Margaret Hurt, a former student at Wake Forest University, was on The Today Show this morning to discuss her sexual assault allegations against two former university basketball players, which she claims the university swept under the rug “because that was a way that they got their money.”
The interview was part of a larger segment on college campuses and sexual assault, but the only thing people will be talking about are Hurt’s allegations. According to a report filed with Miami police in 2009, she accused guard Gary Clark of sexually assaulting her in a hotel bathroom after an NCAA tournament game while teammate Jeff Teague waited outside. (Teague now plays for the Atlanta Hawks).
What people should be focusing on, however, is the school’s and the police’s response to Hurt’s situation. Obviously, the pageviews are generated by an NBA player being involved in this situation.
There really isn’t any recourse that Hurt has in her situation. She did everything right, including reporting it to the police and trusting that the school would look out for her best interests. The real takeaway from this story is that society and universities need to act better in how they deal with sexual assault victims and allegations. Obviously, no one wants another Duke lacrosse scandal, but false accusations shouldn’t whiplash authorities in the other direction to do nothing, or create a system where sexual assault victims don’t feel comfortable coming forward.
“Laura Adams, an assistant state attorney in Miami, said in the report that she recommended no criminal charges be filed because the allegations were one-on-one in nature, there was a delay in reporting the incident to authorities, the players denied the allegations, there was a lack of evidence and there were no corroborating witnesses. The case was ruled closed,” reports ESPN.
That’s pretty much every sexual assault case, unless the victim is able to make it to a hospital in time to generate an evidence kit.
The deck is stacked against victims of sexual assault from the beginning. It’s stacked even more so when the alleged perpetrators are star athletes at the university.