Arizona State linebacker Davon Durant remains suspended indefinitely following an arrest on allegations of aggravated assault and domestic violence, but the alleged victim, his girlfriend of a year and a half, told ESPN she lied to police and was not assaulted by Durant.
ASU student Kelsi Langley, who wished to be identified, said on March 7, the day of the incident, she was upset with Durant after she found messages from other girls on his phone and said she purposefully made a scene outside her apartment. Police were called by "a witness who reported observing a male hit a female while each were seated in a black Chevrolet SUV," according to the arrest report from the Tempe Police Department.
When police arrived, Langley told officers Durant hit her once in the face and grabbed her around the neck, which affected her ability to breathe, according to the report. At the scene, police identified a "small contusion and red mark beneath her left eye and several abrasions and bruising around her neck consistent with finger marks from being grabbed around the neck." She refused medical treatment.
"When I lied to the police, it was out of spite," said Langely, who attended Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, with Durant before transferring to ASU to remain near him. "I wasn't thinking. It was a very vengeful and spiteful thing to do."
Langely bailed Durant out of jail March 8 but has not spoken with him since the incident, as per the conditions of his release. The next day, Langely said she went to police to change her official statement and expressed her willingness to meet with a medical examiner to prove the marks on her neck were actually bruises from "hickeys." She said police chose not to have her meet with a medical examiner, but they did take additional photos of her neck. She also noted no pictures were taken of her face "because there was nothing irregular."
In an email, Tempe Public Information Officer Michael Pooley said Langley did go to the police station and state she lied about the initial indecent. "However, because we have independent witnesses that witnessed the assault on her and the bruising and injuries to her face and neck, [Durant] was still arrested and charged."
"[The police are] very skeptical [of my story], as anyone would be, because this happens a lot in these situations," Langely said. "You can't really tell who is being truthful, but I felt it was important to do the right thing."
Langely did not have an explanation for the witness' account of Durant hitting her.
"It really kind of shocked me," she said. "I don't know how they could have said that because if what they had said was true -- they said he grabbed the back of my head and threw it against the dashboard -- my face would have been messed up. There would have been marks on my face."
When Arizona State officials became aware of the alleged incident, Durant, who was expected to play a significant role for the Sun Devils this season, was suspended immediately, according to an ASU spokesman.
Durant was removed from the team's roster but remains enrolled at Arizona State and is expected to continue attending classes while the legal process plays out. Durant has a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.
He was not present for the Sun Devils' first day of spring practice Monday.
In a version of Durant's official Arizona State bio -- which has been removed from the school's website -- he was lauded as being "unanimously regarded as the nation's top junior college linebacker." He was ESPN.com's No. 1 junior college outside linebacker in the Class of 2015. The Greenwood, South Carolina, native transferred to Arizona State with the intent of participating in spring practice.