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University of Tennessee Sued by Alleged Rape Victims
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Photo courtesy of Sporting News.

Summary: Six alleged rape victims sue the University of Tennessee for Title IX violations.

Did the University of Tennessee promote rape culture? Six unnamed women have filed a lawsuit this week against the school. They claim the school’s inaction towards victims’ claims creates an environment that enables rape, The Tennessean reports.

  
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In a federal lawsuit filed in Nashville this week, the women accuse five former or current football and basketball players of assault: Yemi Makanjuola, A.J. Johnson, Michael Williams and Riyahd Jones, and a current unnamed football player.

The lawsuit does not name the athletes as defendants, however. Instead, the men are examples of how the school allows a culture of misogyny that leads to sexual assaults and hearings that favor the players. The women are suing UT for Title IX violations.

The lawsuit told the story of University of Tennessee wide receiver Drae Bowles. Several of his fellow football players allegedly beat him up twice because he helped a girl that Johnson and Williams had allegedly raped in November 2014. Bowles took her to the hospital and encouraged her to report the attack.

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The lawsuit said the victim reported the sexual assault to executive senior associate athletics director Jon Gilbert, senior associate athletics director Mike Ward and her coach. She also informed them about Bowles’ first attack by his teammates, and she was only told that they would “look into it.”

Bowles ended up transferring to UT-Chattanooga after his assaults.



The lawsuit said that example was one of numerous reported incidents that were not resolved properly. The plaintiffs claim the University of Tennessee’s administrative hearings are unfair to victims and that administrators have “indifference” to known sexual attacks .

During these hearings, the accused are allowed to be represented by attorneys and cross-examine their accusers. The lawsuit said athletes were frequently represented by prominent Knoxville attorney Don Bosch, and his services were paid for by the school.

The plaintiffs want reimbursement and pre-payment of their tuition and any damages occurred from expenses that happened because of the sexual assault. They also are seeking damages for emotional suffering and want an injunction on the administrative hearing process.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Randolph Smith.

UT’s counsel, Bill Ramsey said the school acted properly.

“Any assertion that we do not take sexual assault seriously enough is simply not true,” Ramsey said.

Source: The Tennessean 

Source: The Tennessean 



 

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