Warning: This article contains graphic content.
A UC Santa Barbara student says that Associated Students President-elect Daevionne Beasley sexually assaulted him in 2018, when both men were freshmen, an allegation that Beasley has denied.
The male student, a third-year who spoke to the Nexus on the condition of anonymity to protect his privacy, said Beasley had taken him back to Beasley’s dorm room after a party on Feb. 23, 2018, where Beasley had reached into the student’s pants and groped him when he was too drunk to consent.
Two of the student’s friends told the Nexus that they recall the student telling them the next morning that Beasley had made him feel uncomfortable.
The student shared emails showing that he has been in contact with the campus’s Title IX Office over the past two months and is in the process of filing a complaint against Beasley.
After rumors about Beasley’s alleged inappropriate behavior spread earlier this month, a second-year student started a petition to demand a special election to remove Beasley from the position of A.S. president.
Beasley, who currently serves as the external vice president for statewide affairs and is scheduled to be sworn in as A.S. president on Wednesday, has strenuously denied the student’s allegation. Beasley said the two did not have any sexual encounter in his dorm room that night and has welcomed a Title IX investigation into his behavior.
Beasley has called the rumors about his behavior “lies” and said, in a statement to the Nexus, “these false accusations are doing far more than just threatening my presidency; they are attempting to undermine every aspect of my humanity.”
He did not answer many of the specific questions posed by the Nexus about the claims in this article, saying he wanted the Title IX Office to investigate them and that UCSB administrators had “advised party leaders to respect the confidential investigative process of Title IX.”
The student making the allegations said that after the party in 2018, Beasley had insisted on taking him back to Beasley’s dorm room in Anacapa Residence Hall, where Beasley gave him clothes to wear because the student had thrown up and someone had spilled alcohol on him.
The student said he was conscious of what was happening as Beasley began touching him, including under his pants, but that he was close to “blacking out.”
“You know things are happening, but you’re kind of like, at least for me, ‘I’m just gonna let it happen,’ like my body is tired,” the student said, describing his state at the time.
“He started to feel me up, and I really remember him going under my clothes and stuff,” the student said. “I think he might’ve asked me at some point, ‘Oh, like, is this okay?’ But again, all I could do was grunt.”
“I guess he took that as a yes.”
The student said he thinks Beasley may have believed he was acting appropriately, but that the student’s intoxicated state should have made it clear that he was not able to consent.
Both Beasley and the student said Beasley’s two roommates were in the room with them that night. Beasley provided their names and contact information, and the two initially agreed to speak to the Nexus, but one later declined, saying he did not want to interfere with a Title IX investigation, and the other stopped responding to inquiries.
Beasley also provided the names of two other students who he said were with him and the student on the night of the party, but they also declined to speak to the Nexus after initially agreeing to do so. One said she was declining to speak “out of my respect for Daevionne’s wishes.”
Two friends of the student making the accusation said the student had told them, as they discussed the previous night in a dorm room the next morning, that Beasley had made him feel uncomfortable.
One of those friends, a third-year art history major who asked to be identified only by her initials, S.K., said she remembered the student telling them that Beasley had touched him inappropriately the night before.
According to S.K., the student told the two that he had tried to tell Beasley “no,” but that he was so drunk, it was difficult to get the words out.
The other friend, a third-year film and media studies major, said she remembered less about what the student had told her and S.K., but that she remembered him describing an uncomfortable experience with Beasley.
The film and media studies major also said she was with the student on the night of the party and had questioned whether Beasley should take him back to campus, given that the student was “almost sloppy and slurring” because of how drunk he was.
The same friend provided text messages from a week later that showed that the student felt uncomfortable about the idea of being alone with Beasley.
“Erghhh imma try and not b alone with him,” the student texted her on March 2, 2018, after she told him that Beasley had invited her and her friends to a party.
Later that night, when the student texted the same friend and said he was walking home alone through I.V., the woman suggested that he call Beasley. The student wrote in a text that he didn’t want to because “it creeps me out what happened last time i drank with him.”
The student told the Nexus that he confronted Beasley in person about a year later, in February 2019, and said he was “still not okay” with what had happened, referencing the dorm room encounter the previous February. The student said he told Beasley that “what he did was wrong and assault.”
Beasley told the Nexus last month that he believed the student was referring to an earlier incident, in January 2018, in which the two had a sexual encounter while they were both drunk at a UCSB-affiliated conference.
After the confrontation, Beasley reached out to the student, saying that the confrontation was “a little hostile,” but that he hoped to speak with the student further.
“Anyways, I’ve been thinking about what you said, and while I don’t necessarily feel the same way as you did about the situation, I still want to learn why you feel that way,” Beasley wrote in identical messages sent over text and Facebook Messenger, which both parties provided.
“If an apology is needed, then I’d gladly do so 100%,” he continued. “I don’t want anyone in their life to feel violated or neglected or any range of emotions you might have been or are currently feeling.”
The Nexus began investigating claims against Beasley after receiving an anonymous email on April 17 that was also sent to The Bottom Line and the two campus political parties: Isla Vista Party (IVP) and Campus United (CU). Beasley has run with CU for the last two years.
The student, who subsequently came forward to the Nexus, said he was not involved with the letter and does not know who sent it. The Nexus has not been able to identify the sender; the message was sent using Gmail’s confidential email service and could not be replied to.
IVP leadership later published a copy of the letter on its social media platforms on May 2, just over a week after the election ended. Justice Dumlao, a member of the IVP leadership, said the party was not involved with sending the anonymous email.
Dumlao said party leaders had interviewed Beasley as a potential party candidate for A.S. Senate in the spring of 2018, but decided not to slate him after a woman had relayed the sexual encounter that the student had with Beasley at the UCSB-affiliated conference.
The student told the Nexus that what had happened at the conference was consensual, but “creepy.”
“I began the encounter willing, but quickly began to feel uncomfortable and like I was about to pass out,” he said in an email. “Back then I felt that I should be polite so I didn’t say no right away but it was clear that I was extremely drunk.”
Following IVP’s publication of the anonymous letter, Izzy Mitchell, a second-year communications and economics double major, created a petition to recall Beasley from his position. Mitchell said she is not affiliated with IVP or CU.
Mitchell’s petition would need signatures from 10% of students who voted in the Spring 2020 presidential race, which amounts to 542 students, before it would be presented to the A.S. Senate. Then, two-thirds of senators would need to vote in favor of holding a recall election for it to happen.
The petition has over 600 signatures as of Sunday, according to Mitchell. It is unclear how many of those signatures are from students who voted in the presidential election.
Beasley said that he respects students’ right to ask for his recall, but that he has no intention of stepping down. Doing so, he said, would only “affirm these lies.”
Leaders of CU, the party that slated Beasley, said in a Facebook post that they would abide by the results of the Title IX investigation, saying that if “these accusations are proven true” after the investigation, they have “every intention” of disaffiliating with Beasley and calling on him to resign.
“However, we will not irresponsibly discuss unproven allegations,” the party wrote in the statement, “and will not punish anyone based on unsubstantiated claims.”
Mitchell said she agreed Beasley has a right to due process but remained frustrated that most students did not know about the claims against Beasley until after voting ended, despite the anonymous letter being sent to both campus political parties and newspapers.
“I was very frustrated that it is very clear that these emails were sent out to Campus United, to Daily Nexus and Isla Vista Party, and I felt like it was not okay as leaders of our institution to deny the public the right to know that there is something going on,” Mitchell said.
“It is not fair to the student body that after they voted, that this has come up,” she added.
[Updated 7:20 p.m.]: This article has been updated to include the number of signatures on the petition as of Sunday.