USU responds to lawsuit claiming it failed to investigate reports of rape, sexual misconduct

Local (Utah/State News)

LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah university is being sued by two sexual assault survivors who say they were assaulted by one of the school’s former football players.

The lawsuit is 26 pages of complaints against Utah State University for failing to investigate reports of rape and sexual misconduct.

The survivors were students at USU where they met former student-athlete Torrey Green.

In January 2019, a Utah jury convicted Green of sexually assaulting six women he dated from 2013 to 2015.

The new lawsuit claims after the women reported the assaults to campus officials, the university failed to investigate Green, and even encouraged them not to report the sexual assaults to the Title IX Office.

In an official statement sent to the media, the two female survivors’ attorney’s state:

“For those student who may have the misfortune to find themselves
victims of sexual assault, it is our clients’ hope that this lawsuit will force the University to adopt a culture of taking these claims seriously and being proactive in addressing claims of sexual assault. Our clients’ ultimate goal is to enact change within Utah State University; change that will place the safety of students above the desire to have a successful football team in the interest of profit. It is our sincere desire that this lawsuit will result in Utah State University becoming the stalwart educational provider it can be—focused on education and focused on the safety of its students.”

Pitcher & Holdaway: Diane Pitcher, Ryan L. Holdaway, and Brandt Henslee

In response to the lawsuit, USU spokesman Tim Vitale states:

“Torrey Green had many victims both at USU and in the community, and the university would like to assist USU students who were victims to reach closure. USU has publicly acknowledged it fell short in several ways in addressing sexual assaults on campus in the Torrey Green case, and we are continuing to address those university-wide systemic problems.
This lawsuit, however, as filed, relies on countless incorrect assumptions, misrepresents how universities are able to address sexual assaults, and contains a number of outright factual errors.”

– Tim Vitale, USU spokesman

Some students attending USU said they’ve heard of the allegations and are being more vigilant when dating.

“It does make me feel concerned a little bit,” said USU sophomore Amber Haskell. “I think it comes down to kinda being smart, being safe as you can. Like I said, going on group dates, making sure you’re not in a dark secluded area.”

USU senior Aubrey Valdez said she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega (a USU sorority) and she learned about sexual assault statistics.

“One in three women in Utah will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime,” said Valdez. “Of course, it’s hard to hear that’s happening at Utah State as well, but unfortunately, that is kinda the national statistic as well.”

Valdez said she believes talking about sexual assault awareness is how people can try to prevent it.

United Educators, one of the largest insurance providers for higher education institutions, reports in 2018, sexual assault was the top liability for colleges and universities.

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