Pullman: Sex, Limes, and Videotape

How a night with a porn star turned into a rape case.

Five years ago, Kyle Schott was at a Nike football camp in Palo Alto, Calif. Heading into his senior year at Liberty High School in Renton, the all-league tight end was the subject of recruiting interest from Arizona and Oregon, but holding out for something closer to home. "I want to hear from the U Dub," he told an editor from Scout.com at the time. When playing tight end at Liberty, Schott was ranked among the nation's top recruits by Scout.com. He also made a mark in wrestling, placing second in the Class AAA Region 2 tournament as a junior. But Schott wasn't destined for collegiate athletics. He started his freshman year in 2003 at Washington State University planning to eventually "have a stable career and obviously make a lot of money, have lots of friends, travel the world, marry, start a family, not get divorced, and retire somewhere beautiful and peaceful," according to his MySpace profile, which has since been removed from the site. Four years later, he was sitting in a Pullman courtroom, accused of rape. Turns out, settling down was merely Schott's goal after college. First there was the years-long party that dominates the lifestyle of many a Wazzu undergrad. Schott's MySpace profile photo shows him holding an American flag, arm draped around a blond coed, shirt open, gut hanging over white pants. Here he notes that "living in Pullman & drinking pretty much go hand in hand." Another friend's page shows Schott and two friends standing next to a club with the old Studio 54 logo. The city isn't identified, but the caption says it's the club "Kyle got kicked out of." This past Sept. 21, Schott pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree felony rape and three related burglary charges. He was released the same day on a $100,000 bond. He has since dropped out of school and, under court order, is living with his mother in Renton. He is not allowed to drink and is prohibited from being within a half-mile of a sorority, fraternity, or dormitory building. Court records from both King and Whitman counties, where Schott has lived, indicate no previous run-ins with the law, and Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy says he couldn't find any prior arrests in a background search. Whether Schott was involved in the rape of a girl at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority on WSU's campus will be decided in a court of law. But the story of how Schott came to be on the wrong end of such accusations began the night he met Christopher Jack Reid, an adult-film actor working under the pseudonym "Jack Venice." (Reid also faces charges of rape and burglary.) Reid and Schott met on Sept. 12. Their subsequent night of carousing traversed WSU's bars, off-campus housing, fraternities, and sororities, and ended with a call to police at 4:40 a.m. on Sept. 13, informing the authorities that a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister had awoken while being sexually assaulted. Now the high-school football star from Renton and the porn actor from Los Angeles will stand trial in Whitman County after allegedly breaking into two other sororities, flashing students, attempting to get into a fraternity, and finally raping a student. Schott probably didn't begin his night planning for a sexual assault; he was likely just looking for a bit of fun with a bizarre character he met in a bar. But sometimes, when the alcohol starts flowing, good people make very bad choices. Last July, Reid was a contestant on a television game show entitled Without Prejudice. The program, created by the Game Show Network and the NAACP, employs a panel of judges who are presented with increasing bits of information before awarding one contestant $25,000. Reid lasted through the rounds that explored contestants' education and work history, revealing that he finished high school in 2000 before joining the Marines, where he was part of the initial ivnvasion of Iraq. (A U.S. Marine Corps staff member at the enlistment office in Quantico, Va., confirms that Reid served from 2000 to 2004. Marine spokesperson Maj. Manuel Delarosa says he was stationed in Najaf, Iraq, in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.) After Reid finished his tour of duty, he and a friend were trying to decide what to do next. The subject of adult film came up. Where most people might joke about the possibility of supplementing their income in the flesh trade, Reid took the career option seriously, heading to Los Angeles and quickly landing jobs. According to IMDb.com, Reid has made 95 adult films since 2004, including On Your Knees Bitch and 5 Guy Cream Pie 22. During the game show, Reid told panelists he makes $600 per scene, netting an annual income of about $180,000. In 2005, Reid began appearing in films produced by California-based Shane's World, an outfit run by Megan Stokes that attracted national attention when it started hosting "college invasions," wherein the company would take professional female adult