LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- After a more than six-month investigation, the New Mexico Attorney General's office has charged three former New Mexico State Men's Basketball players with multiple felony sex crimes, that's according to court documents.
The three players charged Thursday by the New Mexico Third District Court in Las Cruces are Kim Aiken Jr., Deshawndre Washington and Doctor Bradley. Aiken Jr. was charged with 11 felonies which would be up to 24 years in prison, while Bradley and Washington were charged with 13 which would be up to 27 years in prison.
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office told ABC-7, four people made allegations that lead to the chargers. That doesn't necessarily mean they were the only victims. As we know from two lawsuits there are at least five alleged victims.
"No matter the outcome of the criminal trial, hopefully a conviction, they're never the same when you go through that kind of trauma that kind of experience," New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez said.
"The amount of pain they have suffered, humiliation, degradation, shame, embarrassment it's tremendous and of course this can not right that or make it end," Attorney for the plaintiffs Joleen Youngers said.
Aiken was charged with one count of second degree criminal sexual penetration (aided or abetted by another), five counts of false imprisonment, three counts of fourth degree criminal sexual contact (aided or abetted by another) and one count each of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual contact (aided or abetted by another) and false imprisonment - conspiracy.
Bradley and Washington were each charged with one count of second degree criminal sexual penetration (aided or abetted by another), five counts of false imprisonment, five counts of fourth degree criminal sexual contact (aided or abetted by another), and one count each of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual contact (aided or abetted by another) and false imprisonment – conspiracy.
If the players are convicted of the second degree criminal sexual penetration charge, they would also be required to register as a sex offender.
None of the three players are at anyway involved with the NMSU Men's Basketball program or the school anymore, but according to an Attorney General spokesperson, the three players will be requested to attend the arraignment Nov. 22nd in Las Cruces. Torrez told ABC-7 they intend to try all three of the players together, but that could change.
As reported by ABC-7 the Attorney General's office first started investigating for criminal charges back in April after the Doña Ana District Attorney Gerald Byers handed the case over. The criminal charges are part of a Grand Jury Indictment. These are the only charges the Attorney General's office felt comfortable filing and that they would be able to get a conviction on. But if new evidence comes up more charges could follow.
It's the first time criminal charges have been filed against anyone involved in the 2022-23 NMSU team but all three players have now had two lawsuits filed against them, one which settled for $8 million dollars the other is still ongoing, according to the Las Cruces Sun News. A Title IX investigation also found the three players responsible for sexual misconduct.
The AG's office is now starting a civil investigation into the institution to look into how this happened and make a road map to ensure it never happens again.
"Somehow student athlete's were treated differently and exceptions were made in the pursuit of of trying to win and trying to recruit people and that led to a place where standards started to erode," Torrez said. "Then the broader question is who else knew or should have known about what was going on and what steps should have been taken."
"Could it have been stopped sooner had there been greater over site and institutional control my clients and I agree it could have and should have," Youngers said.
The sexual assault allegations within the program first came to light back in February when one player, now known as Deuce Benjamin, filed a police report against Bradley, Washington and Aiken Jr. Those allegations saw the program shutdown for the remainder of the season, then head coach Greg Heiar fired and now this season an entirely new coaching staff and team.
"I don't think it makes it easier at all, I think it's part of a process of people being held accountable. I'm just so proud that Deuce had the courage to speak up. It only would have got worse," William Benjamin the father of Deuce said.
It was the second scandal to rock the NMSU program in a matter of months. Back on Nov.19th, 2022, then NMSU player Mike Peake shot and killed 19-year-old Brandon Travis in self defense.
Doctor Bradley was added to the Nicholls State Men's Basketball team amid the sexual assault accusations against him, the Athletic Director on Thursday told ABC-7 he is no longer part of the team.
Meanwhile former head coach Greg Heiar is now the head coach at JUCO school Mineral Area College. Aiken Jr. and Washington are not playing college basketball this season.
ABC-7 has reached out to NMSU for comment and they declined to comment.