San Diego State sophomore forward Jalen McDaniels has been sued in Washington civil court for allegedly filming a sexual act with a female high school classmate and sharing the video with friends.
The act allegedly occurred in 2016 while the two were seniors at Federal Way High School outside of Tacoma. A different women will also allegedly be filing a similar lawsuit against McDaniels next week using the same attorney.
According to a report from Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Federal Way police investigated the cases twice, once in 2016 and again in fall 2018, but only last month recommended two counts of voyeurism against McDaniels. The King County prosecutor declined to press charges, so the civil lawsuits appear to be the next step.
Filing attorney Joan Mell had her clients hold a news conference on Wednesday afternoon to announce the civil suit — naming McDaniels directly for the first time. Previous allegations in October and November only identified a star basketball player from Federal Way’s 2016 team, but not McDaniels directly.
The suit is asking for damages for severe emotional distress past and future.” According to Zeigler, it does not list specific monetary amounts.
“Jalen needs to figure out that women matter,” said Mell, the attorney for the two women. “It’s not about the money. If his paycheck to these women is 5 cents and he has to own the fact that it was wrong, good for him. Because that’s what needs to be heard. He needs to acknowledge that you cannot do that, and no other woman should be vulnerable or victimized by Jalen McDaniels.
“If he says he recognizes that’s wrong, he’s going to get the benefit of not dragging everybody through a long, extended process and the damages are going to be a whole lot less.”
San Diego State has released a statement saying that McDaniels will play on Wednesday night, even as McDaniels goes through an ugly case in public. The sophomore is an NBA Draft prospect as he’s putting up 14.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the Aztecs.