Suspended linebacker Osa Masina is under multiple sexual assault investigations

Photo courtesy Sports Information

Photo courtesy Sports Information

Suspended sophomore inside linebacker Osa Masina is under two investigations for separate alleged sexual assault incidents, according to police.

Cottonwood Heights police in Utah confirmed to FOX 13 on Tuesday that Masina is being investigated for an alleged sexual assault that took place this summer in Salt Lake County, though no charges were filed.

According to the report, the Los Angeles Police Department assisted the Cottonwood Heights Police Department in serving a search warrant at a practice facility at USC last week.

In a statement, a USC spokesperson said the school was aware of the investigation involving Masina.

“USC is cooperating fully with authorities in Utah, the lead agency in the investigation,” the statement read. “Due to privacy laws and to protect the rights of our students, we are not able to discuss this matter further.”

Police Sgt. Dan Bartlett told ESPN that the Los Angeles Police Department also has an active investigation into Masina for an incident which he said occurred before the one in Utah. Masina’s attorney, Greg Skordas, confirmed to ESPN that there are two ongoing investigations.

On Monday, head coach Clay Helton announced in his weekly Trojans Live appearance that Masina will not travel with the football team to Arlington, Texas, for the season’s first game against Alabama on Saturday,

Helton said Masina violated team rules, but did not disclose any details. He did speak on the matter following practice on Tuesday, deferring to the University.

“Really as a coach you’re taken out of it,” he said. “This is a university matter and a university policy and I’m confident in the guidance of the university here. They’ll let me know.”

Redshirt junior Max Browne, recently named the starting quarterback, said the incident was “tough.”

“At the end of the day we’ve had some distractions in the past and I’ll leave that to Coach Helton to address,” he said.

Masina, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore, is listed as a backup inside linebacker on the depth chart behind senior Michael Hutchings.

A five-star recruit out of high school, Masina was a backup inside linebacker his freshman year, appearing in 12 games. He made 25 tackles and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Masina will join sophomore cornerback Isaiah Langley as the two USC players suspended for the first game. Langley was suspended following an arrest in May at a UCLA fraternity party.

The last USC football player to be accused of sexual assault was Bryce Dixon, who was expelled in May of last year but later allowed to re-enroll in school after a judge stayed the expulsion, though Dixon was not allowed to re-join the team.

At least one teammate expressed sympathy for Masina.

“You know, he’s my brother and I’m going to support him,” said sophomore running back Ronald Jones II.

This article was updated at 8:32 p.m.