actors on tour, set up parties at colleges, and film undergrad males having sex with pros. Since then, the company has gained increased notoriety: Stokes appeared on The Tyra Banks Show this past May 17 on an episode entitled "Dorm Porn" to discuss the use of amateur college students for professional pornography. Last February, Shane's World inked a production deal with Frat House Films, at which point they decided to flip the gender switch on their "invasion" approach. According to a press release from Shane's World at the time, the plan was to have Reid travel from campus to campus in search of willing coeds. Hence the name: College Amateur Tour. For his first tour stop, Reid traveled to Houston. A posting on YouTube reveals the process consisted of driving around and picking up girls in parking lots. In one clip, Reid stops a woman in a form-fitting T-shirt, telling his driver, "Oh, she's ready for it." They pull up alongside her. "We're on our way to San Marcos right now to bang some girls out in front of everybody, and we want you to be a part of it," Reid announces. "Oh no, I'll pass on that one, thanks," she replies. Reid persists: "C'mon, you got the tongue ring, the slutty T-shirt." The woman defends her choice of attire before again saying no thanks and walking away. Reid's advances were not always rejected. Shane's World released two DVDs this year starring Reid as Jack Venice and a handful of female college students as witting partners. The inaugural video was filmed entirely in Texas, with a second released after a trip through the Midwest. People who saw Reid in Pullman say it was hard to tell exactly what he was doing in town. Some remember him talking about filming porn over the weekend, but no one remembers seeing any kind of video camera. But Reid may have picked Wazzu simply because of the school's reputation for revelry. Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tennant of the Pullman Police Department says that since Washington State gained notoriety as a party school in the '80s, it's become a destination spot for people looking for a wild time. After drunken rioting broke out in 1998, the school hit No. 9 on the Princeton Review's 1999 list of biggest party schools. Police Sgt. Dan Dornes says that despite turning himself in, Reid offered no hint as to what he was doing in Pullman or what happened Sept. 12 and 13. "He refused to cooperate as far as making any statements at all to us when we arrested him." Interestingly, Shane's World disavows any knowledge of Reid's trip to Pullman, sending an e-mail saying only: "We have no comment. You'd need to talk to Jack, as he was there on his own personal time." If Reid was in Pullman looking for willing women to bolster his filmography, perhaps that's what drew Schott to the porn star. On MySpace, Schott says one of his interests is "doing crazy shit and taping." One of Schott's roommates told police Schott met Reid at a bar, though the roommate wasn't sure which one. Police records show the two were at Valhalla, a sports bar at the top of College Hill near the WSU bookstore, earlier in the night and may have met there. At Valhalla, aside from taking in the game of the week, patrons typically drink neon-green cocktails and pitchers of beer, while loud music blasts through the dance floor. Four blocks down Colorado Street from Valhalla, Stubblefields, formerly known as Mike's Place, is a two-story bar that features a large dance floor and an extensive liquor selection. A manager confirms Reid was there during last call, adding that he was a little forward with one of the bartenders—hardly an unusual occurrence. When the cops started looking for suspects following the rape report, they were able to track down a credit card receipt from Stubblefields with Reid's name on it. The receipt was dated Sept. 13 at 1:54 a.m. He had ordered a little more than $10 in drinks and tipped well. College Hill bars shut their doors at 2 a.m., so it wasn't possible for Schott and Reid to get to another watering hole. Also heading home after last call was Ryan Maker, who says he and his roommate got back to their apartment, just down the street from Stubblefields, shortly after 2, and had a few friends over to play beer pong. A short time later, he says, Schott and Reid were at the door. Maker let them in, thinking they might be his roommate's friends. The two guests downed a couple of beers, and Reid offered to fork over some cash to cover the cost, Maker says. That's when things started to get weird. Reid held up a $20, then pulled it back and wiped his ass with the bill before offering it to Maker, who declined to accept the cash. Next Reid offered him another $400 for the rights to film sex in his room throughout the weekend. Not only was Maker unwilling to let him use his room, he says, he didn't believe Reid, who wasn't carrying a camera. Faced with doubt, Reid went to a computer, brought up an adult Web site featuring his films, turned to the guys in the apartment, dropped his pants, and said: "No, really, look how big my dick is." With