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Iowa State University linebacker injured girlfriend’s back by shoving her into a stairway and then raped her while she was immobilized: Police

Aidan Ralph

Aidan Ralph appears in a mugshot and his former Iowa State University football roster photo (Story County Jail; Iowa State University)

A 20-year-old linebacker and redshirt sophomore from Chicago who played football for Iowa State University has been kicked off the team after being charged with pushing a woman into a stairway and raping her while she was immobilized.

Aidan Ralph “is no longer a member of the Iowa State football program,” the school’s athletic department said in a press release issued Thursday afternoon.

Ralph was arrested Tuesday on felony sexual assault in the third degree and misdemeanor domestic violence charges, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Des Moines Register.

The victim, who knew Ralph, had gone to his house the night of Dec. 3, 2022, at his request, the complaint says. According to The Athletic, the victim in the case had been Ralph’s girlfriend for three years prior to the attack.

The alleged assault occurred when Ralph reportedly attacked the woman at around 1:00 a.m. at his residence on 17th Street in Ames, Iowa, the court document alleges. During the alleged attack, Ralph accused the woman of cheating on him and repeatedly shoved her. Eventually, the football player shoved the victim into a stairway, causing a spinal stress fracture – a severe back injury – which immobilized her, a police affidavit obtained by ESPN alleges.

After the argument and back injury, the woman reportedly removed her pants in order to relieve some of her pain and inspect the extent of the damage.

As she was incapacitated, she reportedly pleaded with Ralph to call for an ambulance, but he allegedly refused to do so. Instead, the court document says, he proceeded to lay on top of her and raped her as she cried and begged him to stop. According to local CBS affiliate KCCI, the woman told her attacker “No,” but it didn’t matter.

In their report, law enforcement officials wrote that the woman had visible swelling on her back due to the attack.

Charges in the case were formally filed on Wednesday in Story County Court. The defendant faces over 10 years in state prison.

Ralph allegedly told police that he hurt the victim, a police report says, according to The Ames Tribune. He allegedly admitted to pushing her into the stairs.

Bond in the case was initially set at $11,000 cash in the defendant’s name only. The judge also issued a no-contact order.

The defendant was being detained in the Story County Jail but he posted bail late Wednesday and is no longer listed as an inmate.

Ralph is a Chicago native who was a member of the Cyclones football team on a scholarship — though he has never played a game due to his redshirt status. When a student athlete is put on redshirt status they remain a member of their team but do not play in order to maintain their four years of playing eligibility under the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for Division I and Division II sports.

The Cyclones roster previously listed the defendant as 6-foot-3 and 220-pounds. As of Friday, his name no longer appeared there.

Ralph has been assigned a public defender.

His next court hearing is currently slated for May 15.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article had the wrong university in the headline.

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