Armada investigates claim player sexually assaulted woman last year

Woman: 'It was important to me to speak out'


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman has accused a Jacksonville Armada soccer player of sexually assaulting her at a hotel last year, and the team said it is investigating the claim.

The woman, who News4Jax is not naming, posted to Facebook early Friday morning that she met an Armada player about this time last year, and he asked her out.

“He was nothing but a gentleman,” she wrote, saying he had a “great reputation.”

She said he asked her out on game day, so she met him at the hotel the team uses to prepare before a game. She said she went to his room for a moment, and when she hugged him, he pushed her down on his bed and began assaulting her.

"I was friends with a young man and we decided to go on a date. And it just led to an unfortunate and compromising situation," the woman told News4Jax Friday. 

She said he stopped after she told him that he if kept going after she said no, it would be rape. She said he responded, “OK, then I'm done with you.”

The woman told News4Jax she didn't report the incident to police, she just told close family and friends. Friday was the first time she spoke publicly about it.

"My whole reason for posting it was not to garner media attention, but just through my healing process, I reached a point where it was important to me to speak out and let other young women know that they should not be afraid to speak up," she said.

She wrote that she decided to finally speak up after a year because she was encouraged by an acquaintance that the man might have done it before.

The Jacksonville Armada released a statement Friday afternoon about the accusation:

“Our club has come across an allegation on Facebook posted early this morning from a female stating she had been sexually assaulted at this time last year by a player on our club’s roster. We take this piece of information extremely seriously and are launching an immediate internal investigation. We hold everyone in our organization accountable to the highest standard of character. Our club will have no further comment on the situation until the investigation concludes.”

The woman said the organization's investigation is appropriate, but it doesn't change how she feels.

"I think it's great, you know. They want to do what they can to take action, however, at this point my focus is no longer on him. I just want to move forward with my life and continue to encourage young women to do what they feel they need to get through an unfortunate situation if it happens to them," she said. 

She also said she forgives the man, but she now wants to encourage women to speak out, no matter how much time it takes.

“I hope that it inspires someone to also use their voice, or to let them know they're not alone,” she wrote. “And even if no one believes you, the truth needs no defense.”

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