that, Maker kicked Schott and Reid out of his home. The whole encounter lasted about 15 minutes, he says. And what was Schott doing this whole time? Like most people who encountered the duo, Maker and his roommate don't have a distinct recollection of Schott. "He just seemed to be going along with [Reid]," Maker says. Maker adds that while his experience in the wee hours of Sept. 13 was beyond the norm, Reid's behavior wasn't weird enough to warrant a call to the cops. In College Hill's nomadic party scene, absurdity is par for the course; on the night Maker described his encounter with the duo in question, a girl wearing leopard ears, red stilettos, and blue track pants was checking e-mail on the couch. Next, Schott and Reid headed toward Linden Street, lined almost entirely by fraternity and sorority houses. Their first stop was the Pi Beta Phi sorority, a mansionlike house whose members' hair and makeup look impeccable, even in workout attire. A member there told police that at around 3:30 a.m., she noticed a tall man with shaggy brown hair and a beard (which matched Schott's description) standing on their balcony, apparently signaling to someone inside. About 20 minutes later, she told police, she noticed him with another man in the hallway outside her room. The taller of the two shut her door from the hallway; she wasn't sure how long they were there, but no other incidents were reported and police were unable to determine a point of entry at the house. According to police reports, Reid and Schott's next stop was Alpha Gamma Rho, a fraternity with tall white columns on its front porch. While the stereotypical fraternity has bare floors, stained walls, used furniture, and enormous flat-screen television sets, Alpha Gamma Rho's interior is pristine—more like its female Greek counterparts. Member Branden Rainer thinks that may have been how Schott and Reid ended up at their house in the first place, expecting to find women. The 21-year-old Rainer says he and Alpha Gamma Rho President Ryan Lantz were studying for exams in the first-floor dining hall, which looks out into the foyer and through the front door. At around 3 a.m., he says, they saw two men punching buttons on the house's key pad, attempting to gain entry. They went out to see what was going on, and found a tall guy with brown hair and a beard accompanied by a short, stocky blond—Reid. "They were very drunk," Rainer says. Reid did all the talking. He started out asking if he could buy beer off the guys. Lantz says he took out a wad of cash and offered them $1,000 for booze. He says the total in Reid's hands was probably closer to $20 or $30. Rainer said no. Then Reid asked if he could just get a drink of water. Rainer again told him no, at which point Reid noticed a bottle that someone had used as a tobacco spittoon. It was filled with gooey brown saliva. "He was like, 'I'll drink that tea,'" recalls Rainer Rainer told Reid it was chew spit. "[Reid] said, 'I'll drink it anyway, I'm into that.'" notes Rainer, who says he didn't notice much about Schott except that he had apparently injured his wrist or hand, which was wrapped in something. Schott didn't say anything, Rainer says. "All [Schott] could do was giggle." Finally, Schott and Reid took off, heading toward B Street. Lantz and Rainer went back to studying. Both of them say they wish they had called the cops, but it didn't occur to them at the time. "In a college community, it doesn't seem that out of place for someone to be acting all drunk and retarded," Lantz says. The entrance to WSU's Delta Gamma sorority looks like a hotel lobby. Meticulously handwritten posters remind members about upcoming events, and a grand piano sits in a lounge just beyond the foyer. Here, a freshman member told police she woke up when a male, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and blond, entered the house through her window. She followed him into the hallway and down the stairs, where he let in his companion, a tall man with shaggy brown hair and a beard. The freshman told police that the shorter of the two played around on their piano, which attracted the attention of a senior member. The senior told police she had been studying and listening to an iPod at around 4 a.m. when she heard the sound of the piano in the foyer. She walked out to find the freshman member standing near Schott. "I said, 'What the hell is going on?'" she told police. The freshman glanced toward the living room, where Reid was tickling the ivories. He stopped and walked into the foyer. Schott made a comment about Reid being a good pianist. "I said, 'Sure, I guess you're a good pianist,'" the senior member told police. As he was walking past her, Reid asked her to clarify whether she'd said "pianist" or "penis." She told him she'd said pianist, and in response, "he made a comment about 'whipping it out.'" The two men told the sorority sisters they were there to play a prank on a friend in the house, but when the senior member asked who, they said not to worry about it. She told them to "get the fuck out of this