Xavier Eaglin '19 speaks in a now-deleted Cornell Athletics YouTube video.

Xavier Eaglin '19 speaks in a now-deleted Cornell Athletics YouTube video.

August 15, 2017

Charges Dismissed Against Former Cornell Basketball Player Accused of Sexual Assault

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The sexual assault charges brought against former Cornell basketball forward Xavier Eaglin ’19 in March 2016 have been dismissed.

After more than a year had elapsed since the charges were filed, Eaglin successfully moved to have his charges dismissed in April 2017. All photos of him and fingerprints taken after his arrest will be destroyed or returned to him, and all records of his arrest will be sealed, according to court documents.

Eaglin was charged and arrested by Cornell University Police Department on March 6, 2016 for charges including first degree rape and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. The alleged sexual assault took place in February of that year.

“We are just thankful justice prevailed and that we can start repairing our lives,” said Eaglin’s mother Clara Eaglin.

Although Eaglin no longer faces criminal charges, he will not be able to return to Cornell. After his arrest, Eaglin was dismissed from the basketball team and banned from campus. He spent seven days in jail before he was bailed out by his parents and then returned home to Texas, where he has since continued education at a local junior college.

The alleged assault, which drew widespread media attention, came within weeks of sexual assault charges against Wolfgang Ballinger ’17. In April, Ballinger was sentenced to six years of probation.

The Tompkins County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • he dindu

    It’s racist to accuse black people of sexual assault you know

  • A Concerned Citizen

    A year ago, commenters on early articles about this young man were eager to pillory him and brand him with a scarlet “R” based solely on allegations. Even then there were questions about the veracity of the charges — an ongoing relationship between this man and his alleged “victim”, including social media expressions of affection, etc. Now, his life is in shambles and his chance at graduating from Cornell is done, even as it appears he is possibly innocent or, at the very least, there is so little evidence of guilt the prosecutor felt it was prudent to dismiss charges without any plea deal in place. It will be interesting to see if he files a civil lawsuit against his accuser and/or Cornell.

    • Concerned parent

      He should file civil charges!

  • Kay Joseph

    This is really sad. You guys jumped to conclusions and mess up his career. We never believe this Valdectorian, fine young man was capable of this. Really Really sad. I hope you guys learned something from this. Really sad!!!

    • mma_ko

      Yeah, he’s practically an altar boy. Give me a break.

  • Mark Cook

    Xavier, I am desperately sorry. I would like to see some apologies as well from those who were only too happy to presume guilt in what was from the start a ridiculously dubious case. I’d hate to leave my civil liberties in the hands of any of them.

    That includes the editors of the Sun (who, in a bizarre episode, even found space to impugn your basketball skill), and the appalling characters who wrote comments on earlier articles.

    Cornell authorities should apologize and readmit you: they lost an excellent academic and athletic talent. Failing that, I hope you sue the bejasus off the University.

    As a Cornellian who once worked on the Sun, I am ashamed.

    • mma_ko

      Cornell probably got him off.

  • A person with more questions

    Additional reporting would be useful to discuss:

    1. Did an assault take place?

    2. If so, are the police looking for a different suspect (that is to say, someone who is comfortable committing sexual assault is still wandering around the campus)?

    3. What of the victim of the assault (if there was an assault)?

    4. What changed the prosecutors’ minds about the case?

  • Elle

    Reread first Sun story where CU police refer to confession and taped conversation where confession also took place- were these not true ? or were charges dismissed for another reason?
    Facts before assumptions is my mantra? Never rush to judgement on anything unless you are certain of facts-

  • Knows_Law

    It is more likely than not that he did it (51%). It is not beyond a reasonable doubt that he did it (99%). That is why he is being punished with losing the privilege of attending Cornell, but not punished with a criminal sentence. This tiered system of burdens of proof is a fundamental aspect of the US criminal/civil justice system. Split outcomes like this (failed criminal cases, but successful civil remedies) are extremely common in sexual assault cases, where there is rarely non-circumstantial evidence to raise persuasiveness from 51% to 99%. For a pop culture example of this dichotomy, recall OJ.

    • Mark Cook

      Knows_Law, with all due respect, you do not know the law. Or the facts. It is amazing that people write the kind of stuff you have written here.

    • Ronan

      If you are going to quote the law, there are three levels of proof:Preponderance of Evidence (50% + ), clear and convincing evidence (75%) and then beyond a reasonable doubt (99%). On the civil side in court the preponderance is fair, but the accused gets to cross- examine and introduce evidence that contradicts the accuser; in Title XIX cases on the campuses, there should two requirements: Clear and Convincing thresh hold along with cross examination and right for attorneys to participate, AND a requirement to submit the information to law enforcement for possible charges.

      When you realize in this age of digital information and immediate access on social media to charges, the repercussions of false allegations requires better than the he said-she said level of preponderance of evidence that is used on campuses today…

    • mma_ko

      Cornell didn’t want the stigma. Likely reached a settlement with the poor victim to keep this out of the media.
      Racial favoritism?