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USC's Sanchez arrested

Backup quarterback accused of sexual assault

Posted: Wednesday April 26, 2006 10:46PM; Updated: Thursday April 27, 2006 7:19AM
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Mark Sanchez is listed behind John David Booty on the Trojans' depth chart, but is expected to battle for the starting job.
Mark Sanchez is listed behind John David Booty on the Trojans' depth chart, but is expected to battle for the starting job.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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LOS ANGELES (SI.com) -- Mark Sanchez, Southern California's backup quarterback, was arrested Wednesday after being accused of sexually assaulting a female student, police said.

"We're just learning about this," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said. "We'll cooperate fully and do whatever we can to assist. At this point, this is being handled by the University's Student Affairs office and we'll follow along with whatever action the university takes."

Sanchez, 19, was arrested around 4 p.m. at an apartment complex near campus and was being booked for investigation of sexual assault, police Officer Jason Lee said. Bail was set at $200,000. He was released shortly after midnight after posting bail, sheriff's deputy Ban Nguyen said.

"The alleged assault occurred earlier today," Lee said. The USC student reported it to police but no other details were immediately available.

Mike Jackson, USC's Vice President of Student Affairs said the university is aware of the allegations, and that Sanchez will be placed on interim suspension during the investigation.

"The university takes charges of sexual assault seriously," Jackson said."Depending on the facts as established by the LAPD, we will determine the appropriate action. In the interim, the student will be placed on interim suspension while the case is pending."

Sanchez is listed on the Trojans' depth chart as the backup to John David Booty, but is expected to battle for the starting job this fall. Booty practiced only once this spring before he injured his back and had to undergo surgery.

Sanchez played the recent spring scrimmage and has been practicing with the first unit.

He will be a redshirt freshman this coming season.

His arrest was the latest of several brushes with the law for USC players, dating back to last year.

Cornerback Eric Wright was arrested in March 2005 at a campus apartment by officers investigating reports of an assault. The Los Angeles district attorney's office declined to press criminal charges against Wright because of insufficient evidence.

Wright left USC amid possible disciplinary action by the school and transferred to UNLV.

Linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested Nov. 1 for allegedly punching a man at an off-campus party, but no criminal charges were filed. He sat out the first half of the game against Stanford the following weekend as punishment.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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