BY SARA TABIN
Daily Post Staff Writer
The Daily Post has received a lawsuit by a lawyer for a Stanford football player who is trying to keep legal documents about an alleged rape in Washington state under wraps.
In February, the Post filed records requests with the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle and the Clyde Hill Police Department for records about Ayden Hector, a freshman who will play for Stanford.
The King County Sheriff’s office responded on Feb. 11 by producing redacted copies of investigation records involving an alleged rape of a drunken high school girl by several boys in April 2018.
Hector committed last fall to play for Stanford. He is from Bellevue, Wash., and attended Eastside Catholic High School in Seattle, where he played cornerback.
Hector was a unanimous four-star recruit ranked No. 119 by Rivals, No. 218 by 247Sports, No. 249 by PrepStar and No. 295 by ESPN, according to his profile on GoStanford.com.
Family sues sheriff, police and newspapers
Lara Hruska, an attorney in Seattle who represents Hector’s parents, filed a lawsuit to keep the records a secret. The Post is named as a defendant along with The Seattle Times, King County and the Clyde Hill Police Department.
The lawsuit says that the records would cause unwanted scrutiny and attention to Hector and five other subjects over an “unsubstantiated crime.”
A temporary restraining order was entered by the court in Washington on Feb. 26 prohibiting the King County Sheriff’s office and the Clyde Hill Police Department from responding to any records requests relating to any sexual assault involving Hector.
However, the Post had already received documents from King County before that date.
Hector and the five others are identified in the civil suit as John Doe 1, John Doe 2, etc., to give them anonymity, although Hruska identified Hector in an email to the Post.
The lawsuit alleges that “Disclosure of any records pursuant to this PRR (public records request) suggests that John Doe 1-4, all minors at the time, were alleged rapists and would violate their right to privacy and cause substantial and irreparable damage to their reputation and right to an education.”
Lawyer says Hector was just a witness
In an email to the Post, Hruska said Hector was a witness to the alleged sexual assault.
Hruska also supplied the Post with a letter from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office stating that “… Ayden Hector was a witness in a sexual assault investigation in 2018.” The letter goes on to state that “no charges were filed” in the matter. In her email, Hruska wrote that “despite Ayden’s clear status as a witness, he has been the subject of gossip and harassment over the last two years.”
On Feb. 4, three and a half weeks before Hruska went to court to seal Hector’s records, the Post made a records request with the King County Sheriff’s Office for any documents in which Ayden Hector was a suspect.
On Feb. 11, the Sheriff’s Office sent the Post a report that mentions five mail suspects who were students at Eastside Catholic High School. Four of the suspects’ names are redacted because they were minors at the time of the alleged incident.
Sheriff’s Program Manager Bryan Nelson said the case was located while doing a name search on Ayden Hector.
The Sheriff’s Office report includes a statement from Greg Mills, the school resource officer for Newport High School in Bellevue, Wash., where the alleged victim attended school. Mills said he learned from the assistant principal that a Newport student was a possible victim of a sexual assault off school campus over a weekend.
Mills said he met with the alleged victim in April 2018. The student told him she drove around in a vehicle with six boys from Eastside Catholic High School on the evening of April 20, 2018. She said the boys had sex with her but she was not in a condition where she was able to consent because she was too drunk. She said five boys “did things to her” while a sixth watched.
The alleged victim also sent a photo to Mills from April 21 that showed bruising on her legs that happened during the alleged incident.
Incident recorded on video
She told Mills that she believed there were two videos from the incident. She said she saw part of one which somebody else got in a group Snapchat. She said that in the video she saw a boy asking her something like “‘Are you good?’ or ‘Is this good?’” The alleged victim said she responded yeah but was “obviously really drunk.”
The King County Sheriff’s Office also interviewed a female student from North Bend, Wash., who heard rumors of the alleged incident and went to the police.
That student said she heard that boys from Eastside Catholic were involved in sex acts with a 15-year-old sophomore from Newport High School. One of the suspects is named as “Ayden” in her statement. While the boys’ named had been mostly redacted from the sheriff’s report the Post received, in this instance the name “Ayden” was not redacted.
“(Redacted) and Ayden were filming the incident and asked the girl if she ‘was ok/was having fun,’” reads that student’s statement. She said the video was sent to a football groupchat and many of her friends had seen it.
The student says she was not personally involved in the incident and only heard about it from her peers.
The rest of the investigation was sent to the police in Clyde Hill, a bedroom community near Bellevue, since the alleged incident took place in their city.
The King County District Attorney’s office has not filed charges in the case.