Six months ago, the Boston College football team suspended Jaryd Rudolph after he was charged with violating a female student’s privacy by audiotaping her having consensual sex with his teammate in a campus suite the players shared. But Rudolph never missed a game.
With the criminal charge pending, Rudolph has played all three games this season for the Eagles. The 6-foot-4-inch, 295-pound junior, a graduate of Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, has emerged as BC’s starting defensive right tackle despite a team spokesman saying before the season that Rudolph’s football future would remain uncertain until the case was adjudicated.
The female student is hurt and angry, according to her attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. He said the woman, who is undergoing counseling because of emotional distress stemming from the incident, believes BC acted insensitively by clearing Rudolph to play and not informing her of its decision.
According to Garabedian, the woman was stunned to learn by watching a televised game that Rudolph had returned to the football field.
“With its actions, Boston College has sent a message that the school places a higher priority on football than it does with regard to respecting the privacy and private sex lives of women,’’ Garabedian said. “It sends a message that BC just doesn’t care about women who have been sexually demeaned.’’
BC football spokesman Chris Cameron indicated that when the Globe asked him last month about Rudolph’s future with the team, he was focused on the school’s disciplinary proceedings — rather than the criminal case in Brighton District Court — when he said Rudolph’s status would remain uncertain until his case was adjudicated.
BC announced in March that Rudolph, in addition to his football suspension, had been placed on university probation and ordered to undergo counseling.
University spokesman Jack Dunn said Wednesday that Rudolph’s case was judged by “experienced BC administrators who issued appropriate sanctions before reinstating him as a student. “Having met the conditions of his sanctions, he was reinstated to the football team in August. The university considers the matter closed.’’
Rudolph’s attorney, Timothy Burke, stated in a pretrial court motion that Rudolph will remain on university probation through May 2013.
“I think Boston College has acted in a completely appropriate fashion,’’ Burke said in an interview. “They have evaluated the case objectively on the facts, without emotion, and imposed the disciplinary sanction that was appropriate.’’
According to a statement by BC police, Rudolph admitted using his cell phone Feb. 15 to audiotape the sexual encounter and forward the recording to his roommate’s phone. Rudolph denied sending the recording to anyone else.
Rudolph’s roommate admitted forwarding the recording to another teammate, according to BC police, who gave no indication they were able to further track the recording. But the female student told police that six other BC athletes approached her about the tape.
Rudolph, 20, who has no criminal record, was charged with unlawful secret recording under the state’s wiretapping law. It is illegal in Massachusetts to record a person without consent.
While the incident has struck some students as little more than a dormitory prank, the female student told police she was distraught about athletes mocking and teasing her and believed her reputation had been destroyed. She reported the incident in March, leading to the criminal charge.
The woman said through Garabedian that Rudolph and other BC athletes — football and hockey players — have harassed her by making profane comments when they have passed on campus.
Rudolph, who is due back in court Sept. 28, has asked the judge to place him on three months of pretrial probation without changing his initial plea of not guilty.
Rudolph informed the court he has conferred with a school chaplain, has continued to receive counseling from a university doctor, and has completed a research paper on Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who leaped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in 2010 after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, used a webcam to secretly record him kissing another man.
Rudolph also reported completing a Roads Retreat life skills workshop at the YMCA in Sandwich. BC has described the workshop as a sanction designed for students who “have violated a number of community standards and find themselves on the brink of losing their opportunity to live on campus, or to be a member of the BC community.’’
On the field, Rudolph has had eight tackles and a sack, as BC started the season 1-2.Bob Hohler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.