UCLA’s sophomore backup punter Adam Searl has been suspended from the team indefinitely following his arrest on suspicion of rape.
On Thursday, October 8, Searl was arrested by the LAPD’s Wilshire Division after being accused of raping a woman in October 2014. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Searl was taken into custody while on campus at approximately 3:35 p.m. and was booked on three counts of rape. His bail was set at $300,000, which he posted late Thursday night. Jail records show that he was released at 10:44 p.m. Searl’s first court appearance is tentatively scheduled for October 29.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) October 9, 2015
“We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time.”
The alleged victim, also a student at UCLA, reported the assault to the LAPD on October 14, 2014. She claims she met Searl at an off-campus party in Westwood. They later went to another residence, where she fell asleep. The victim then claims she woke up later that night to find the Bruins walk-on punter sexually assaulting her. The unidentified woman was able to identify Searl as her attacker after a joint investigation by the LAPD and UCLA campus police.
The LAPD issued a statement for anyone who has any information regarding the alleged crime.
“Any additional victims or people with information about this crime are asked to call Operations West Bureau—Special Assault Section at (213) 473-0447. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.”
This is the second arrest for a UCLA football player this season, Inside UCLA reports. Defensive back Ishmael Adams was arrested in late August on suspicion of robbery. He was then suspended from the team for three games. The junior was later reinstated, when the Los Angeles district attorney declined to pursue felony charges.
According to Sporting News, Searl has punted five times this year for UCLA, with an average of 39 yards per kick. As a freshman in 2014, he punted 11 times at a clip of 39.1 yards per attempt. He previously played football for Irvine High School in his hometown of Irvine, California.
“We’re just trying to increase our punt a little bit and give Adam a shot,” Coach Jim Morasaid said prior to Searl’s arrest. “He has worked hard and has earned it.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mengel did the punting during UCLA’s first four games. However, his struggles gave Searl an opportunity.
“You can’t force it,” Mengel said of his slump. “You can’t rush it. You can’t try too hard. … You can’t go out and try to kill the ball the next time. You’ve got to clear your mind, say ‘Screw it’ and kick.”
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