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Accuser recants after ASU linebacker suspended following arrest

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Hours after Arizona State linebacker Davon Durant was suspended from the Sun Devil football program because of a domestic violence charge, his girlfriend and alleged victim of the assault told Cronkite News on Monday that she gave “false statements” to the police about what happened.

“He never touched me,” Kelsi Langley said. “What he’s being tried for and accused of, it’s a misunderstanding based off of my false statements.”

According to Maricopa County Superior Court records, Durant was arrested on March 6 after a witness called police claiming Durant hit Langley while they were sitting in a black SUV in the 500 block of East Apache Boulevard. Langley said the two argued that evening but told Cronkite News the confrontation was strictly verbal in nature.

“When the police showed up, I told them what I told them out of spite,” she said. “I knew that telling my original story would get him in trouble. Really just everything I said was out of anger.”

Durant, 21, enrolled at ASU in January after attending Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. He was not at the first day of spring football practice Monday, and his name is currently absent from the team roster.

“Obviously when you have these situations, if a guy gets arrested, they understand they’re going to get suspended,” ASU head football coach Todd Graham said Monday, before Langley contacted Cronkite News. “Our standards are the highest. They’re a lot higher than just about anybody around. There is accountability for those standards.”

Durant was one of the Sun Devils’ highest-ranked recruits and rated among the top 10 junior college players in the nation at his position.

The report by Tempe police said Langley, 19, and Durant argued over property in Langley’s apartment before Durant grabbed Langley’s neck.

Tempe police identified bruising on Langley’s neck consistent with finger marks. On Monday, she said the marks were hickeys. The police report also said she had a red mark under her left eye.

“I knew they (the marks) could pass as hands, I already knew that,” she said. “As for the other marks the police are claiming, there are no marks there.”

Langley added that she panicked when the police showed up because she had never dealt with the police before. She also said the witness who called the police ”probably did it to protect me” and that her intent was to “cause a scene.”

Langley said she was not under any pressure from Durant to contact news organizations and deny the story.

“I haven’t been able to talk with him at all as issued by the school and by the courts,” Langley said. “I haven’t been able to talk to him since I bailed him out.”

Durant was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. He is charged with one count of felony aggravated assault and three counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.