Editor’s Note: The Iowa State Daily would like to make it clear that no charges have been filed in this investigation as of the time of publication. The Iowa State Daily does not name victims of sexual violence without the victim’s explicit consent.
Content Warning: This article contains information and accusations of sexual assault. Sensitive content may follow.
Iowa State basketball player Xavier Foster, who was poised to be an integral part of the Iowa State men’s basketball team in the 2021 season, is no longer with the Iowa State men's basketball team, according to a press release from Iowa State men's basketball Friday.
The announcement comes amid an Ames Police Department investigation into an off-campus sexual assault in October 2020, of which Foster is being investigated.
“We hold our program to high standards and there are expectations that our student-athletes be accountable both on and off the court,” Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger said in a press release Friday. “After much consideration, I have decided that this is necessary as we continue to build our culture.”
Investigators collected a sample of Foster’s DNA in June, according to search warrant documents filed in district court.
Foster has not responded to requests to comment for this article.
The Iowa State Daily learned of the search warrant in June and initially contacted the athletics department, who did not have any knowledge of the ongoing investigation during the summer.
“I don’t have a comment on that,” said a representative of Iowa State men’s basketball when asked to comment on the matter in a phone call July 28. “This is the first thing I’m hearing of this.”
An 18-year-old woman reported the sexual assault on Oct. 11, 2020 when she went to Mary Greeley Medical Center, court documents show. She said the assault happened between midnight and 2 a.m. during a party at Copper Beech Apartments, in the 1700 block of South Grand Avenue. Court documents said the woman believes she was drugged because the last thing she remembered was getting into a pickup truck on campus to travel to parties.
Court documents say the woman met Foster at the Copper Beech party but doesn’t remember anything that happened there. The next morning, the woman woke up in a Copper Beech apartment, pants unzipped and missing her underwear and left shoe, according to court documents. She also couldn’t find her phone or identification.
The woman was told by another person at the same party that she was hanging out with Foster, according to court documents. The woman spoke with Foster through SnapChat and FaceTime with Foster, where she found out she had gone behind a dumpster with him and performed oral sex, according to court documents.
Foster allegedly claimed to the woman that she had wiped his semen on her, according to the court documents.
“Xavier made a comment to (the woman) while they were on FaceTime saying he hoped she was on birth control because she wiped it all over herself,” the court documents say.
The woman isn’t sure if anything else happened, according to court documents. A Mary Greeley nurse completed and collected a sexual assault kit, which can include immediate care, an examination and mandatory reporting, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
The Ames Police Department executed a search warrant to collect an oral DNA sample from Foster on June 23 to compare it with DNA found on the woman, according to court documents.
Ames Police Cmdr. Jason Tuttle, who said he couldn’t give out specifics when initially contacted in the summer on the case as it is ongoing, said generally speaking the department will gather evidence and statements and coordinate with the victim and Story County Attorney on future action.
“As with any case, we will gather all the evidence and try to take statements from everyone involved,” Tuttle said. “Generally, if the victim still wants to pursue things, we will sit down with the county attorney's office and make a determination on if we have probable cause to file charges.”
The DNA sample was sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, Tuttle told the Daily.
“We don't treat athletes any differently whenever we investigate cases and ... we want to honor first and foremost what victims want done in investigations, and then obviously we have to also honor, you know, the rights of people that are accused in investigations as well,” Tuttle said.
Foster, a former four-star recruit ranked as the No. 70 overall recruit nationally by 247Sports composite, is listed as the eighth-highest ranked Cyclone recruit in program history by 247Sports composite.
After playing in seven games last season, Foster, a redshirt freshman, had season-ending foot surgery on Jan. 11.
With expected rehab and time needed to get back on the court this year, Otzelberger was asked about Foster in media availability on Wednesday. But he told reporters Foster was not available to practice yet.
“He hasn’t been available for practice yet due to some, some, medical and health things that I probably can’t discuss unfortunately," Otzelberger told reporters Wednesday.
Despite Otzelberger's message to reporters on Wednesday, Foster has been shown in multiple promotional social media videos of summer workouts and practices.
Foster, an Oskaloosa, Iowa, native, averaged 4.0 points in 7.8 minutes in his limited action last season and was expected to be a major contributor to the Cyclones' 2021-22 efforts.
This article will be updated as more information is made public.