BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana State University has responded to a request from state lawmakers asking for the release of records pertaining to sexual misconduct cases involving victims Samantha Brennan and Abby Owens, amid a recent Title IX scandal.
The Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Select Committee on Women and Children demanded LSU release Brennan’s unredacted police report, which allegedly accused former LSU football player Derrius Guice of sharing a partially nude photo of her without her permission, and the Title IX record of former LSU tennis player Owens, who has said Guice raped her in 2016.
The formal written request from lawmakers came less than 48 hours after the state legislative panel blasted LSU Interim President Tom Galligan on his decision to suspend — versus fire — two high-ranking athletics officials. Executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry and senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar were placed on administrative leave without pay, for a period of 30 and 21 days respectively. Galligan’s decision came after the release of a damning report claiming LSU had covered up sexual assault allegations for years, especially those involving star athletes.
In a statement Friday, LSU said they would release a fully unredacted police report to Brennan’s attorney, but had no record(s) to release to Owens because she decided not to move forward with her claims at the time of the incident.
Since the Husch Blackwell report has garnered national attention, a federal probe has been called by the Department of Education to look into LSU’s potential violation of the Clery Act, which aims to ensure transparency in campus crimes policy.
Additional fall-out has resulted in the firing of former LSU head football coach Les Miles from his position as head coach at the University of Kansas and a thorough look into the background of former LSU president F. King Alexander, who now serves as the leader of Oregon State.
LSU’s full statement:
“We promise both the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Select Committee on Women and Children, as well as the people of Louisiana and our own LSU community, that we share the goal of ensuring that LSU is a safe, caring and welcoming campus for all students. We acknowledge the concerns that have been expressed, and we apologize to the survivors for the pain and suffering they have endured. LSU will and must do better. There is no greater priority than the safety of our students.
“While we have already begun taking actions that will lead to positive changes, we welcome continued input. The requests made by both the Women’s Caucus and the Committee on Women and Children will be shared with the LSU Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, we are today providing to Samantha Brennan, through her attorney, an unredacted police report containing three names that were redacted in the report given to her several months ago. There is no Title IX record for Abigail Owens, the explanation for which is addressed in pages 96-98 of the Husch Blackwell report.”
Statement from the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus on LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct cases:
We are deeply troubled and remain extremely concerned about the numerous failures of the LSU staff and the administration within the system in the handling of the sexual assault complaints from students. The moral and systemic failures of the LSU administration and staff to their students and sexual assault survivors warrants our collective, persistent, and unapologetic response to the damning and devastating findings delineated in the Husch Blackwell Title IX Review of LSU.
We strongly encourage President Thomas Galligan, the LSU Board of Supervisors and the administrative and athletic staff of LSU to support their students who have survived such horrific sexual assaults. We strongly demand LSU to immediately release Samantha Brennan’s unredacted police report to her and immediately release Abby Owens’ Title IX record to her, as both women have requested.
The Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus will not tolerate mistreatment of any student on any of Louisiana’s campuses. We expect the LSU system and all college systems in Louisiana, both public and private, to be accountable to and follow the federal and state laws governing sexual misconduct issues. We expect the LSU system and all university systems to treat sexual assault survivors with respect, compassion, integrity, fairness and patience. We expect the LSU system and all university systems to investigate every case thoroughly and, if perpetrators are found to be guilty, to apply the appropriate level of discipline in a prompt, effective, equitable, corrective, and consistent manner.”