Louisiana governor takes strong stance about allegations, accusations of sexual abuse at LSU
LSU coach Ed Orgeron has reacted multiple times to the USA Today report about sexual abuse allegations and accusations involving athletes on campus. Now the governor of Louisiana has offered his own reaction.
“Let’s be clear: every act of sexual violence and abuse is unacceptable,” Governor Edwards said in a statement, Julie O’Donoghue reported. “The allegations and accusations presented in the USA Today story are deeply troubling. LSU must conduct a thorough, independent and transparent investigation of the serious issues that have been raised. If this investigation finds any wrongdoing or concludes that violence or misconduct, there should be significant consequences. Nothing is more important than the safety of all members of LSU’s community.
The report, which was published earlier this week, detailed claims that LSU’s failure to adequately address sexual misconduct goes beyond one star running back, Derrius Guice. Officials in the university’s athletic department and broader administration repeatedly have ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims’ requests for protections and subjected them to further harm by known perpetrators.
Orgeron this week has said, “We need to support and protect victims of violence and sexual abuse of any kind. I have in the past and will continue to take appropriate action with protocols.”
USA TODAY reported that at least seven LSU officials had direct knowledge that wide receiver Drake Davis was physically abusing his girlfriend, a different LSU women’s tennis player, but they sat on the information for months, while Davis continued to assault and strangle her. The news outlet also found three cases in which, rather than expelling or suspending male students found responsible for sexual assault, LSU allowed them to stay on campus. The men, non-athletes, received “deferred suspensions,” a probationary period during which they must stay out of trouble.
“I just think that honestly they don’t care,” one of the women told USA TODAY. “The whole system is on the side of the accused.”
Also this week, the school’s interim president, Tom Galligan, posted a statement on Twitter addressing the report.
“I want to assure you that LSU takes every report of sexual assault or violence seriously,” the statement from Galligan read. “We investigate them thoroughly, support victims sensitively, and hold offenders accountable. However, we are not perfect, and we can, and will do better. A single instance of abuse or sexual violence is one too many.”
.@LouisianaGov weighs in on sexual misconduct/domestic violence scandal at @LSU. He calls the accusations “deeply troubling” and says that anyone who turned a blind eye to credible reports should face “significant consequences.” #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/MlBqy3cA2y
— Julie O’Donoghue (@JSODonoghue) November 19, 2020