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Prosecutors Say Austyn Carta-Samuels Didn't Move Assault Victim; I Apologize

Text messages from Chris Boyd suggesting the Vanderbilt quarterback moved the victim were mistaken, a spokeswoman for the local DA says

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Streeter Lecka

Chris Boyd being kicked off the team turned out to be only some of news connected to the alleged sexual assault at Vanderbilt released today. In another development, prosecutors are now saying that text messages from Boyd that appeared to suggest Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels helped move the victim were wrong.

In a statement, Susan Niland -- a spokeswoman for the Davidson County District Attorney General's Office -- said those texts (which were read in an open court hearing) were mistaken. (HT: Anchor of Gold)

One text from Boyd to former student Corey Batey read in part ‘me Carta and Vanderwal (sic) and Vandenburg helped us move her out of the hallway’, referring to the victim who was lying in the hall of the dorm. However, based upon the evidence collected to date, Boyd wrongly identified student Austyn Carta-Samuels as someone who participated in helping move the victim. ... Vanderwal (sic) and another student were involved in moving the victim from the hall to a dorm room, but that act alone does not constitute a crime.

The statement might remove Carta-Samuels from being at the scene at all and also appears to go to great lengths to point out that van der Wal's actions that night were not wrong. Prosecutors had already said that no further charges were expected, so it's not necessarily a surprise that he is not expected to face any repercussions at this point.

The major question remains why prosecutors allowed the story to sit over the weekend and through Monday and part of Tuesday without correcting the record, let alone why he or she wouldn't correct the record after essentially placing Carta-Samuels as the scene in open court. Some law enforcement officials and prosecutors are loath to release any information they don't absolutely have to -- and often for good reason -- but the upshot of that sometimes is that you allow misinformation or partial information to rule the day.

That was a problem in this case. And while we're not a major publication and our readership is very small, there is a possibility that people came across one of our earlier posts and drew the wrong conclusions from it. In fact, we drew the logical conclusion from something read during open court -- that it was true unless told otherwise -- and that conclusion was wrong. Understandable, perhaps, but still wrong.

So for passing along misinformation that wrongly implicated someone who was innocent in this case, regardless of the source, I am sorry. We strive to always give as much information and analysis as we can with our readers, and the information we had at the time indicated that Austyn Carta-Samuels helped move the victim. The information was wrong at the time, so we were wrong at the time, and it very well could have caused people to draw conclusions that were unfair and unfortunate.

I apologize to Austyn Carta-Samuels for any harm caused to his reputation and to our readers for my part in spreading this. I try to be extraordinarily careful in cases like this, and I know Year2 does as well. Sometimes, you can't be too careful in life; sometimes, every safeguard you can think of won't do the job. And when that happens, your only option is to own up to it and apologize.