COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A source with knowledge of the University of Maryland's investigation of an allegation of sexual misconduct against two former football players is sharing new details about the charges exclusively with FOX 5.
The source says the female student victim had consensual sex with one former player last summer, but he invited a second player in, who the victim says raped her.
According to the source and the lawyer for the players, Don Jackson, both players have left the school. One was cleared of misconduct and the second, who the victim says raped her, was held responsible in a university proceeding and was expelled.
The sexual misconduct charges were first reported last month by the student newspaper, The Diamondback. The newspaper also reported that then-Athletic Director Kevin Anderson hired a lawyer for the players, while the university did not provide the victim with a lawyer in the misconduct proceeding. Jackson says head football coach DJ Durkin hired and coordinated with him in representing the players, but the university says only Anderson could have made that decision.
Civil rights attorney and Title IX expert Adele Kimmel of Public Justice Foundation says the decision to hire a lawyer for the players is a violation of Title IX, a federal law that aims to prevent sex discrimination in schools which receive federal funds.
"The university in this case clearly favored the football players and gave them a big advantage by paying for their attorney," said Kimmel.
The university admitted that Anderson hired the attorney for the players, saying "...the decision to hire this lawyer showed a serious lack of judgment in a sexual misconduct case, given the university's commitment to a fair and impartial handling of all such matters."
Kimmel says the only way the university can be held accountable for the alleged Title IX violation is if someone were to file a complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. Upon receiving a complaint, the Office of Civil Rights may choose to investigate and if founded, any violation could lead to a change in procedures.
There does not appear to have ever been a criminal investigation of the victim's allegations.
A university spokeswoman directed FOX 5 to its previous statement released last month. It did not answer questions about what the university would do to prevent inequities in future sexual misconduct proceedings.
The university did say if it had known sooner that Jackson continued to represent the players after President Wallace Loh ordered that he be fired, it would have provided an attorney for the victim.
Kimmel takes issue with the university's position here.
"This was a clear violation of Title IX," she said. "You don't just say stop it when you learn that an employee is violating the law. You follow through and make sure the law is followed."
A new Maryland law that takes effect Oct. 1 is aimed at making sure there is equality in legal representation for university sexual misconduct proceedings. Under Senate Bill 607, the Commission on Higher Education must pay for lawyers for both the accuser and the accused in similar proceedings.