EWU football player pleads innocent to sexual assault charges

Suspended Eastern Washington University football player Dalis Bruce pleaded innocent Monday to a felony charge of second-degree sexual assault stemming from an Aug. 19 dormitory encounter with another student.

Bruce, 18, of Anaheim, Calif., also pleaded innocent in Spokane County Superior Court to a related charge of residential burglary.

Judge Annette Plese set trial on both charges for Nov. 26.

Bruce, who was wearing a dark suit and tie, was joined in the courtroom by several relatives from California. He was represented by attorney Bevan Maxey of Spokane.

Bruce, a wide receiver who signed a letter-of-intent with Eastern in February, is accused of sexually assaulting an EWU volleyball player early on the morning of Aug. 19, in her dormitory room in Pearce Hall.

According to court records, the victim, along with a roommate and two football players, was drinking alcohol in her dorm room on the night of Aug. 18. Bruce was not present at the time.

Documents describe her at the time as highly intoxicated, vomiting, and she was placed in bed by the others, who then left the room, but say they had checked on her several times during the evening.

According to the same records, Bruce was found on top of the victim sometime after 1 a.m. by at least four witnesses, told to get dressed and leave the room. The victim was still unconscious and unresponsive after Bruce left the room, witnesses said.

After interviewing witnesses as well as Bruce, EWU police arrested Bruce, who posted $25,000 bond the following day. Bruce was suspended that same day from the football team.

Bruce had arrived in Cheney the previous day after his academic record was approved by the NCAA.

In addition to suspension from the football team, Bruce is suspended from the university pending an investigation.

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