The King County Prosecutor’s office said Wednesday it will not charge a former star Federal Way High School basketball player, who is accused of secretly recording a pair of girls during intimate moments.
In response, one of the two alleged victims filed a lawsuit against the athlete, Jalen McDaniels, who now plays college basketball at San Diego State University and has NBA prospects.
Gwen Gabert, now a college student, said when she was 18 and a student at Federal Way High School in 2016 McDaniels, a classmate, took a video recording of her while the two were engaged in an intimate act.
Gabert said McDaniels later shared the video with classmates in a group chat.
She said she was humiliated and eventually suffered severe emotional distress, including self-mutilation.
“After high school and the year following, it was very, very hard, and I feel like my life has been nothing close to normal,” Gabert said during a press conference at her attorney’s office.
The Federal Way Police Department investigated Gabert's claim and a similar one from Tally Thomas, a classmate who also accused McDaniels of taking a video recording of her engaged in an intimate act.
Police forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, which announced Wednesday that it would not charge McDaniels, saying there wasn't enough evidence.
“We have to prove his intent, and we don’t have sufficient evidence of his intent as required by the statute,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Wednesday.
Gabert said the decision to not pursue charges prompted her to file a civil lawsuit against McDaniels. Thomas said she plans to do the same.
“I just want some repercussions so that he can learn,” Thomas said.
McDaniels’ attorney Jeremy Warren responded to Gabert's lawsuit by pointing out that police investigated, and the prosecutor’s office decided not to move forward.
"Now that a civil lawsuit has been filed, Jalen will deal with it in a court of law," Warren said. "Right now he's focused on finals and being the best student he can be and the best human being he can be."
KING 5 is naming McDaniels, because his attorney used his name in the statement.
“He’s just living his life,” Gabert said, “and he's thriving in California and playing basketball, where Tally and I are just still suffering.”
Gabert’s lawsuit seeks financial damages to help pay for her medical bills and mental health treatment.
Thomas plans to file a similar lawsuit on Monday, and her attorney says they will also name Federal Way Public Schools in their complaint.
The school district says it's conducting a thorough investigation.
Jerome Collins, the Federal Way High School basketball coach who supervised the team at the time of the allegations, remains on paid administrative leave, the district said.
San Diego State University said Wednesday there will be no change in McDaniels’ status at the school.
“An investigation completed by local municipal authorities in Washington State concerning the events that preceded the current student-athlete's enrollment at the University resulted in no charges,” SDSU said. “The University will continue to monitor the situation.”