Arizona QB Jayden de Laura settles civil lawsuit over sexual assault case from high school
Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura has agreed to settle a civil lawsuit stemming from a 2018 criminal sexual assault case that was handled in juvenile court in Hawaii.
According to a report from Hawaii News Now, de Laura and another former football player for St. Louis High School in Honolulu agreed to pay a woman who said she was raped by the two players on October 27, 2018, after a high school football game involving St. Louis. The girl was 16 years old at the time. Both de Laura and Kamo’i Latu, now a member of the Wisconsin football team, were underage at the time as well.
Latu’s attorney told Hawaii News Now the settlement is not an admission of guilt.
The first complaint was filed in December 2021. Amended complaints followed, with the most recent being filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit says de Laura and Latu were charged with second-degree sexual assault and later pleaded guilty in juvenile court. Neither received jail time. They were “required to write letters of apology,” according to the lawsuit. As the criminal case was handled in juvenile court, records are sealed.
De Laura’s attorney did not return requests for comment from the Arizona Daily Star late Wednesday and on Thursday. The University of Arizona also had not returned a request for comment to the Star at the time of publication.
It’s currently unclear if Arizona knew of the civil suit or the incident when it recruited de Laura out of the transfer portal ahead of the 2022 season.
According to the Star, private mediations began in December of 2022 and settlements by De Laura and Latu’s families were reached for undisclosed amounts as part of a privacy agreement. The case was filed in Hawaii Circuit Court which handles civil cases seeking more than $40,000.
Court documents obtained by both Hawaii News Now and the Star describe the girl as an acquaintance of de Laura and other players. The complaint says the girl received a text message from de Laura after his football game had ended “summoning her back to the second-floor stairwell of the parking garage area.”
When she met de Laura and Latu in the stairwell, it was demanded she “engage in sex with the two of them simultaneously, immediately.” When she refused, court documents say de Laura and Latu “physically overpowered” her and forced her to commit sex acts.
Court documents say de Laura choked the plaintiff, who “was sobbing uncontrollably in fear and anger.” When she refused to participate further, de Laura let her go, she returned to her mother’s car and left, the lawsuit says.
When the girl confronted de Laura via text message about the incident, de Laura admitted he and Latu sexually assaulted her and later apologized, according to court documents.
The plaintiff made a police report in December 2018 and showed police the text messages between herself and de Laura. The civil suit was later filed against the two players and against St. Louis High School, for “assault, false imprisonment, and negligence.” St Louis High School continues to fight the lawsuit, according to Hawaii News Now.
De Laura entered the NCAA transfer portal on Jan. 7, 2022, after being named the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year at Washington State. He committed to Arizona just days later. De Laura started all 12 games for the Wildcats in his first season with the team.