Vols football a target in sex assault suit against University of Tennessee
A group of women are pointing a big finger at the University of Tennessee, especially its football program, for fostering a culture that has provided the means for student-athletes to commit sexual assaults.
The Tennessean.com reported that six women filed a federal lawsuit with those claims on Tuesday, specifically targeting football players. The suit also states that the university then uses a disciplinary process that stacks unfavorably against the victims who step forward.
Five student-athletes were mentioned directly, including former football players A.J. Johnson, Michael Williams and Riyahd Jones along with a current player referred to only by the name of “John Doe.” Former basketball player Yemi Makanjuola was also named.
“Athletes knew in advance that UT would: support them even after a complaint of sexual assault; arrange for top quality legal representation; and then direct them to the (Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act) hearing procedure that denies victims the right to a hearing and to the same equal procedural, hearing, and process rights as given to perpetrators of rape and sexual assault,” the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit, according to The Tennessean.
The women are seeking damages that include:
“… reimbursement and pre-payment for all of their tuition and any other expenses that stemmed from the sexual assaults, as well as damages for deprivation of equal access to the educational benefits and opportunities provided by UT. They’re also seeking damages for emotional suffering. The lawsuit also is seeking an injunction that would force the state to stop using the administrative hearing process.”
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