Students arrested on sexual assault charges


    Three former TCU student-athletes who police say sexually assaulted a freshman student in a dorm room were being held Monday night as investigators await DNA test results from the victim, said Lt. Gene Jones, a Fort Worth police spokesperson.Fort Worth police arrested the three former athletes, Shannon Monroe Behling, 19, Virgil Allen Taylor, 19, and Lorenzo Labell Jones, 20, Friday afternoon on second-degree felony sexual assault charges, according to a police report.

    The female victim said she was drugged and assaulted in one of the suspect’s dorm rooms sometime between 8 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 7 a.m. of the following day, according to a police report.

    Tracy Syler-Jones, assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communication, said the victim said she received a nonalcoholic beverage that incapacitated her.

    The victim told police one of the suspects, Taylor, owed her money and invited her to a dorm room so he could pay her back, Lt. Jones said.

    She led police to Taylor, and police identified Jones and Behling as suspects during the ensuing investigation and interviews, Lt. Jones said.

    Doris Pryor, Jones’ aunt who raised him, said he was with his girlfriend, a TCU student, at her residence when police said the sexual assault occurred.

    Lt. Jones said police searched Taylor’s room on the third floor of Moncrief Hall on Friday, and police recovered $100 and a bra – items the victim reported stolen, according to a police report.

    Jones was removed from the football team Oct. 13, the same day as the assault, because he stopped showing up to practice after TCU’s loss to Utah.

    “This is a terrible incident and we are very sorry that one of our former players apparently made the awful decision to take part in this sexual assault,” said head football coach Gary Patterson. “It’s never easy to hear this sort of news.”

    Taylor was removed from the basketball team in September, said Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs.

    Head basketball coach Neil Dougherty said, “We constantly talk to our student-athletes about the conduct we expect from them and are very disappointed when they choose to behave in another manner.”

    Behling transferred to TCU this year from Aiken Technical College, a junior college in Aiken, S.C. He was removed from the basketball team after his arrest, Mills said.

    On Wednesday, the victim went to the Health Center and said she had been sexually assaulted. The Health Center alerted the dean of campus life who contacted police, according to a police report.

    The three suspects were being held Monday night at the Mansfield Jail on $25,000 bonds for the sexual assault charges, according to jail records.

    Lt. Jones said formal sexual assault charges were filed this weekend, and said he’s confident the three suspects were the only people involved in the incident.

    Suspect has previous assault case

    Jones is also being held on a $2,000 bond for an outstanding Collin County warrant related to misdemeanor assault charges from a March 2005 incident, according to jail records.

    The charges were from a fight Jones was involved in at a party, said Doris Pryor, Jones’ aunt.

    “The only thing that I knew about that was that some friends and him went to a party,” Pryor said. “Someone said something to him, and there was a scuffle.”

    Jones was placed on one-year probation on Aug. 16, 2005, fined $400, sentenced to 80 hours of community service and ordered to attend rage and anger counseling, according to court records.

    Court records show he was ordered to pay $2,770.94 on March 30 in restitution related to the incident.

    On June 23, his bond was revoked and he was fined an additional $434, according to court records.

    A warrant was issued for Jones’ arrest Sept. 6 after he failed to pay the restitution, according to court records. Records also show he failed to appear in a Collin County court 23 days later.

    The restitution still hasn’t been paid, according to the Collin County District Clerk’s office.

    Mills said he was not aware of Jones’ previous criminal record, though, he said, it is his understanding that Jones’ release from the football team was not related to any outstanding warrant or possible criminal activity.

    TCU doesn’t automatically deny admission to students who have previous legal problems, Mills said.

    “If the university has assurance from people who know the potential student, we will sometimes give them a second chance,” Mills said.

    He said athletes are recruited by the athletics department but they are still required to go through the same admissions process as all other students who apply to the university.

    Pryor said the university was aware of Jones’ previous assault case.

    Jones’ prior conviction would not have had to be disclosed, because TCU’s undergraduate application only requires applicants to disclose felony convictions.

    News editor Kathleen Thurber contributed to this report.