KJK Student & Athlete Defense/Title IX attorneys Susan Stone & Kristina Supler Speak With The Advocate Regarding Their Representation of a Suspended LSU Football Player.
By Brooks Kubena, The Advocate
A suspended LSU football player has filed a federal complaint against the university, claiming he was unjustly suspended for at least a year after being accused of “non-consensual intercourse,” court documents say.
The Title IX complaint was filed in the Middle District of Louisiana by the player’s attorneys, Susan Stone and Kristina Supler, on Thursday morning. It alleges the player’s “constitutional rights were violated,” that “he was given no access to the evidence against him until after his guilt was already determined,” and “he was denied his right to confront and cross-examine his accuser and other witnesses.”
The documents said that, under LSU’s disciplinary process, “a student may never be able to review the evidence against him until after important decisions with precedential value have been made.”
The documents do not state the player’s name, referring to him as “John Doe.”
The player is described as a resident of Alabama.
“Unfortunately, we’re not at liberty to disclose our client’s name,” Supler said in an interview with The Advocate. “It’s the way to protect the privacy of all the students involved in the matter. And, really, our battle is with LSU.”
LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said the university will not comment on pending litigation.
Stone and Supler said they are hoping to get a judge to force LSU to give the player a chance to “have the hearing that he deserves and an opportunity to really clear his name.”
“It’s been his dream to play at LSU and it was snatched away,” Supler said, “and he wants to return and get on the field and be a student in good standing and have an education and hopefully a shot at a home in football.”
The player’s status, Stone said, is “under suspension,” where he cannot play football, receive financial aid or take classes until the suspension is over.
On Feb. 4, the documents said, LSU informed the player it was investigating an allegation that he engaged in “non-consensual sexual intercourse.”
The notice, “did not identify the complainant, provide a location where the alleged incident occurred, or provide any details describing the alleged conduct that formed the basis of the investigation.”
In this, the documents said, the player’s rights “pursuant to LSU policy” were violated because a student “has a right to know the specific allegations against him.”
The documents said the event allegedly occurred on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.
Sometime after 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, the documents said, the LSU football player and a friend went to Tigerland, a cluster of bars near campus. The player and his friend parked at Fred’s Bar & Grill and walked to The House in Tigerland.
“At some point,” the documents said, the player saw the woman, referred to as “Jane,” and they engaged in conversation.
“Later in the evening,” the documents continued, “John asked Jane if she wanted to have sexual intercourse and she agreed.” The player and the woman then left The House and “engaged in sexual intercourse,” and then, the player accompanied the woman “back to her dorm,” the documents said.
“When they arrived at (the woman’s) dorm,” the documents said, the player asked the woman “if she wanted him to walk her to her dorm.” The woman said no, the documents said, and that “she was fine.”
The player did not see the woman again after that evening, the documents said.
The player “became aware of the complaint” on Feb. 6, the documents said, when LSU coach Ed Orgeron informed him. Orgeron, the documents said, told the player “while he did not know anything about the complaint,” the player “would have to be suspended from the football team until the matter was resolved.”
Orgeron, the documents said, referred the player to LSU’s Senior Associate Athletics Director Miriam Segar for more information.
The player met with Segar later that same day, the documents said, and Segar informed the player of the basic details surrounding the complaint, including that “a claim had been made that he had had non-consensual sex with a female individual on January 23, 2020.”
Segar informed the player that, while he could still attend classes, “he could not be associated with the football team while the matter was ongoing,” the documents said.
Segar referred the player to LSU’s Title IX lead investigator, Jeffrey Scott, the documents said.
The player and his father met with Scott on Feb. 19, the documents said, and Scott advised the player “that this was not a criminal matter, the police would not be involved, and that there would not be an arrest.”
Scott “failed to inform” the player, the documents said, “that the police in fact were contacted the night of the incident, specifically both the LSU Police Department and the Baton Rouge Police Department,” which the player “did not learn until months later.”
Scott said the investigation would be completed by Feb. 29, the documents said. The investigation was not completed by then, the documents said, and the player attempted to reach out to Scott “numerous times” and left “several voicemails,” but Scott “was unresponsive.”
The player later learned that Scott and Jennie Stewart, LSU’s Title IX and ADA Coordinator, had a phone call with the woman’s parents on Jan. 29 and 31 to “explain the Title IX process and reporting options,” the documents said.
The player reached Scott on March 2, the documents said, and Scott informed the player that “the investigation had been delayed multiple times.”
On March 6, the documents said, the player learned that the investigation had been concluded and determined that he “was responsible for policy violation,” although the player “was never made aware what evidence or witnesses existed against him.”
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