Tennessee students protest in support of alleged rape victims
A group of Tennessee students organized a protest outside of Athletic Director Dave Hart’s press conference Thursday.
The protest comes after it was revealed Thursday morning that two new plaintiffs and a number of new allegations had been added to the ongoing Title IX lawsuit against the university.
Tennessee is accused of creating a culture in which student-athletes are not held responsible for sexual assaults and a judicial system exists that is biased against victims.
During the protest, students held signs in support of Jane Doe, the name being used for the alleged rape victims named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit now includes eight female plaintiffs and sworn statements from a former football player and former vice chancellor that support claims of an unhealthy culture at the school.
The former football player, Drae Bowles, claims he was assaulted by teammates after helping one of the alleged rape victims, and that head coach Butch Jones called him a “traitor” for his actions.
The school has denied all the claims in the lawsuit and released a statement through attorney Bill Ramsey to address the new claims.
“The University has reviewed the amended complaint filed today by the plaintiffs and we continue to stand by our actions. The facts, as opposed to allegations in a complaint, will demonstrate that the University acted properly in the matters at issue,” the statement reads.
“We have continuously worked hard to improve our processes and our procedures to ensure that we are doing all that we can to prevent incidents of assault, to support victims of assault and to pursue justice while ensuring due process for those accused,” the statement continues. “We will vigorously defend all claims in the amended complaint.”