Rape trial set for Dec. 11


Staff And Wire Reports

A former SDSU basketball player will stand trial next week for criminal charges stemming from an alleged rape on campus last December.

Andre Gilbert, 20, is set to appear in Brookings County Circuit Court Dec. 11 on one count of first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree rape. Each count carries a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

A Brookings County grand jury indicted Gilbert and Mohamed Berte, also a former SDSU basketball player, in June.

Berte, 23, is charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree rape and one count of sexual contact. The first three counts are felonies that are each punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The fourth count is a misdemeanor that has a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Berte is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 29.

Both men pleaded innocent to the charges. Neither is currently enrolled at SDSU.

The indictments followed an investigation that began after a female student reported the two men had raped her. In a protection order filed against the men in January, the woman said Gilbert and Berte entered her Binnewies Hall room and raped her on Dec. 15.

They were consequently suspended from the men’s basketball team.

After their suspension, both men obtained their own protection orders against the woman, saying she had made sexual advances toward them. All three protection orders were dismissed last week, according to the clerk’s office.

In November, Gilbert’s attorney Justin Hyde asked to delay the trial, stating in court documents that December was a busy time for students who may be called to testify. Brookings County State’s Attorney Clyde Calhoon argued against the motion. He said the female student had already rearranged her final exam schedule to be available for the trial. Judge Rodney Steele denied Hyde’s motion.

Gilbert’s home address is Brooklyn Park, Minn., and Berte hails from the Ivory Coast.