VERMILLION, S.D. | Two University of South Dakota football players on Thursday pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in a teammate's bedroom.
Danny Rambo Jr., 21, of Donaldsonville, Georgia, pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape and Dale Williamson Jr., 21, of Texarkana, Texas, pleaded not guilty to attempted second-degree rape in connection with an Oct. 22 incident at an off-campus residence in Vermillion.
Williamson also pleaded not guilty to second-degree rape for a March 3 incident involving another woman.
Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering scheduled an April 9 trial for Rambo and Williamson. Williamson was scheduled to stand trial on April 30 in the second case.
Both players are accused of entering a room while their teammate Adam Harris was having sex with a woman and sexually assaulting her.
According to an affidavit filed in Clay County Circuit Court, Rambo approached the victim from behind without her knowing and inserted his fingers into her vagina. The victim stopped him and he left the room.
Williamson twice tried to force the victim to perform a sex act with him, the affidavit said, and on one of those occasions grabbed the woman by the hair on the back of her head. The victim told Harris to tell Williamson to leave the room. Williamson re-entered the room and was again told to leave.
During police interviews, Rambo admitted to touching the victim, the affidavit said. Williamson denied any involvement and said he was not in the room.
Rambo, a junior defensive back who had started the first seven games this season, and Williamson, a sophomore backup defensive back, both were suspended from the team prior to its Oct. 28 game against Southern Illinois and did not play for the remainder of the season, which ended Saturday when the Coyotes lost 54-42 to Sam Houston State in the second round of the national playoffs.
Harris, a senior starting defensive back and team captain from Clearwater, Florida, also was suspended from the team. He has not been arrested.
USD athletic department administrators and coaches have said they can not discuss the investigation.