Woman in Metrodome sex incident says she was victim
By DOUGLAS BURNS
Friday, November 28, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS – While police say a high-profile indecent conduct case in the Minneapolis Metrodome Saturday is closed, a Carroll woman involved in it told the Daily Times Herald she believes she was a victim of foul play rather than a willing collaborator.
Lois K. Feldman, 38, of Carroll, and Ross M. Walsh, 26, of Linden, were ticketed for indecent conduct after they were reportedly caught engaging in sexual activity in a Metrodome men’s restroom handicapped stall during the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers game with the Iowa Hawkeyes. More than a dozen people in the restroom were cheering Feldman and Walsh by the time authorities arrived, a University of Minnesota Police report says.
Feldman acknowledged drinking heavily before the game and says she doesn’t remember being in the bathroom.
“I would never ever do that,” Feldman said. “My kids are my life. I go to church every Sunday.”
Information obtained in police reports and during an interview with University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness revealed no suggestion or evidence that the incident was anything but consensual on the part of both Walsh and Feldman.
But Feldman tells the Daily Times Herald she may have been drugged or otherwise victimized.
“Everybody thinks something got put in my drink,” Feldman said.
She offers no further details as to how that might have happened or who may have been involved.
“Right, and that’s what my attorney and I are working on,” Feldman said.
Contacted this morning and asked if Feldman was planning to file a complaint or seek a reopening of the investigation in Minneapolis, Jeff Minnich of Carroll, Feldman’s attorney, said he had no comment.
The Daily Times Herald sought to contact Walsh, but there is no phone listing with the address he gave police. An Avalon Security officer, Craig Andrashko, who was listed in the police report as the first witness to the incident, did not return a phone call.
But in the police report, Andrashko described what he observed as “sexual intercourse.”
Hestness said the case is closed by citation.
When asked to respond to Feldman’s suggestion that she is a victim of a crime, Hestness said: “All I can say is the actions went on for some period of time with many witnesses on hand and no one reported either party was objecting.”
Hestness said Feldman made no allegations to the officers at the scene about the incident being non-consensual.
“If the implication is lack of consent due to intoxication, I guess that could be true for either party, however, they declined the officer’s request to submit to an (alcohol test) so the extent of intoxication cannot be demonstrated,” Hestness said.
Hestness largely talked about the incident in the context of the binge-drinking atmosphere at many college football venues.
“We will be attending our annual Big 10 chiefs conference next month (in Iowa),” Hestness said. “I suspect this case and the flood of last summer will be big topics.”
The University of Minnesota has been without an on- campus stadium since 1980 when Memorial Stadium closed and the Gophers began sharing the Metrodome. The team will move into TCF Bank Stadium next fall with the opening game against Air Force.
“The absence of public alcohol sales at our stadium per Big 10 standards will be a welcome change,” Hestness said.