Tristen Wallace began his college days at the University of Oregon with dreams of eventually playing in the NFL. But shortly into his college career, he was accused by two women of rape and expelled. Police and the Lane County District Attorney’s Office opened an investigation, but evidence strongly indicated that Wallace was innocent, and so he was never charged with a crime.
As the North Dallas Gazette reported, the first accuser sent text messages to Wallace after their sexual encounter saying she was “glad she spent the night.” She also asked if Wallace was dating anyone else and told him she wanted to see him again when he returned from a road trip with the football team. Wallace agreed to see her again and she replied, “Yaaaay, you better not break it.”
But Wallace chose not to pursue a relationship with that woman. During the investigation, a friend of this accuser told investigators that the woman became angry when Wallace stopped answering her messages.
Wallace says that he never had sexual intercourse with the second accuser, even though she accused him of rape. He said they did engage in sexual activity, and a friend of this second accuser told investigators that the accuser had said “We just made out and did other stuff.” In her police report, however, the second accuser claimed Wallace raped her three times over the course of several hours at two separate locations.
Wallace, according to the Gazette, noted that the second accuser drove him home the next morning and also continued to text him after their encounter. He said she made it clear she wanted to date him, but again, he did not pursue the relationship further.
The Gazette also noted that the timing of the complaints was suspicious. The encounter with the first accuser occurred on September 12, 2016, while the encounter with the second accuser occurred on September 22, 2016.
“Despite the time between the two incidents, and a period of weeks afterwards, the two women filed their reports on consecutive days: with the first approaching authorities on Oct. 4, and the second on Oct. 5. This raises the obvious question as to whether the two women in the close-knit college community became aware of each other, and if that had a bearing on their decision to make these allegations,” the outlet reported.
No charges were filed against Wallace, with the official reason being “insufficiency of evidence.” Investigators said the issue of “consent” was the main reason they couldn’t prosecute.
Wallace decided to transfer to Prairie View A&M and move on from the incident, but he soon discovered his transcript said he had a “sexual misconduct” mark on it. Wallace sued, since he wasn’t charged with a crime and the school ignored evidence that he may have been falsely accused. The mark was removed from his transcript.
This, the Gazette noted, led to media outlets claiming Wallace had made a “secret deal” to hide his crimes, which wasn’t true, as nothing about the decision was hidden.
In June, Wallace released a lengthy statement detailing his side of the story and how the questionable accusations have ruined his chances at an NFL career:
I strongly and vehemently asserted in 2016 and continue to assert today in 2021 that I have never sexually assaulted any female. Furthermore, I have never been arrested for or charged with any criminal offense. The false allegations of sexual assault were fully and thoroughly investigated by the University of Oregon Police Department and the Lane County District Attorney’s Office who both chose not to arrest or prosecute me due to the “insufficiency of the evidence“ after interviewing the accusers and at least eight (8) witnesses and reviewing the credible evidence of the text message exchanges between myself and the accusers before, and more importantly, after the consensual encounters.
Wallace was able to participate in tryouts for the NFL, and he did well, according to his agent, John Biggins.
“Tristen measured at 6’2.5” and 235 lbs., ran a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash with a vertical jump of 37 inches which is very rare at that size and weight for an NFL receiver,” Biggins said. “It shows superb speed, power and explosiveness for a big guy and would compare with any top-drafted receivers with similar size in previous drafts.”
Biggins also said he and Wallace were contacted by 10-15 scouts ahead of the NFL draft, who expressed interest in the wide receiver. Biggens said one scout told him that Wallace had the second-best performance of those tryouts, behind Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond, who was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 3rd Round.
The problem for the scouts, Biggens said, was the “false sex assault allegations” against his client. Had it not been for those hanging over Wallace, he may have been drafted.