LSU sprinter accused of raping woman at off-campus party _lowres

Nethaneel Joseph Mitchell-Blake

An All-American sprinter on LSU’s track team was arrested Sunday after a woman told investigators he raped her at an off-campus party.

Nethaneel Joseph Mitchell-Blake, 20, was booked into Parish Prison early Monday on a count of forcible rape. Mitchell-Blake remained jailed Monday afternoon in lieu of a $100,000 bail.

An 18-year-old woman told investigators that Mitchell-Blake raped her early Sunday at his University Crescent apartment complex on Burbank Drive near Jennifer Jean Drive. Mitchell-Blake told deputies the sex was consensual, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest documents.

The woman told deputies she asked Mitchell-Blake where the bathroom was in his residence at some point during a party. When she came out of the bathroom, according to her statement to deputies, Mitchell-Blake was waiting for her. He then led her into his bedroom, where the two began kissing, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

The woman told investigators that Mitchell-Blake started pulling at her clothes, at which point she told him that she did not want to have sex. The woman pushed him several times, she told deputies, but Mitchell-Blake persisted and allegedly raped her.

The woman told deputies she had several alcoholic drinks at the party.

Mitchell-Blake told detectives he did not rape the woman, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

He told them that after he showed her the location of the bathroom, the two began kissing before wandering into the bedroom. There, they engaged in consensual sex, he told deputies.

Mitchell-Blake told detectives that the woman did not say “no” multiple times and that she did not resist him. He also told them she said “no” at one point but then later changed her mind and said “yes,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Mitchell-Blake told detectives he did not consume any alcohol at the party, and he was unsure if the woman had consumed any.

An LSU spokesman, Ernie Ballard, released the following statement Monday afternoon regarding the incident: “We are aware that the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation about an off-campus incident. We are awaiting more information, but we want to reiterate that LSU has zero tolerance for any criminal activity.”

Mitchell-Blake, a native of England, joined LSU’s track team in the fall of 2012 after sprinting at Jamaica College, an all-boys high school in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2013 and 2014, he earned All-SEC and All-American honors as a 4x100 meter relay sprinter, according to his biography on the school’s website.

Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter, @_BenWallace.