COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A source with knowledge of the University of Maryland's research an accusation of sexual misconduct against two former soccer players shares new details about the charges exclusively with FOX 5.
The source says that the student's victim had consensual sex with a former player last summer, but invited a second player, who according to the victim violated her.
According to the source and the players' lawyer, Don Jackson, both players have dropped out of school. One was acquitted of misconduct and the second, who said the victim raped her, was held accountable in a university proceeding and was expelled.
The charges for sexual misconduct were reported by the student newspaper The Diamondback. The newspaper also reported that then-sports director Kevin Anderson hired a lawyer for the players, while the university did not provide the victim with a lawyer in the misconduct procedure. Jackson says football coach DJ Durkin hired him and coordinated to represent the players, but the university says only Anderson could have made that decision.
Civil rights attorney and Title IX expert Adele Kimmel says the decision to hire a players' lawyer is a violation of Title IX, a federal law that seeks to prevent sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funds.
"The university in this case clearly favored soccer players and gave them a great advantage by paying for their lawyer," Kimmel said.
The university admitted that Anderson hired the lawyer for the players, saying that "… the decision to hire this lawyer showed a serious lack of judgment in a case of sexual misconduct, given the commitment of the university to fair and impartial management of all these matters. "
Kimmel says that the only way the university can be held responsible for the alleged violation of Title IX is if someone should file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Office of Civil Rights may choose to investigate and, if found, any violation could lead to a change in procedures.
There does not appear to have been a criminal investigation of the victim's allegations.
A spokeswoman for the university directed FOX 5 to her previous statement published last month. He did not answer questions about what the university would do to avoid inequities in future sexual misconduct procedures.
The university did say if it had known before that Jackson continued to represent the players after President Wallace Loh ordered his dismissal, he would have provided a lawyer for the victim.
Kimmel does not agree with the position of the university here.
"This was a clear violation of Title IX," he said. "He not only says stop him when he finds out that an employee is breaking the law, he complies and makes sure that the law is followed."
A new Maryland law that goes into effect on October 1 is directed ensuring that there is equality in legal representation for sexual misconduct procedures in the university. According to Senate Bill 607, the Higher Education Commission must pay attorneys for both the accuser and the accused in similar proceedings.