Suspended Wisconsin WR files lawsuit against school
The Wisconsin football team announced prior to the start of the season that top wide receiver Quintez Cephus has been suspended indefinitely amid a sexual assault investigation, and the junior is now suing the university.
According to Ed Treleven of the Wisconsin State Journal, Cephus filed a lawsuit against the University of Wisconsin on Tuesday alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when the school launched a disciplinary investigation against him that he could not take part in. Cephus, who was charged with second- and third-degree sexual assault for allegedly assaulting two women who were intoxicated back in April, says he could not participate in Wisconsin’s investigation because there was an ongoing criminal investigation.
Cephus, 20, is arguing that the Title IX investigation that was launched against him on May 31 should be stopped, as Title IX coordinator Lauren Hasselbacher issued her initial investigative report despite Cephus not being able to take part in any way.
“Defendants have knowingly and intentionally forced (Cephus) into the predicament of having to either waive his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by choosing to participate in the university process despite the potential harm to his criminal defense, or decline to participate in the university’s process thus leading to the inevitable finding of responsibility and severe sanctions,” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit goes on to state that there is a “widespread issue” within college athletics of schools reaching conclusions in their own investigations prior to the legal process being sorted out. Cephus is seeking unspecified money for emotional and psychological damage and damage to his reputation and future career prospects, among other damages.
A spokesperson for Wisconsin said the school’s legal team has not reviewed the lawsuit but officials are “confident that our processes related to these types of investigations comply with federal law.”
Cephus was accused of sexually assaulting two women while his roommate, another Wisconsin football player, laughed and took photos. The wide receiver told police he had sex with one of the women and that is was consensual.