SDSU's No. 2 scorer Jalen McDaniels accused of recording sex acts, distributing videos without consent

·3 min read
Two women say they have attempted suicide after Jalen McDaniels allegedly distributed video of sex acts without their knowledge. (Getty)
Two women say they have attempted suicide after Jalen McDaniels allegedly distributed video of sex acts without their knowledge. (Getty)

San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels stands accused of recording sex acts with two women without their consent and distributing the videos.

One of the women announced a civil suit against McDaniels on Wednesday seeking damages for his alleged actions.

The plaintiff’s attorney Joan Mell told The San Diego Union-Tribune she expects to file a separate invasion of privacy suit against McDaniels and Federal Way High School next week.

McDaniels allegedly recorded sex acts with cell phone

McDaniels allegedly used his cell phone to record the sex acts without his partners’ consent in 2016 when he was a star at Federal Way, just outside of Tacoma, Washington.

Gwen Gabert, now 20 and the plaintiff in the suit, says she told police about the alleged recordings, but charges weren’t filed.

“When I came forward, the reason he didn’t get in trouble was because he was an athlete. People didn’t want to hurt his career,” Gabert told USA Today. “I wasn’t valued at all.”

McDaniels accused of sharing videos on social media

McDaniels allegedly shared the videos on social media and among his high school teammates via group chat.

Federal Way basketball coach Jerome Collins stands accused of knowing about the allegations and failing to notify authorities in a $3.5 million tort claim filed by McDaniels’ alleged second victim, 19-year-old Tally Thomas, according to the Union-Tribune.

“Jalen is aware of this investigation,” McDaniels’ attorney Jeremy Warren told the Union-Tribune. “In fact, it has gone on for a couple years. The police have looked at it twice, and the D.A.’s office has rejected any criminal charges. He looks forward to his day in court. Right now, he’s focused on being the best student and human being he can be.”

SDSU’s response

SDSU acknowledged the lawsuit in a statement noting that there would be no disciplinary action against McDaniels while Washington authorities investigate. McDaniels, a sophomore forward, is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 14.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

“San Diego State University and SDSU Athletics take all allegations of misconduct seriously,” the statement reads. … “An investigation completed by local municipal authorities in Washington state concerning the events that preceded the current student-athlete’s enrollment at the University resulted in no charges. At this time, there will be no change in the individual’s status at the University. The University will continue to monitor the situation.”

Gabert and Thomas have both previously gone public with their allegations, but McDaniels was not identified until they announced legal action on Wednesday.

Alleged victims have attempted suicide

Both women told the Union Tribune that they have experienced anxiety and depression and have attempted suicide. Thomas received a scholarship to play softball at Stanford, but has since left school, according to the Union-Tribune.

“I did nothing wrong,” Gabert told the Union-Tribune. “I have consequences for the choice I made on my 18th birthday. I should have been able to make those choices and trust Jalen without having consequences that led me to almost take my life and still to this day be traumatized by what he did.”

Editor’s note: A previous Getty image misidentified Jalen McDaniels in an earlier version of this story. We have corrected the image.

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