatment, alerting police to the incident.
Police said Phillips admitted to having sexual intercourse with the woman despite believing that she did not want to.
If found guilty, Phillips faces a maximum fine of $25,000 and a maximum of 10 years in jail for each charge, both of which are second-degree felonies in Pennsylvania.
Bland said the length of the investigation and time between the Judicial Affairs hearing and the filing of criminal charges is not unusual for an incident of this nature.
She said Penn State police began investigating the incident immediately after it was reported and that it was completed in a timely fashion.
"We always tell people in a case like this, 'Let us do our job; you will heal, and then we'll proceed at your own discretion,' " Bland said.
Once the Penn State police completed their investigation, it sent Judicial Affairs a "short narrative" account of the incident.
Judicial Affairs then began its own investigation. No officials from Judicial Affairs could be reached for comment yesterday night.
Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said he was unaware of the situation, but said Judicial Affairs generally acts quickly on accusations of this nature.
"They could act very quickly in an instance like this," he said. "All Judicial Affairs determines is whether a person is guilty or not guilty of violating university policy. It is not like a court."
He also said there might be laws that prevent Penn State from disclosing certain information pertaining to the case.
Although Bland said he was expelled in December, Phillips traveled with the football team to Orlando, Fla., in December and played in the Capital One Bowl Jan. 1.
Penn State sports information director Jeff Nelson said he was unaware of the Judicial Affairs ruling against Phillips. Nelson told The Daily Collegian earlier in the semester that Phillips had left school to deal with personal problems but was expected back in the fall.
Head coach Joe Paterno is aware of the criminal charges, Nelson said, but he has not commented on the status of Phillips, who switched from wide receiver to nickel back in the middle of last season and recorded 20 tackles and two interceptions.
Paterno is scheduled to hold a press conference tomorrow to discuss the start of spring practice.