SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two women raped by a former Utah State University football player filed a lawsuit Monday against the university, claiming the school fostered an environment where sexual assaults were tolerated.
The women sued in U.S. District Court, arguing campus employees failed to adequately respond to assault allegations, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Torrey Green, 25, was accused by six women of being sexually assaulted while on dates with him between 2013-2015, and jurors convicted him in January of crimes that included raping five women and sexual battery of a sixth. He was sentenced in March to 26 years to life in prison for those crimes.
Green had signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016 but was dropped after the allegations surfaced.
Several of the victims testified that they had met Green on a dating app. They planned to eat dinner and watch a movie at his apartment, but they testified that once they were in his home he would overpower and sexually assault them.
Utah State University, the school’s board of trustees and two USU employees who work in the student conduct and sexual assault offices are named as defendants.
The women claimed the university failed to investigate multiple assault allegations, offer health and counseling services or warn other students about Green.
“Neither the University nor the individual defendants properly investigated accusations made against students or (took) appropriate remedial actions to ensure that all students were afforded equal access to the University’s educational opportunities,” the lawsuit states. “The conduct of Defendants, when viewed in sum, is shocking to the conscience.”
An internal investigation by the school in 2016 found that several employees failed to act after learning allegations of sexual misconduct and did not know how to report such incidents.
In a statement issued Tuesday, USU acknowledged its shortcomings addressing sexual assaults on campus and said they are working to improve their response.
“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,” wrote Tim Vitale, a university spokesman, in an email Tuesday.
An attorney representing the women was not immediately available to comment.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com