LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the 3rd District of New Mexico by the New Mexico State basketball players at the center of the hazing allegations that sent the university’s basketball into a tailspin earlier this year.

William “Deuce” Benjamin Jr., his father, William Benjamin, and former NMSU player Shakiru ‘Shak’ Odunewu filed a lawsuit against The Board of Regents of New Mexico State University, former Men’s Basketball Coach Greg Heiar, Assistant Coach Dominique Taylor, and three former NMSU players – Kim Aiken Jr., Doctor Bradley, and DeShawndre Washington – alleging hazing and sexual assault within the program by the three named players.

One incident outlined in the lawsuit alleges Deuce Benjamin was pulled into a hotel room during a road game with other players and some young women. Allegedly Washington told Deuce to “pull your a** out.” When he told them no, Washington allegedly said, “Do it, or I will grab your {expletive}” Deuce alleges Washington then forcefully grabbed his scrotum, inflicting pain and causing humiliation. The incident occurred in front of several women, which Deuce claims only exacerbated the feeling of degradation.

Odunewu also alleges a pattern of humiliation, violent behavior, and unwanted touch by the trio of players in the suit. During one incident in the Summer of 2022, Odunewu alleges Aiken Jr. and Bradley ripped the shower curtain back and forced him to spin around and do squats as they slapped his buttocks. The lawsuit alleges that Bradley filmed the incident on his cell phone.

In a separate incident during the bus ride to play UTEP in El Paso on November 12, 2022, Odunewu alleges Washington, Aiken Jr., and Bradley tackled him on the bus and pulled his pants and underwear down to his ankles. He claims he was held face down and could not speak or ask for help because the three held their hands over his mouth. He claims they continued to digitally sodomize him and grope his genitals.

The 28-page lawsuit also alleges a complete lack of institutional control by Coach Greg Heiar and Assistant Coach Dominique Taylor. In particular, Odunewu claims all NMSU coaching staff were on the bus at the time of the incident and failed to supervise players. In response to the alleged bus assault, one of the coaches turned around and yelled, “Stop playing around.”

The incident was reported to a former coach a few days after the incident. Odunewu claims he reported the incident to Heir and Taylor, asking to intervene, and claims Taylor said, “What do you want me to do?”

The lawsuit also alleges that by no later than Nov. 12, 2022, NMSU, Heiar and Taylor, “had knowledge and notice that Shak Odunewu was a victim of sexual assault and rape perpetrated on him by Aiken, Bradley and Washington.” It also alleges that NMSU was put on notice that he was not the only victim.

By no later than Nov. 15, the lawsuit alleges that NMSU had, “actual knowledge of, and was deliberately indifferent to, the inappropriate harassment, attacks, sexual assaults and batteries, that Aiken, Bradley and Washington perpetrated on certain members of the basketball team.”

The lawsuit also alleges that there were at least two other victims that were unnamed in the suit, including one other player and one staff member.

The plaintiffs in the case are requesting “reasonable compensation for their damages” against the individuals and entities named in the suit.

The NMSU men’s basketball program was shut down on Feb. 12, 2023, after the hazing allegations were initially reported to NMSU Police. Heiar was officially fired and his coaching staff placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 14.

KTSM has reached out to lawyers for the Benjamins and Odunewu; New Mexico State University; Heiar and Taylor; and all three players alleged to have committed the acts. As of early afternoon on Wednesday, KTSM had not heard back.