OU running back Rodney Anderson denies rape claim

Kyle Phillips / The TranscriptOklahoma running back Rodney Anderson runs off the field during the Sooners' 41-17 victory over TCU last week in the Big 12 championship. Anderson is accused of rape in a protective order filed against him Monday but denies the claim.

NORMAN, Okla. — A protective order filed against Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson on Monday includes a rape allegation, according to a Cleveland County court petition.The alleged incident, which Anderson denies and his attorney called “patently false,” is being investigated by Norman police as rape by instrumentation.

No charges have been filed against Anderson, and he has not been arrested.

The alleged victim, who is 23, claims in a written statement to have met Anderson at a bar Nov. 16 — two days before OU’s game at Kansas — and that the alleged incident occurred at her apartment.

The woman wrote that she planned to take a ride service home from a second bar the two attended, but Anderson’s friends “were insistent that he take me home.”

According to her statement, the woman confided with a friend last weekend recalling “images and feelings of [Anderson]” assaulting her with his fingers on the night she met the OU running back.

She wrote she felt sick and remembers Anderson “biting me, and not feeling like I could say anything and trying to get away from him to put clothes on, but he followed me, asking what I thought I was doing. I remember feeling like I couldn’t get away. He knows where I live and I’m scared for my safety.”

Anderson’s attorney Derek Chance, of Oklahoma City, released a statement vehemently denying the claims:

“Mr. Anderson first learned of [the woman's] request for a civil protective order Monday evening. Mr. Anderson is shocked and disturbed by [the woman's] claims,” it read. “The allegations are patently false. Mr. Anderson did not, nor would he ever, force himself on any woman.

"Following November 16, 2017, [the woman] attempted to pursue a relationship with Mr. Anderson. While we can only speculate as to [the woman's] motives in seeking a civil protective order, her claims surfaced only after Mr. Anderson did not reciprocate a desire to pursue a relationship with [the woman]. In fact, Mr. Anderson declined several social invitations from [the woman] between November 16th and December 4th."

Anderson apparently has created a Twitter account to defend his name.

A post surfaced Tuesday on an account using Anderson’s name and photo: “In my wildest dreams, I never thought I'd have to set up a Twitter account to defend myself. In the most possible straightforward and honest manner, I did not do this. @espn.”

Though it came from an unverified account, the post drew a response from OU teammates Tre Brown and Trey Sermon and was retweeted by Anderson's mother, Jobie, who follows the account. It also was posted to Anderson's longtime personal Instagram, which has 11.9K followers.

According to a police report filed Monday, at about 12:15 p.m. Monday, “an adult female reported that after an evening of drinking she accepted a ride from an adult male acquaintance. After consensual kissing contact, she remembers waking without clothing."

According to the report, no injuries were reported and a suspect has been identified. No arrests have been made. The Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the incident.

An OU spokesman said Monday that the university is aware of the claims against Anderson and is gathering more information. OU officials had no further comment or update on Anderson’s status with the team Tuesday.

Anderson has played a key role in OU's offense during the regular-season's final stretch. Over the last seven games, he has gained 1,134 yards from scrimmage — rushing and receiving — and scored 14 touchdowns.

He carried a career-high 24 times and rushed for 93 yards in OU's 41-17 win over TCU in the Big 12 championship.

Anderson, of Katy, Texas, sustained back-to-back, season-ending injuries in 2015 and 2016, which led to his slow start this season. He broke out with a 147-yard rushing performance at Kansas State on Oct. 21, scoring the game-winning touchdown with seven seconds left in regulation in OU's 42-35 victory.

He was recently named an All-Big 12 second team selection by the league's coaches.

OU will play Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

“There are undoubtedly true victims of sexual assault, for whom Mr. Anderson carries a tremendous amount of compassion,” read the statement from Anderson's attorney. “However, there are those accused of sexual assault which they unequivocally did not commit — as is the case for Mr. Anderson.

“We are confident that when authorities have all the information surrounding this circumstance, Mr. Anderson will be completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, and he looks forward to the conclusion of this investigation so he can focus on his obligations as a student-athlete.”

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