SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – New bombshell allegations made against Utah State University Friday afternoon.
Three defendants are suing USU stating, “a dangerous environment existed at Utah State University where sexual assaults were known about and tolerated by the University and individual defendants.”
The 45-page amended federal complaint was filed Friday by attorneys Diane Pitcher and Brandt Henslee through Pitcher and Holdaway P.L.L.C.
“There had been some previous findings from the Department of Justice that the university had failed to take several steps to protect these women from unknown rapists,” says Diane Pitcher.
ABC4 News is not naming the victims in this case.
In the original complaint, two women raped by convicted Torrey Green sued USU.
“USU learned of Green’s predatory behavior at the beginning of 2015 at the latest. By the end of 2015, they had received at least 4 independent reports from students alleging Green had sexually assaulted or raped them. Even then, USU didn’t investigate or work to curtail Green in any way. Green kept playing football, USU kept making money, a public scandal was avoided (for the time being), and Green was allowed to graduate,” says Brandt Henslee.
“And the university failed to take really any action against him,” Pitcher adds. “They never put him through the Title IX process.”
The federal lawsuit names Utah State Univesity, Utah State Univesity Board of Regents, Utah State University Board of Trustees Krystin Deschamps, and Jenny Erazo.
“USU’s indifference to Green’s abhorrent behavior allowed a hostile environment to prevail on campus and denied our clients access to the educational opportunities at the university,” says Henslee. “Such a loss at such a critical time will affect the careers and earning potential of these women for the rest of their lives.”
After launching the original complaint, another victim came forward and sought help from Pitcher.
“There has been a finding of rape against a second football player,” she tells Jason Nguyen with ABC4 News.
The complaint identifies the 2015 football player as Tyshon Mosley.
Pitcher claims Mosley was put through the Title IX process for the alligations, but Green never was.
“Obviously the university made this about money,” says Pitcher. “This was about money for football and the price of that was levied upon these women.”
After gathering information from Pitcher, she says the victim was retaliated against by USU officials when they found out.
“Even though she was – there was that finding through the Title IX process that she was, in fact, a rape victim, she is now being told she would be denied services through the SAAVI Office,” she says.
The Sexual Assult and Anti Violence Information is where students go for help when sexually assaulted on-campus. The victim’s lawyers tell ABC4 she not only went to USU for schooling but she also allegedly had an internship and worked for the university.
“She was subsequently within a day or two, terminated from the university; her internship was terminated, she was moved off-campus to do her internship, her mentor was cut off from her. Her mentor was told she could no longer be her mentor,” says Pitcher. “What they are trying to do is shut down this victim and you know, basically, destroy her voice.”
The amended complaint states, ” USU Title IX officials planned to inform Mosely of the allegation against him on a specific date. They told [the victim] it would be best if she left the campus on that day, as Mosley might want to retaliate against her and they could not protect her.”
The complaint continues stating, “USU sanctioned Mosely and forbade him from entering the USU Campus.”
In 2016, Mosley was dismissed from the Aggie Football team for violating team rules.
At the same time as the investigation, Mosley transferred to Portland State Univesity to play for the Vikings.
“So this is a known victim that the university had made a finding against, and without even being added to the complaint, just having the conversation alone – they terminated her,” says Pitcher. “For them to go out and terminate somebody that really wasn’t sure if she was going to be suing, not only was there cause of actions that she brought with her, they actually created new claims through what they did to her subsequently just by talking to us.”
Green graduated from USU and was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons. He was dismissed from that team after allegations of rape.
Green is serving 26-years in prison for raping five women and sexually assaulting a sixth.
A trial involving a seventh victim claiming sexual assault will be held in February of 2020.
“Our clients believe that it is past time Utah State University steps up, takes responsibility for the way it has treated victims of sexual assault and works to change so that others don’t have to go through what they did,” says Henslee.
“While I followed all Utah State procedures, I am deeply saddened for the hurt suffered by these women,” Wells said in a statement Friday. He added that it was another university office’s responsibility to look into the accusations and that it would have been “completely wrong for me to have done so.”
“Well, how many people sit back and say ‘this isn’t my responsibility’? There is a difference on what you can do and what you ought to do,” Pitcher says in response to the article. “I think any person morally as a coach, as a leader, has the moral responsibility to reign their players in, to teach them or guide them.”
After the original lawsuit was filed, USU spokesmen Tim Vitale says the university is working to improve its response to sexual assault.
Vitale states, “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.”
Pitcher responded with, “When the university says, ‘hey we are unrealistic in what the university can do for people,’ Really you have multiple victims, you can’t warn people?”
Once told about the amended complaint late Friday night, Vitale told ABC4 News in a statement:
“The university stands firmly behind the statement we made when the lawsuit was originally filed. As we said then, we continue to offer assistance to USU students who were victims to reach closure. USU remains committed to addressing issues of sexual violence and continues to work to improve its Title IX processes and support services. ”
Because of the fear of retaliation against other victims who may have been sexually assaulted while on the USU campus and seeking legal support and assistance, Pitcher and her team set up a confidential phone line and email system.
That number is 347.USU.Rape or 347.878.7273. The email is ReportUSURape@gmail.com
The amended allegations are new. ABC4 News reached out to Mosley about the allegations. Once we hear from him we will share his side of the story.
What others are reading:
- State representative says school start times should be pushed back
- The Inside Utah Politics Panel on tax reform, the ACA and Washington politics
- Scott City fourth-grader rescues another student with Heimlich maneuver
- Suspect charged in stabbing of man he found with his girlfriend at motel in West Valley City
- Several people injured after car crashes into Washington City In-N-Out
If you or someone you know needs help, call the toll-free Statewide 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100.
Click here for a list of Rape Crisis Resources in Utah.