LSU Ignored Sexual Misconduct Complaints Against Students, Top Athletes
At least nine LSU football players had been reported for dating violence and sexual misconduct, including multiple rapes.
BATON ROUGE, La. — A new investigative report released Monday by USA Today claims Louisiana State University (LSU) officials ignored and mishandled sexual misconduct complaints against students, including top athletes.
The investigation says school administrators and athletic department officials repeatedly ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims their requests for protections, and subjected them to further harm by known perpetrators.
Since 2016, USA Today says records show at least nine LSU football players have been reported to police for sexual misconduct and dating violence — only two of whom are confirmed to have been disciplined by the school.
In August, USA Today published rape allegations made against star running back Derrius Guice by two women in 2016. The women say their claims were ignored by the school, incorrectly investigated, and not reported to the proper authorities. Guice’s attorney says he was never disciplined by the school.
The August report came less than two weeks after Guice was arrested on multiple domestic violence counts, prompting his release from the NFL’s Washington Football Team.
In the most recent report, a third former student, Samantha Brennan, said she told two senior athletics administrators that Guice took a partially nude photo of her without her consent in 2016 and shared it with a team equipment manager and possibly others. Brennan said LSU officials told her she had to wait to access her police report until the statute of limitations ends — six years from when the incident occurred.
The report also says former safety Grant Delpit was accused of recording a woman during sex without her consent and sharing the video with others. Delpit’s attorney denied the allegations.
The report also claims at least seven LSU officials had knowledge of wide receiver Drake Davis’ violent relationship with his girlfriend but that they “sat on the information for months, while Davis continued to assault and strangle her.” Davis has been arrested multiple times for battery of a dating partner and domestic abuse and was kicked off the team in 2018.
According to USA Today, interviews with the female student-athlete, her teammates and her father, and an LSU police department arrest report demonstrate how LSU officials who were told of the abuse “repeatedly failed to act on the information, each time leaving her vulnerable to Davis’ increasing violent attacks.”
The victim says Davis left her bruised or bleeding on at least six occasions over the course of one year. In March 2019, Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of battery on a dating partner and one count of violation of a protective order. He was expelled by the school four months after his criminal conviction — 10 months after he’d already left the school.
Other LSU football players accused of rape include running back Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips and tight end Zach Sheffer. According to public records requested by USA Today, none of them were disciplined by the school. Provens was arrested and his case remains open while the others were not criminally charged.
Furthermore, former defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Ray Parker were accused of dating violence. Due to privacy interests, LSU would not confirm nor deny whether or not they were disciplined.
LSU did confirm it formally disciplined Peter Parrish, a former quarterback who transferred to Memphis in August after he was suspended indefinitely earlier this year after being accused of raping a woman in a car outside a bar earlier this year.
The article also references a separate case which claims the school determined a fraternity member had sexually assaulted two women, ignored an allegation by a third, and refused to move him out of classes he shared with one of the women, according to WAFB 9.
“(The fraternity member) was a nobody and I had that much trouble,” one of the accusers told WAFB. “I thought, instinctively, it must be so much harder if they’re important.”
USA Today also found three cases in which male non-student-athletes found responsible for sexual assault were allowed to stay on campus rather than being expelled or suspended. In a fourth case, LSU deferred the suspension of a male student who stalked and sexually harassed a fellow student, even after he pleaded no contest in court to telephonic harassment.
Interim president Tom Galligan said in a statement Monday that LSU hired Husch Blackwell to conduct an independent review of LSU’s Title IX policies and procedures. He expects the review to be finished in the spring.
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