LOS ANGELES - Southern California backup quarterback Mark Sanchez was released from jail early Thursday following his arrest for investigation of sexually assaulting a female student, police said.
Sanchez, 19, was arrested around 4 p.m. at an apartment complex near campus. He was released shortly after midnight after posting $200,000 bail, sheriff’s deputy Ban Nguyen said.
Police took DNA and hair samples from Sanchez, the Los Angeles Daily News reported, citing unnamed sources.
Sanchez met the alleged victim the apartment complex after visiting an off-campus bar, the Daily News reported, citing unnamed witnesses. The witnesses said Sanchez appeared to be drunk, the newspaper reported.
Sanchez's roommate, linebacker Brian Cushing, was detained but released, the newspaper reported.
Sanchez had been at a rape awareness workshop earlier Tuesday, the Daily News reported.
USC officials said they will temporarily suspend Sanchez while police conduct their investigation.
“The university takes charges of sexual assault seriously,” Michael Jackson, USC vice president of student affairs, said in a statement. “Depending on the facts as established by the LAPD, we will determine the appropriate action.”
USC coach Pete Carroll said he was aware of Sanchez’s arrest and that the Trojans football program would cooperate with police and “follow along with whatever action the university takes.”
Sanchez is listed on the Trojans’ depth chart as the backup to John David Booty, but was expected to battle for the starting job this fall. Booty practiced only once this spring before he injured his back and had to undergo surgery.
Sanchez, a redshirt freshman, played the recent spring scrimmage and has been practicing with the first unit.
His arrest was the latest of several brushes with the law for USC players, dating back to last year.
Cornerback Eric Wright was arrested in March 2005 at a campus apartment by officers investigating reports of an assault. The Los Angeles district attorney’s office declined to press criminal charges against Wright because of insufficient evidence.
Wright left USC amid possible disciplinary action by the school and transferred to UNLV.
Linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested Nov. 1 for allegedly punching a man at an off-campus party, but no criminal charges were filed. He sat out the first half of the game against Stanford the following weekend as punishment.
About 325 former Penn State players, among them Kerry Collins and Paul Posluszny, have signed a statement supporting the lawsuit filed by the family of former coach Joe Paterno.
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