UNC player: I did not rape her. I did not rape her ...

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Thursday, September 29, 2016
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Allen Artis

ORANGE COUNTY (WTVD) -- A rape investigation involving two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students played out in an Orange County courtroom Thursday morning.

The alleged victim and the UNC football player at the center of the scandal came face-to-face at an administrative hearing.

The suspect, still denying all claims against him, appeared with his attorney.

RELATED: UNC player accused of sexual battery says he's not a rapist

Allen Artis' family and his accuser sat on the front row on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Delaney Robinson is the UNC student who filed civilian misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and assault against Artis two weeks ago saying Artis raped her in his on-campus apartment in February and that campus police and the Orange County district attorney failed to do anything about it.

Read more about the incident here.

Artis' attorney Kerry Sutton said after court Thursday, that because Robinson's attorney Denise Branch led a press conference about the case before the investigation was complete, neither her client nor Artis would be able to get a fair hearing with UNC's Title IX Office if one were to be scheduled.

"There is not a person in Orange County, in Chapel Hill, at UNC who's not familiar with this firestorm that's been created," said Sutton. "How can he possibly get a fair hearing panel? He cannot. Whatever their goal was there, they have ruined Ms. Robinson's chance of having a fair hearing. That bothers me. More important, Mr. Artis cannot get a fair hearing at UNC at this point."

Two days before his court date, Artis made his first public comments saying he and Robinson had consensual sex that night and to his knowledge a criminal investigation was still underway so he was surprised to see charges filed against him.

In court Thursday, his attorney Kerry Sutton and District Attorney Jim Woodall set a tentative trial date for December 5th, but Sutton said she's confident the case won't need to get that far - saying it will be dismissed and Artis won't need to enter a plea.

After court, with Artis' family standing next to him, Sutton asked Artis, "Did you rape her?"

"I did not rape her. I did not rape her. I did not rape her. I did not rape. I did not rape her," he repeatedly said.

"He wants everyone watching. Any one of you who has filmed this, recorded this, and broadcast this, he did not rape that girl," Sutton said.

Artis was suspended from UNC's football team shortly after the misdemeanor charges were filed. He is still in school and attending classes at Carolina.

He says he's hoping to restore his reputation and move on.

Sutton said because details of the case have already been widely reported before Artis has his day in court, it's her responsibility to repair the damage to his reputation. His mother, Stephanie Artis, made a plea to the public.

"Please, this could be your child," said Stephanie Artis. "Just don't rush just because you've seen someone give a press conference. This is my baby. But it could be yours that's in this position."

After the court appearance, Robinson and her attorney Denise Branch met with Woodall. Branch later sent this statement to Eyewitness News:

"Delaney Robinson is a rape victim, and she has chosen to exercise her rights as a victim to be involved in these legal proceedings. We are pleased with the actions Mr. Woodall and his office have taken since Ms. Robinson had the courage to come forward. Ms. Robinson remains resolute in her pursuit of justice."

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