Feb 23, 2021
Ex-Wisconsin receiver Cephus sues school over 2018 expulsion
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Former Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the university that he was used as a scapegoat during a sexual assault investigation that resulted in his temporary expulsion.
Cephus seeks unspecified damages in his lawsuit filed in federal court in Madison, accusing the defendants of violating his due process rights, violating Title IX provisions and breach of contract.
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Cephus was suspended from the Badgers football team in August 2018 and was expelled from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for violating its nonacademic misconduct code as part of a Title IX investigation following his arrest on second-and third-degree sexual assault charges.
After a jury acquitted Cephus, he was reinstated and led Wisconsin in receiving during the 2019 season as the Badgers went 10-4 and reached the Rose Bowl. Cephus recently completed his rookie season with the Detroit Lions, who took him in the fifth round of the 2020 draft.
University officials did not immediately respond to an email Tuesday seeking comment about the lawsuit.
Cephus’ lawyer, Andrew Miltenberg, said he’s spoken with NFL agents and draft analysts who believe Cephus would have been drafted earlier if not for his expulsion.
"He wants to set a precedent so that schools are more careful and more diligent in how they proceed on these cases and not just sort of rushing ahead to judgment when they know for a fact they don’t have all the evidence," Miltenberg said.
The complaint says that Wisconsin was "seeking to push for harsh male prosecutions in order to remedy its long-standing failure to address sexual assault complaints." The complaint adds that Cephus’ status as a well-known football player made him "the perfect candidate for the university to prove its investigative efforts and punish accused males in a high-profile way."
Defendants include Chancellor Rebecca Blank, campus Title IX coordinator Lauren Hasselbacher and the school’s board of regents.
The criminal charges stemmed from an incident at Cephus' Madison apartment in April 2018. Cephus engaged in sexual acts with two 18-year-old Wisconsin students, who later said they were raped and too drunk to consent. Cephus said the sex was consensual.
Cephus’ lawyers say in the complaint that the schools’ Title IX investigation was "an egregious miscarriage of justice." That investigation concluded that Cephus "more likely than not" sexually assaulted the women.
Cephus’ lawyers argue that the university should have delayed the investigation until the conclusion of the criminal proceeding because there was relevant evidence that wouldn’t be released until after the criminal case was closed. They say that included video evidence disputing the women’s claims that they were intoxicated that evening.
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They say that the school acknowledged it had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain this evidence and went ahead with its disciplinary hearing anyway.
The complaint also says two female students’ statements were consistently taken at face value and that the investigation was biased with a lack of transparency.
The lawsuit comes five months after one of the female students involved in the case sued the university over its 2019 decision to reverse Cephus’ expulsion and allow him back on the football team.
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Wisconsin senator slammed for saying ‘fake Trump protesters’ led riots
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Sen. Ron Johnson is catching criticism for trying to distance Donald Trump from the Capitol mob. On Tuesday, Johnson claimed, “agent provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” were responsible for the deadly uprising in Washington, DC on Jan 6.
Once Twitter users saw the clip of Johnson’s false claims, they immediately took to the platform along with lawmakers causing his name to trend, per The Washington Post.WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 23: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Read More: Fulton County DA faces backlash for Trump investigation
Despite over 200 individuals being federally charged and many of them self-identifying as Trump supporters, the Wisconsin senator said the majority of individuals at the event possed a “jovial, friendly, and earnest demeanor.”
He added the attackers were actually “plainclothes militants, agent provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and disciplined uniformed column of attackers.”
Ron Johnson is using his questioning time during the Capitol security hearing to promote a conspiracy theory that the January 6 insurrectionists werent actually Trump supporters, but were "provocateurs" and "fake Trump protesters" pic.twitter.com/t72QkHDbaG— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 23, 2021
Read More: Supreme Court won’t halt turnover of Trump’s tax records
His words were quotes from a far-right article, but Johnson was quickly chastised for spreading the fake news. Many of the rioters were also attached to far-right extremist groups.
A professor at Michigan Law School said we deserve better from out leaders.
“By spreading disinformation to minimize the Capitol attack, @SenRonJohnson does a disservice to our country,” Barb McQuade tweeted. “A democracy depends on informed voters. We should expect better from our elected leaders.”
By spreading disinformation to minimize the Capitol attack, @SenRonJohnson does a disservice to our country. A democracy depends on informed voters. We should expect better from our elected leaders. https://t.co/Pb2jJaRgZH— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) February 24, 2021
Podcast host and journalist Dean Obeidallah added:
“Right in front of our eyes we are watching the GOP and media allies normalize Trump’s 1/6 terrorists attack– from Ron Johnson claiming the attackers were ANTIFA to Tucker Carlson saying QAnon and White supremacy doesn’t exist to CPAC celebrating Trump this weekend. #CPAC2021“
Right in front of our eyes we are watching the GOP and media allies normalize Trumps 1/6 terrorists attack– from Ron Johnson claiming the attackers were ANTIFA to Tucker Carlson saying QAnon and White supremacy doesnt exist to CPAC celebrating Trump this weekend. #CPAC2021— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) February 24, 2021
MSNBC Senior Producer Kyle Griffin shared to his Twitter account an oped calling for Johnson to resign. The article also accused him of “whitewashing” the Capitol.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board: Enough is enough, Wisconsin. Ron Johnson must go.
"Ron Johnsons whitewash of the U.S. Capitol riot shows why Wisconsins senior senator has to go."https://t.co/8H7HhzqoZD
“Johnson must go,” the article read. “It’s obvious now that he won’t do the honorable thing and resign after violating his oath to support and defend the Constitution.”
“By what he has shown of his character, there is no reason to believe he will keep his campaign promise to not run for a third term when this one expires. If he runs again, Johnson must be opposed in both the primary and general elections by people who care enough about democracy to support and defend it,” it continues.
On Feb 23, Johnson tweeted the article that claimed provocateurs were responsible for the attack.
“An eyewitness account that I read excerpts from in today’s hearing provides a different perspective on what, why, and how things got out of control at the Capitol on Jan 6 @jmichaelwaller @fdrlst.”
An eyewitness account that I read excerpts from in today’s hearing provides a different perspective on what, why and how things got out of control at the Capitol on Jan. 6 @jmichaelwaller @fdrlst https://t.co/hp0T2qT8nv— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) February 23, 2021
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