house." Again, most of the interaction was between Reid and the girls. The older member said both he and Schott seemed intoxicated. As for Schott, she said: "His composure when he was at the door, he seemed, I mean, I would use the word sketchy—but he seemed ready to leave." No one else reported seeing Schott and Reid until 4:40 a.m., when police got a call from a woman at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority saying she had been raped. The victim, identified as K.N.E. in court records, told police she was sleeping on the floor of a friend's room when a sound woke her up. Two men were in her room. She was menstruating at the time, and said her tampon had been removed and she felt that she had been penetrated by something but couldn't be sure. The men ran off when she awoke. She told them she had seen a taller guy with longer brown hair and another in a white T-shirt. The break-in at Kappa Alpha Theta was attributed to a faulty closing mechanism on the door lock. President Anne Meyer says by e-mail that both she and the victim have been instructed by the sorority's national headquarters in Indiana not to discuss the assault. "We are dealing with things the best we know how, and looking at ways to improve the safety and security of our home," she writes before signing off. Schott didn't say much to his roommates the next day about his night with the porn star, according to statements taken by police. "He said he was up late with, supposedly, a porn star," one roommate said in a recorded interview. "It sounded like they were up to mischievous stuff. I didn't get the details of what they were doing." "No, that's something Kyle wouldn't do," says another of Schott's roommates, before saying that Schott asked him not to discuss the incident publicly and refusing to answer any additional questions. Schott spent most of his life in a quiet suburban neighborhood near Renton. The house where he grew up is an olive-green split-level in the wooded hills across from Maple Hills Elementary School. Schott's mother, Jacqueline, worked for Alaska Airlines. His father, Richard, was in the insurance business. The day after Christmas 1991, his parents separated. His father moved to Snohomish, and his mother stayed in the house, where she remains. (None of his family members, including an older sister, were willing to be interviewed.) In addition to his more debauched interests, Schott's online profile says he likes pottery—and believes people ought to possess a good sense of humor, trust, style, etiquette, and genuineness. At 6-foot-2, Schott is big and athletic—traits that served him well in competition as a Liberty Patriot. As a sophomore, he was the youngest wrestler in his district to qualify for the state tournament in the 189-pound weight class. As a junior, he placed second in the regional tournament—though he never placed at the state level. In one match, he pinned an opponent in 14 seconds, according to school records. But his real passion was football. During the summer of 2002, he got his shot to impress scouts at the college level at a Nike Training Camp in Palo Alto, where he covered the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. While there, he had a chance to walk through the stadium at Stanford. "It's huge," he told Scout.com. In a photo from his time in California, he's sporting a sleeveless training-camp T-shirt, shaggy bleached hair, and a closely cropped beard. He isn't smiling. In his senior year, Schott was named all-league tight end, one of only two players at Liberty to earn such a designation. But it wasn't quite enough: Schott didn't get a scholarship offer to play in the Pac-10. So after graduating in 2003, he headed east to Pullman. Beyond the matching physical descriptions at each of the reported break-ins, the police had little to go on. But Pullman is a small town with an intimate campus community. The morning of Sept. 13, Lantz headed to his first class. He sat next to the girlfriend of one of his fraternity brothers. She told him about a friend whose brother was dating a woman who had been raped during the night. As he listened to her describe what happened, he says, "I put it together. And then I was just like, 'Oh crap.'" He then sent a text message to Rainer, who thought he might have seen Schott before, though at the time he couldn't place him. Rainer, who works as a bouncer at Pete's Bar and Grill in Pullman, remembered seeing Schott come in with a mutual friend. He looked up the friend's Facebook page and found a photo that looked like the guy he had seen the night before. Rainer called the friend and asked him if the guy in the photo had a hand injury of some kind. The friend replied that Schott had recently gotten stitches. "How many people are going to have the same description and a cut on his hand?" he asks. Rainer and Lantz called the cops and sent them a photo of Schott via e-mail. Police then tracked Schott down at his house, which is within walking distance of the Greek system. According to Sgt. Sam Sorem's report, Schott was nervous when the officer