Rape Charges Dropped Against Former Clark Students

McKay Thomas Owsley, 21 (left) and Wil-Anthony Maurice Noble, 19. Photos from Clark College Athletics website.

UPDATE ( MARCH 3, 2016 4:00 P.M.)

The charges against two former Clark soccer players were dropped Tuesday afternoon, according to Clark County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Robinson.

McKay Thomas Owsley, 21, and Wil-Anthony Noble, 19, were arrested at Owsley’s apartment near Vancouver Mall Jan. 24. Both were charged with single counts of second-degree rape on Jan. 26, according to court records.

Robinson dropped the charges after he determined that there was “insufficient evidence to proceed with the case” according to court records.

The charges were dropped without prejudice, meaning the case stands ground to be reopened after further police and prosecuting investigation. 

The men confirmed they and the victim were under the intoxication of marijuana and vodka on the night of the alleged assault. The victim, 18, recalled having a “sporadic memory” of the events that transpired, according to the police report.

Noble was a freshman on Clark’s soccer team during the 2015-2016 season. Owsley was on the soccer team as a freshman during Clark’s 2014-2015 season. At the time of their arrest, Noble was enrolled at Clark but withdrew shortly after.

The prosecuting attorney said that he could not give a statement on behalf of the state.

Through his attorney, Noble gave a statement which expressed his gratitude for the support his friends and family have given him during the pendency of this matter.

It is unknown at this time whether either will return to Clark, according to Noble’s defense attorney.

Editor’s Note: Josh Brody contributed to the update on this report.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Two former Clark College soccer players appeared in Clark County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to charges of rape in the second degree on Monday morning.

McKay Thomas Owsley, 21, and Wil-Anthony Maurice Noble, 19, were arrested on Jan. 24 by Detective Barbara Knoeppel at Owsley’s apartment complex near the Vancouver Mall.

Noble was a freshman on Clark’s soccer team during the 2015-2016 season. Owsley was on the soccer team as a freshman during Clark’s 2014-2015 season.

“[Noble] has withdrawn to focus on [the trial],” said Dean of Student Success and Retention Matthew Rygg. “He has been asked to let us know if he comes on campus for any reason.”

The two were originally charged with rape in the first degree but charges were later reduced to rape in the second degree.

Washington defines second degree rape as when the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. Rape in the first degree includes the use of a deadly weapon or the infliction of serious physical injury.

According to the police report, the victim went to Owsley and Noble’s location and all three began using alcohol and marijuana.

The victim recalls having a “sporadic memory” of the events that transpired, according to the police report. She reported bruising and other physical injuries and was taken to a sexual assault nurse examiner. Noble told police that “all sexual contact with the victim was consensual.”

“One of the coaches shared the information with the athletic director and called me immediately and we developed a plan of what we were going to do,” Rygg said. “We became aware of this incident quickly.”

Director of Athletics Ann Walker said that Athletics had little hand in the disciplinary actions against Noble.

“Once there is an outcome of the criminal process and if the student wanted to return to campus, we would need to go through the code of student conduct before the student could return,” Rygg said.

“We take issues of sexual misconduct very seriously and we work quickly but thoroughly through due process to make sure the rights of the individual aren’t violated, but also that the campus is safe and students feel safe and secure to pursue their studies,” Rygg said.

Noble hails from Medical Lake, Washington and Owsley hails from Auburn, Washington. Neither received any athletic scholarship money, according to Walker.

Superior Court Judge Gregory Gonzales set bail for Noble at $100,000 and bail at $50,000 for Owsley.

A pretrial hearing is set for Mar. 1, where evidence and testimony will be reviewed and deemed permissible at the time of the trial. The trial date was set for April 25.

Josh Brody and Becca Robbins also contributed to this story.

Editor’s Note:  In keeping with the Independent’s social media policy, the Editor-in-chief has removed the comments from this story due to to their combative nature.  The public nature of a forum such as this calls for civility.  Unfortunately, that civility was not present within the comment thread.  Any questions should be directed to editorinchief@students.clark.edu.  Our full social media policy can be found here: 

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