MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A student at Minnesota State University Moorhead is facing criminal charges after being accused of raping an 18-year-old girl during a night of drinking in a dorm.
According to the Clay County Attorney’s Office, 23-year-old Angel Mario Vega is charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of providing liquor to someone under 21.
Police say the incident happened Monday at about 11:15 p.m. at Grantham Hall. Officers were called to the hall on a report of intoxicated individuals. When they arrived to a dorm room on the third floor men’s wing, officers smelled alcohol and vomit.
Police found two men and two women in the room. One woman was vomiting into a trash can, while the other was lying on the floor. She appeared to have vomited on herself, and her pants were unbuttoned and slightly pulled down. A bra was on the floor nearby.
Officers tried to wake the woman, and she began to mumble incoherently. Vega then allegedly bent down, grabbed the woman and told her to be quiet because police were there.
The women then fell back into unconsciousness before being transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Four students on the third floor say Vega asked them earlier to “see something crazy” in the lounge area. There, they saw the victim lying partially on the couch, topless. The students said the victim was clearly intoxicated.
They say Vega then told them he was going to take her back to his room and “get laid,” and then dragged her away. The students contacted floor security soon after.
Officers talked to the suspect’s roommate, who said they had met the women — both 18-years-old — a few days earlier and invited them over for drinks.
The roommate says the four played a drinking game with Fireball whiskey, and the women were losing. Vega said he was going to take the victim to the bathroom, but when the roommate checked a few minutes later, Vega and the woman were not there.
After securing a search warrant, Officers found several of the victim’s items in Vega’s room, including her underwear, pink sandals, tank top, bra, cellphone, keys and her student ID. Officers also found a used tampon in the lounge waste basket.
Vega was arrested and taken to Clay County Jail. He told authorities that he had no sexual contact with the victim other than kissing. He admitted to supplying the 18-year-old with alcohol, but claims he had brought the victim back to his room so she could sleep. Vega says he didn’t know how the victim’s underwear turned up in his room.
Officers also secured a warrant for Vega’s cellphone, on which officers found topless pictures of victim, as well as a video in which the suspect is shown straddling the victim’s chest and penetrating her mouth.
The victim can clearly be heard telling the suspect that she doesn’t consent, and that she is on her period. The suspect is then heard telling the woman that he will remove the tampon because he wants to have sex. The video and audio then suggest the victim is sexually penetrated again.
She later told police that the last thing she remembers before waking up in the hospital is playing the drinking game. Her blood-alcohol level was .235 when she arrived at the hospital.
If convicted, Vega could face up to 16 years in prison.