SALT LAKE CITY — Two women who were raped by a former Utah State University football player have sued the Logan school, alleging it failed to investigate several other reports of sexual assault against Torrey Green and fostered an environment that tolerated misconduct.
The civil rights lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Salt Lake City, says the school did not discipline the NFL hopeful or remove him from campus, “actively facilitating Green’s ability to persuade female students at USU to trust him.”
The two victims eventually stopped attending classes there due to distress following their assaults, their attorneys allege.
University spokesman Tim Vitale noted the university has overhauled how it handles reports of sexual misconduct.
“Torrey Green had many victims both at USU and in the community, and the university would like to assist USU students who were victims to reach closure. USU has publicly acknowledged it fell short in several ways in addressing sexual assaults on campus in the Torrey Green case, and we are continuing to address those universitywide systemic problems,” Vitale said in a statement.
However, he added, the suit “relies on countless incorrect assumptions, misrepresents how universities are able to address sexual assaults, and contains a number of outright factual errors.”
In January, a jury found Green, 25, guilty of raping five women and sexually assaulting a sixth. He was sentenced in March to consecutive sentences that amount to at least 26 years and up to life in the Utah State Prison.
Green attended a training camp with the Atlanta Falcons but was cut in 2016 when the allegations surfaced.
The new lawsuit alleges the school violated Title IX — the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination at schools — by tolerating and encouraging harassment. It seeks damages to be determined at trial.
One of the women who was victimized by Green in 2013 stopped attending classes and meetings for her doctoral program at the university due to anxiety and stress, the suit says.
The other was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and moved to Salt Lake City, leaving the school out of fear of running into Green. When she met with school officials to report the 2015 assault, she “was told directly they had already received multiple accusations of sexual assault against Green,” the lawsuit alleges.
Other defendants in the suit include the university’s trustees and the Utah State Board of Regents.
Though a football coach confronted Green concerning an allegation of rape made by one of the women in 2016, the school did not investigate further, she contends. The university failed to establish clear procedures and train employees on how to determine whether an investigation should move forward, according to the lawsuit.
The suit notes two other former students faced penalties in the criminal justice system for sexually assaulting women around the same time.
Ryan Wray was sentenced to jail time in 2015 after he admitted to sexually assaulting a woman at a party. The following year, former USU student and fraternity brother Jason Relopez, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two women, was sentenced to one year in jail.