Former UNC Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen will plead “100 percent not guilty” on Thursday to charges that he raped and punched his girlfriend, his lawyer says.
Olsen was arrested in February, then indicted in May on five charges. Those include three counts of second degree forcible rape, along with second degree forcible sexual offense, a felony also known as “forcible fondling,” and two counts of misdemeanor assault on a female. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each rape charge.
The 22-year-old, the younger brother of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, is scheduled to enter pleas Thursday morning in the Mecklenburg courthouse before Superior Court Judge Carla Archie.
Defense attorney George Laughrun told the Observer his client is “100 percent not guilty.”
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“From day one we have denied the allegations,” Laughrun said Tuesday. “Kevin denies and will continue to deny any allegation of rape or forcible conduct.”
Buffie Stephens, UNC Charlotte’s associate director for media relations, said Olsen remains suspended from the school and the football team.
Olsen was arrested Feb. 19 in connection with an incident at his apartment in University City near the UNCC campus. Olsen and his accuser were dating at the time.
According to Assistant District Attorney Kristen Northrup, Olsen and the then-23-year-old woman, a former UNCC student, went out drinking but had gotten separated. During their time apart, Olsen sent the woman a text message threatening to kill her. After the pair eventually reunited and returned to Olsen’s apartment, he remained upset about the evening and “some events in his life,” Northrup said. He grabbed a phone charger and wrapped it around his neck, threatening to kill himself.
The victim, according to Northrup, calmed Olsen down. But the argument flared again. Olsen first struck her with a pillow, then punched her in the face before sexually assaulting her three times, the prosecutor said.
When Olsen fell asleep, the woman slipped out of the apartment and called a friend, Northrup said. Police reached her at Carolinas HealthCare System University, where the woman was found to have vaginal injuries and bruising around one of her eyes, authorities say. Olsen later turned himself in.
Olsen, a one-time top high school football recruit who played for his father in New Jersey, ended the 2016 season as a backup quarterback for the 49ers. He was dismissed from the football teams at the University of Miami and Towson State due to off-field disciplinary problems involving drugs and driving under the influence. He appeared to have won the starting quarterback job at Miami in 2014 but left the team and school without playing a down.
His trial has not been scheduled.