A student accused the University of Tulsa of running an illegal and unfair investigation into her claims that a star athlete sexually assaulted her after he was accused of a similar crime at a previous campus.
The woman reported to Tulsa police in January that she had been raped by Patrick Swilling Jr., a member of the men’s basketball team at the time and now a member of the university’s football team.
She said Swilling invited her to his apartment to watch a basketball game on TV and used his physical strength to rape her.
The woman said Swilling instructed her not to tell anyone what had happened and allowed her to leave after she agreed, the suit claims.
After filing her own complaint, the woman said she learned Swilling – the son of former NFL linebacker Patrick Swilling Sr. – had been accused of raping a woman at Idaho junior college he had previously attended.
However, the suit claims, Tulsa’s head basketball coach, Danny Manning, and his staff actively recruited Swilling to transfer from the College of Southern Idaho.
The suit claims Tulsa police uncovered two other women had made similar claims against Swilling after his transfer to the NCAA Division I university in Oklahoma.
It’s not clear whether the university was aware of those two accusations, the suit claims university officials allowed Swilling to continue attending class after learning of the plaintiff’s allegations.
The woman said university officials contacted her friends to ask about her sexual history instead of investigating her rape claim, the suit claims, and no other witnesses testified during a university hearing on the case except the woman and Swilling.
The suit claims the woman was “forced to re-experience the rape and trauma on numerous occasions throughout the disciplinary process” and on campus, where Swilling is well known.
The lawsuit, which does not name Swilling as a defendant, claims the University of Tulsa violated the federal Title IX gender-equity law when it “deliberately undertook a gender-biased investigation.”
The suit seeks financial damages, including the woman’s cost of tuition and fees, as well as damages for emotional pain and suffering.
The filing also asks a court to require the university to establish comprehensive procedures for investigating and responding to sex crime allegations.
Watch this video report posted online by ESPN: