Ciaran McKenna, 20, was falsely accused of rape in February of 2016 after consensual with a fellow studentt
He will return to Scotland after graduating in December with hopes of resurrecting his pro career at Celtic FC
He mentions that his ultimate ambition is to run for political office some time in the future – He has also given up sex
20-year-old Ciaran McKenna, lost his scholarship and two soccer eligibility years at Duke Univ. after being suspended on a false rape claim
A soccer star who was falsely accused of raping a fellow student at a top prestigious Duke university has spoken out about the ordeal that left him ‘broken’.
Ciaran McKenna, 20, made the trip across the pond from this home in Uddingston outside of Glasgow, Scotland three years ago to study political science and business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina after receiving a 4255,000 [£200,000] scholarship to play soccer for the school, a perennial sporting and academic power house.
The 6’4 athlete, who gave up a professional contract with the top sports club in Scotland, Glasgow Celtic Football Club, for the opportunity, had his world fall apart in February 2016 when he was accused of rape by a fellow student.
McKenna was cleared of the accusation and paid a speculated six-figure settlement from Duke, but he said the experience had changed him and he is now abstaining from sex.
The soccer player who is set to graduate from Duke in December, says he plans to move back to Scotland with hopes of resurrecting his career with Celtic FC.
Ciaran McKenna seen [photo] playing for Duke Blue Devils, stepped into a cauldron when left home in Uddingston outside of Glasgow, Scotland as a teenager, three years ago to play football for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on a scholarship
The teen sensation [photo, left], gave up a professional contract in the top flight with Glasgow Celtic Football Club, Scotland for the opportunity. He had his world fall apart in February 2016 when he was accused of rape, within months of his arrival at the school
McKenna was cleared of the accusation after a two and a half year legal battle and was paid a hefty settlement from Duke
‘It’s been a rollercoaster, to put it mildly,’ McKenna said in an interview.
‘But I don’t regret coming to Duke, weirdly. I’ve still managed to have a great time and have had amazing experiences.’
He added: ‘I became popular very quickly, with the Scottish accent and the fact that I played for Celtic, the stories that I had.
‘I had players tell me I’m going to get so many girls with my accent and the football.
‘That almost made me feel as if I was under pressure and had to live up to some sort of expectation of the cool, great Scottish footballer who can get all the girls.
‘The whole college campus culture is very different from back home.
‘Here you have the sororities and fraternities, the richest and prettiest getting together. And the athletes.
‘It was just a social hierarchy that doesn’t exist at home. It was mesmerizing. And also the casual hook-up scene that goes on.’
In Feb 2016, a female Duke student claimed McKenna raped her. The accuser claimed that although she did initiate oral sex, she told the athlete she was a virgin and didn’t want to have penetrative intercourse
McKenna says he has enjoyed the experience of schooling at Duke Univ. inspite of having to live for years under the shadow of a rape accusation for most of the time
McKenna said: ‘But I don’t regret coming to Duke, weirdly. I’ve still managed to have a great time and have had amazing experiences’. Pictured: Duke University
He was accused of rape by a fellow student after the pair went home together after meeting at a nightclub in November of 2015. Once back in the room, Mr McKenna put on a condom and they engaged in penetrative and oral sex.
Afterwards, McKenna gave the student a kiss on the forehead as he left the room and she thanked him.
A week after the encounter the student asked her one night stand for his number, which McKenna declined to give her because he heard she was ‘clingy’ and he ‘didn’t want to get involved in that’.
Lesson learned: McKenna [right] revealed that he has since changed his lifestyle, saying: ‘I do not indulge in the one-night stand, hook-up culture, – or sex at all, for that matter’
McKenna [photo, playing for Celtic], who is set to graduate from Duke in December, says he plans to move back to Scotland with hopes to resurrect his career with Celtic FC
In February 2016, the student made claims that Mr McKenna raped her, saying that although she did initiate oral sex, she told him she was a virgin and didn’t want to have penetrative sex.
She claimed that during intercourse, she told him no and moved herself away from his penis.
Mr McKenna said he was baffled by her claims, pointing out that she admitted she had thanked him and he kissed her afterwards.
He said to the Times: ‘She’s claiming that I went from a rapist to a pretty decent person in the space of 15 minutes? That just doesn’t make sense at all. And then the thank you at the end?’
Ciaran McKenna’s legal saga with Duke University lasted for two and a half years.
The school’s disciplinary panel initially said the accuser’s story wasn’t credible but after several hearings, Duke suspended McKenna for two years.
After the suspension, he launched a civil suit against the school, which was recently settled out of court. Although the sum hasn’t been disclosed, McKenna announced he will be donating a six-figure sum to the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic.
‘Broken by the experience’: McKenna who will graduate from Duke in December plans to return to his native Scotland. He hopes one day to enter politics and serve in parliament
After being suspended, Mr McKenna launched a civil suit against the school, which was recently settled out of court.
Although the sum hasn’t been disclosed, Mr McKenna announced he will be donating a six-figure sum to the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic.
He also revealed he has since changed his lifestyle, saying: ‘In terms of socializing, I do still enjoy a night out with friends and that will never change but I certainly will contain a lot of what I drink.
‘I do not indulge in the one-night stand/hook-up culture, or sex at all, for that matter.
‘At the moment I have a girlfriend, and without going into too much detail, we both are honouring God in our relationship.
‘I was brought up a devout Catholic. When I came here I lost touch with God and Catholicism, but this has made me realise how much I need God and I have grown much closer with Him through this time. ‘
Moving forward, Mr McKenna will graduate from Duke in December and return to Scotland and has hopes of one day entering politics and becoming an MP.