Home » Campus » Former Ohio State running back named the suspect in rape investigation before suspension, dismissal

Former Ohio State running back named the suspect in rape investigation before suspension, dismissal

Former Ohio State running back Brian Snead (6) gets taken down as he runs past Rutgers defense in the fourth quarter of the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8, 2018. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

A former Ohio State running back and four-star recruit was suspended two days after he was listed as the suspect in a police report detailing a rape of a student in September, and later dismissed from the school for the allegations.  

Brian Snead was found by a university investigation to have violated the code of student conduct with charges of non-consensual sexual intercourse and non-consensual sexual contact, however no criminal charges were filed, Ben Johnson, Ohio State spokesman, said in an email.

Snead was dismissed from the university on Nov. 27. It was reported by Derek Young of Rivals.com that he transferred to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in January.

“Ohio State does not tolerate sexual assault,” Johnson said. “The safety and well-being of our community is our first priority. In this case, the individual was found in violation of our code of student conduct and removed from the university.”

Ohio State football spokesman Jerry Emig said the football program learned about the incident prior to the third game of the season and suspended Snead from playing in games, traveling to away games and being on the sideline at home games. He remained suspended throughout the investigation.

At the time of Snead’s suspension, head coach Urban Meyer had been reinstated for coaching during practice, but was still suspended from coaching during games. Now-head coach Ryan Day served as the interim head coach for the game against Texas Christian. Meyer and Day were requested for comment, but the university responded in their place.

The police report listing Snead as the suspect was initially redacted, but after The Lantern filed a complaint with the Ohio Court of Claims, Ohio State released an unredacted copy of the report with Snead’s name available. The victim’s name was listed as an unknown survivor.

As the No. 3 running back and No. 80 recruit overall per 247Sports Composite Rankings, Snead entered Ohio State as the program’s top running back recruit in the 2018 class and was largely expected to become the starter if J.K. Dobbins left the program for the NFL after his junior season.

The report stated that on Sept. 13, Molly Peirano, assistant compliance director and deputy Title IX coordinator at Ohio State, was contacted by an unknown person from Ohio State athletics about the case, although the victim was not the one who reported it. The alleged incident took place on Sept. 11.

Peirano told police that a female student had gone to see a friend at Worthington Building, a south campus residence hall. At night, the friend left the room and Snead was said to have entered the room, and the victim said they had non-consensual sex. No further details were provided.

The unknown person from athletics had told Peirano that the victim “wanted to ‘take action’ on the incident,” but the police report said it is “unclear what is meant by that.”

Peirano told police that she sent the victim an email requesting she contact Peirano or report the incident to the police. The victim was also sent a victim’s rights and survivor’s packet.

Snead did not travel with Ohio State to its game against TCU on Sept. 15, but returned to practice the next week. He did not appear in another game for the Buckeyes.

Johnson said in the email that Peirano contacted police directly on Sept. 13 and “provided police with all necessary information — including the survivor’s name.”

The investigation was ultimately closed because “the survivor chose not to press charges and did not want contact with police,” Johnson said in an email.

“The Title IX office works closely with OSUPD and was in contact with OSUPD on this matter to share the available information. All survivors are informed of the option to pursue a criminal investigation, and the university assists survivors in making a report when a survivor wishes to do so,” Johnson said. “The university will make a third-party report when a survivor does not want to make a criminal report after being informed of the right to report to police.”

Snead announced on Jan. 18 he would be transferring from Ohio State.

Snead did not respond to direct messages on Instagram or emails sent by the reporter for comment. He blocked the Lantern reporter on Instagram shortly after the message was sent.

Iowa Western Community College head coach Scott Strohmeier did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment.

Snead, a native of Seffner, Florida, came to Ohio State as a consensus four-star prospect from Armwood High School, after he helped lead his high school to the 6A state finals in his senior year. In Snead’s only two appearances with Ohio State in home games against Oregon State and Rutgers, he compiled 37 rushing yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown.

The police report initially provided to The Lantern on Feb. 4 had redacted both Snead’s name and any reference made to the Ohio State athletics department. After a Court of Claims filing, Ohio State provided a copy of the unredacted police report.

The university released the unredacted police report on May 14, a day before it had been required by the special master of the case to provide several records pertaining to how University Police log new police reports, systems policies and retention schedules.

On May 23, Ohio State filed its second motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the case was moot after it provided a copy of the unredacted report.

5 comments

  1. majece majecesf

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  2. This is my third attempt to post a comment. The Lantern decided that the “R” word, as in “r*p*” is nit permitted. Sad to see the official school newspaper banning free speech.

    I’ll try this message once more. The university should press charges against this athlete despite the victims unwillingness to move forward.

    • I thought about this idea, and it reminded me of cases like domestic violence where the states carries on regardless of the wishes of the victim. However I think that’s more problematic here. The university is basically the state so this would be the state pressing charges. I can’t see a sexual assault prosecution being successful without the cooperation of the survivor. Individual testimony is key to those deliberations since this is such a personal crime. So the state would never go forward because it’s impossible to prosecute successful. I agree with the sentiment but in practical terms it’s just not going to produce any results.

      • Let me add the difference with domestic violence is there is generally a police report and police witness that reinforces what happened and what was seen this substantiates a crime happened. It also tends to be a public crime that draws attention of others. Sexual assault tends not to be reported the same way and they tend to be single witness situations.

  3. It’s such smug games with simple records requests that makes the work of national reporters like Brett McMurphy all that easier.

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