Charlotte 49er quarterback Kevin Olsen, charged Sunday with rape and other crimes, threatened to strangle himself with a phone charger moments before sexually assaulting his accuser, a Mecklenburg County prosecutor said in court Monday morning.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Olsen was freed on $103,000 bond at 4 p.m. Monday, charged with three counts of felony second-degree forcible rape, communicating threats, assault on a female and second-degree sex offense (forcible fondling). The incident occurred at 3:30 a.m. Sunday at Olsen’s apartment in University City, near the UNC Charlotte campus, according to Assistant District Attorney Kristen Northrup. Olsen and his accuser were dating, authorities said.
Olsen, 22, is the brother of Carolina Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen.
Kevin Olsen, with his other brother Chris alongside, turned himself in to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on Sunday afternoon and spent Sunday night in jail. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each rape charge. His arrest marked the second time in little more than week that a UNCC student has been accused of second-degree rape.
Deputies brought Olsen, who wore an orange jail jumpsuit, into the courtroom just after 10 a.m. Monday. As his parents sat a few rows behind him, Olsen stood expressionless beside his defense attorney, occasionally flicking his blonde bangs out of his eyes. Across the courtroom, Northrup read details of the charges to Mecklenburg District Judge Gary Henderson.
After the hearing, Olsen attorney George Laughrun said his client “denies 99 percent of what was read in court.”
According to Northrup, Olsen and the 23-year-old woman went out drinking Saturday night but had gotten separated. During their time apart, Northrup said, Olsen sent the woman a text message threatening to kill her.
Eventually, the pair reunited and used Uber to get back to Olsen’s apartment early Sunday morning. There, Northrup said, Olsen remained upset about the evening “and some events in his life.” He grabbed a phone charger and wrapped it around his neck, threatening to kill himself, the prosecutor said.
The victim, according to Northrup, calmed Olsen down. But the argument flared up again. Olsen first struck her with a pillow, then punched her in the face, Northrup said.
He then assaulted her three times, Northrup said, with the victim crying at some point during the attack.
When Olsen fell asleep, the woman slipped out of the apartment and called a friend, Northrup said. Police reached her at Carolinas HealthCare System University, where the woman was found to have vaginal injuries and bruising around one of her eyes.
Olsen’s case was the first one called in Courtroom 4130, which was holding hearings on a lengthy docket of domestic violence and other assault cases. Men sat on the left side of the room, women on the right. Olsen’s parents, Chris and Sue Olsen, sat across the main aisle from each other, separated by a divider.
Olsen, a one-time top high school football recruit who played for his father in New Jersey, ended the last season as a backup quarterback for UNCC. He has been suspended from the football team and will move back in with his parents, Laughrun told the judge.
Olsen has been drummed off of the football teams at the University of Miami and Towson State due to off-field disciplinary problems including drugs and driving under the influence. He appeared to have won the starting quarterback job at Miami in 2014 but left the team and school without playing a down.
A UNCC spokeswoman said Monday that Olsen remains an enrolled student, protected by privacy laws. The university said it is “reviewing the case consistent with its disciplinary procedures.”
Earlier this month, UNCC student Joshua Alford was charged with second-degree rape involving a fellow student he met at an off-campus party. Alford’s attorney says he is innocent.
At nearby Davidson, the January arrest of a varsity baseball player on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge involving a fellow student set off campus demonstrations and criticism of how that school handles assault complaints.
Laughrun said Olsen remains “confident in the judicial process and looks forward to his day in court.”
“There are two sides to every story,” he added.