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October 12, 2007

Suspended Penn State back charged with rape

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Suspended Penn State running back Austin Scott has been charged with raping a woman at his on-campus apartment after meeting her at a bar.

Scott, 22, was arraigned Friday on charges of rape, sexual assault and two counts of aggravated indecent assault, all felonies, in connection with the Oct. 5 encounter.

Scott declined to comment as he left the courtroom Friday.

``The interaction he had with the woman involved was consensual, and we anticipate we will be able to prove that in court," his lawyer, Joseph Amendola, said. "Very optimistic. We're looking forward to the opportunity of establishing his innocence."

Authorities said the encounter occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 5. Coach Joe Paterno suspended Scott later that day, saying the tailback had violated an unspecified team rule.

Scott remains enrolled at Penn State.

"As with the case with any sexual assault, we consider it a matter adjudicated by the court, and we can't get into details at this point," university spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

Scott also faces three misdemeanors: two counts of indecent assault and one count of simple assault. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail and ordered to stay away from the alleged victim.

Scott remains on the roster but is still suspended, team spokesman Jeff Nelson said Friday.

"As coach Paterno stated earlier this week, he has not participated with the team since the end of last week and we do not have any further comment at this point," Nelson said.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

For more coverage of the Penn State Nittany Lions, check out BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.



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