showed up at the house at 12:40 p.m. on Sept. 14. Schott had stubble on his face, but not a full beard. Two of Schott's roommates would later tell police that he'd had a beard, but shaved it off the day after his night out with Reid. Later, one of the women who saw the two that night would pick Schott out of a lineup, giving him a 4 or 5 out of 10—a ranking of how certain she was that he was the man at her sorority—noting that his facial features looked familiar but that the man she'd seen had a beard. Schott was arrested and agreed to give a statement. Downtown, he told police about Reid, whom he knew only as "Jack," confirming the victim's account of the incident by saying he watched while Reid "spooned" the victim, placed a hand on her buttocks, and placed a finger in her vagina. He also handed Reid a condom, he told police. Police retraced Reid and Schott's steps that night, picking up a credit card receipt from a waitress at Stubblefields who saw them together. There they got the name Christopher Jack Reid, traced him to Los Angeles, and obtained a warrant for his arrest. As soon as news that a porn star from L.A. was sought in connection with a rape in Pullman hit the Internet, the investigation took on a life of its own. Discussion boards heated up. Acting as judge and jury, some called for Reid's head: "[S]o ugly he has to break into sorority houses at night with help and rape young girls....He is going to learn about night rape in prison...if he gets there alive...," writes theeProphet on YouTube. "Pervert," echoes Robe2286. "I hope he gets what he deserves." But with wrongful Duke lacrosse rape accusations looming in the not-so-distant past, some armchair investigators focused their venom on the victim. "[T]hats [sic] my boy," writes YouTube commenter "ttinnin" of Reid. "[S]tupid bitches whos [sic] personalities are way diff when they're drunk." "I know this is bullsh*t [writer's asterisk]" says a person who claims to know Reid on Crimerant.com. "She probably thought about what she did after it was over and didn't want people to know about it, then cried rape." News reports opted to limit description to the less-graphic "spooning" part of Schott's statement, a term more associated with cuddling than penetration. Speculation that the incident was videotaped circulated. Police say they are unaware of any such tape. Speaking from his home in Houston, Reid's father maintains his son's innocence. He says he encouraged Reid to turn himself in. After posting bail, the younger Reid returned to Los Angeles. "I didn't do the things that they said that I did," Reid says in a phone call before declining to discuss the night and asking that he not be contacted again. His Spokane attorney, Chris Bugbee, distributed a press release stating: "We are confident that when this matter is concluded, he will be absolved of all the allegations against him." Reid spoke briefly to a reporter from KXLY in Spokane, who got in touch with him when the warrant was issued in September. He told the reporter that because he gets paid to have sex, he wouldn't need to rape someone, adding that he was too drunk that night to remember anything. As for Schott, the WSU enrollment office confirmed that he's dropped out of school. Both Schott and Reid pleaded not guilty to all charges. Schott's trial is currently set for Dec. 17, but Prosecutor Tracy expects it to be rescheduled to February; Reid's has been pushed back to March. The rape charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, as does the first-degree burglary charge. (Burglary charges can be instated when someone breaks in to a residence with the intent of committing a crime. In regard to the first-degree burglary charge, intent to commit assault was used as the basis when charging Reid and Schott. Tracy says the pair is also alleged to have stolen small items like cans of pop and a pair of sunglasses.) The remaining charges carry maximum penalties of five to 10 years. If convicted, Reid and Schott may also have to register as sex offenders. On any given night, students on College Hill can be found drinking, fishing for a one-night stand, passed out, or even exposing themselves in public. Viewed through this prism, while Schott and Reid's behavior on the night in question might have raised a few eyebrows, encountering the duo wouldn't have shocked many students. For most undergrads, the consequences of such behavior rarely amount to more than a crippling hangover. When a student does get apprehended, the offense is usually minor. But once in a while, as with what is alleged to have gone on with Schott and Reid, it's far more serious. Rape of a stranger, however, is especially rare, police Lt. Cmdr. Tennant says, adding that alcohol is almost always involved when the department arrests students. "They're experimenting with all these freedoms," he says. "They get in over their heads, and they do something they wouldn't do in a sober moment. Does that change responsibility? No." lonstot@seattleweekly.com

 
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