USA Today revealed new information from an ongoing investigation on how LSU administration has handled sexual assault allegations and complaints against football players. The news comes nearly a week after Interim President Tom Galligan declared LSU an ally against domestic violence and abuse.
Several LSU athletics officials received information about sexual assault allegations that were then either failed to be adequately addressed or reported and investigated at all.
According to USA Today, at least nine LSU football players were reported for sexual misconduct and domestic violence over the past four years, including Derrius Guice and Drake Davis.
Multiple LSU officials knew about Davis’ physical abuse against his then girlfriend, an LSU women’s tennis player. They were also knowledgeable about two rape allegations against Guice and his sharing of nude photos of a female student without her consent.
With the allegations against these football players amongst many other sexual assault allegations from students, LSU has been silent in regards to addressing the victims and investigating the situations.
USA Today also revealed that LSU refused to release full campus police reports involving four players to the public because the department argued sharing the documents could harm the ongoing cases.
LSU, also made accessing case records harder for victims, continuing to withhold police and Title IX records from at least two women who’ve requested copies of their files.
Samantha Brennan, the woman whom Guice took nude photos of, was denied the right to access her own case file until the statute of limitations had passed, which is six years after the incident occurred in 2016.
Throughout the past four years, LSU has been withholding information and refusal to cooperate with victims to make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice, according to the article.
As a result of the USA Today article released this morning, students have been expressing anger with LSU’s lack of transparency and unwillingness to help the victims and further protect LSU students.
Several hours after the article was published, an email broadcast was sent to all students. It emphasized that LSU takes all reports of sexual assault seriously.
"We empathize with the victims featured in the article, and for that matter, all victims of abuse or any form of violence," said Interim President Tom Galligan. "No one should ever have to deal with the pain inflicted by another human being or a process that feels less than empathetic."
In the message, Galligan also said that while the university thoroughly investigates all reports of sexual misconduct, LSU has never been perfect. He continued that the university will continue to "support victims sensitively" because "A single instance of abuse or sexual violence is one too many."
To end the email broadcast, Galligan noted that any victim of abuse should call the Title IX office at 225-578-3918. He added that any information that is shared, no matter how long it has been since the incident took place, is valuable, even if a report has already been filed.
Galligan completed his message by saying, "You have my word that we will respond promptly to any report of misconduct and investigate it in a manner that is fair and equitable to everyone involved."