Sports

LSU’s Orgeron added as defendant in Title IX suit

An amended Title IX lawsuit against LSU adds football coach Ed Orgeron as a defendant for failing to properly report an allegation of rape, according to a copy of the updated lawsuit obtained by ESPN.

Ashlyn Robertson is one of three additional women to have joined the lawsuit, which states that in the fall of 2016, Robertson told her new boyfriend, who had been recruited to play for LSU, that then-Tigers running back Derrius Guice raped her.

According to the lawsuit, Robertson’s boyfriend disclosed the rape to Orgeron, who allegedly responded by telling Robertson’s boyfriend not to be upset because “everybody’s girlfriend sleeps with other people.” At the time, Orgeron issued a statement denying he said that, and “credibly denied” being told about the incident, according to the Husch Blackwell investigation into LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct cases. The law firm wasn’t able to interview the former player who allegedly had the conversation with Orgeron.

The amended lawsuit states Orgeron never reported the rape to the Title IX office or any other office at LSU. The incident and the allegation against Orgeron were previously reported in an August 2020 USA Today article, but the class action complaint against LSU was amended on Friday to include LSU’s head coach as a defendant.

LSU school spokesman Ernie Ballard provided the following statement to ESPN on Friday evening: “We are reviewing this update to a previously filed lawsuit, but as stated before, we are focused on taking actions to ensure that we create a campus that is safe, just and worthy of the trust that has been placed in us.”

Orgeron and an LSU athletic department spokesperson were not immediately available for comment.

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