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Former CCU football player sues university over lost scholarships after rape allegation

WPDE file photo

A former Coastal Carolina University football player is suing the university because of the way they handled a rape allegation made against him in 2016 by a CCU cheerleader.

The former student is identified as John Doe in the lawsuit filed in federal court on Jan. 31. The cheerleader is identified as Jane Doe, to protect her privacy, according to the lawsuit.

John Doe states after a second, unnecessary, student conduct board hearing regarding allegations, his education and varsity football career were "stopped dead in its tracks" and he lost a full tuition athletic football scholarship for the 2017 through 2020 Coastal football seasons and academic years. He was also permanently expelled from Coastal, according to the lawsuit.

The expulsion and loss of scholarship stems from an investigation into the alleged rape in the August 2016, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states John Doe met Jane Doe at an off-campus pool party and later that same day he says they had consensual sex. However, a police report included in the lawsuit shows an allegation of rape was made against him after that night.

Conway police, who investigated the case, decided not to pursue the charges against John Doe, according to the lawsuit.

After police decided not to investigate, the lawsuit says officials with Coastal Carolina University held a student conduct board review meeting to decide if John Doe should be charged with violations of the school's code of conduct for the alleged rape.

The board came to the decision that there was insufficient evidence to support the sexual misconduct allegation of rape against him, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe, however, appealed the decision, but the lawsuit states she missed the deadline and therefore the appeal should not have been considered.

After the appeal, a new student conduct hearing was scheduled. However, the lawsuits states there was no new information that would change the board's decision.

The board heard the case and, after deliberating, found a "preponderance of evidence" to say that Jane Doe was incapacitated because of alcohol, knew John Doe from previous meetings, that John Doe should have known she was incapacitated and, therefore, she couldn't give consent to a sexual relationship.

The lawsuit says a blood alcohol test was given to Jane Doe and it registered at a .07.

John Doe is suing on grounds of Title IX violations, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence and other violations.

He's asking for damages for physical well-being, emotional and psychological damages, damages to reputation, past and future economic losses, loss of educational, athletic and career opportunities, and loss of future career prospects, plus other damages and costs.

ABC 15 reached out to university officials for comment and they stated in an email:

Recently a former University student filed a lawsuit against the University relating to his relationship with a female student and his dismissal. The lawsuit alleges that the University erred by dismissing him; however, the University acted properly and will vigorously defend the lawsuit.


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