A USA Today investigative report published this morning said two former LSU students including a tennis player alleged former Tigers’ running back Derrius Guice raped them in separate instances in 2016.
Guice was cut by the NFL’s Washington franchise almost immediately after he was arrested Aug. 7 on three counts of assault and battery and counts of destruction of property and felony strangulation, stemming from three domestic violence incidents in February, March and April.
USA Today interviewed both women and six friends and family members. They all said that LSU officials at the time didn’t believe the women and provided questionable explanations as to why their alleged assaults wouldn’t be investigated. The women said no one from the university ever interviewed them or potential witnesses about the allegations.
Neither victim reported the incidents to law enforcement, something common among sexual assault victims. LSU and Baton Rouge police have no records of them.
USA TODAY has a policy not to identify individuals who allege sexual assault without their permission. The women asked for anonymity because they fear retribution. The first woman said Guice threatened and harassed her after she told others she did not consent to having sex with him.
The incidents took place while Les Miles was LSU’s head football coach. But the USA Today report said current Tigers’ head coach Ed Orgeron and women’s tennis coach Julia Sell knew about the allegations as did an athletics administrator and a school nurse.
USA TODAY reporters said they interviewed two people who said the women described to them what happened within days of the alleged assaults, another who was told within a few weeks and three more who said the women told them months later. None of them witnessed the incidents take place. Two of the people said they reported the information directly to LSU coaches.
LSU declined to answer questions and issued the following statement:
“LSU and LSU Athletics take all accusations of sexual assault with the utmost seriousness. Formal complaints are promptly and fully investigated, and the rights and privacy of students are protected as stipulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Complainants are also strongly encouraged to report the offense to law enforcement and are provided information on health care, counseling and supportive measures available.”
Guice’s attorney Peter D. Greenspun released as statement denying all allegations and questioned the timing of the story’s release.
“At no time were allegations of physical or sexual assault brought against Derrius during his years as a student athlete at LSU,” Greenspun said. “To bring up such assertions only after the Virginia charges were initiated certainly calls into question the credibility, nature and timing of what is being alleged years later.
“Such speculation and innuendo should not be the basis for Derrius to be required to make any comment at all. But he wants to be absolutely clear. The allegations in this story are just that and have no basis in fact.”
Here’s the breakdown of each allegation:
WHO: An LSU student who lived in the same apartment complex as many athletes, including Guice.
WHEN, WHERE: Early in second semester 2016 at the student’s apartment where she hosted a party. Several football players attended, including Guice who was uninvited.
WHAT HAPPENED: The woman said she got drunk, was uncomfortable with Guice’s presence and went to her bedroom where she shut the door. Starting the next morning when she discovered she had “trauma down there” and in the next few days, she had flashbacks of being assaulted.
She said she suspected Guice was responsible because he had put his number into her phone. Other football players at the party told her that Guice had talked about having sex with her.
WHO SHE TOLD: She said she told her friend on the LSU women’s diving team but asked her not to say anything.
The diver told USA TODAY she was so upset she reported the incident to her diving coach anyway. The coach then reported it to athletics officials, who called the diver in to question her. The diver said she could not recall the name of the official she spoke with, but that it was a woman.
“They said they couldn’t do anything because (the victim) didn’t want to talk, and because it didn’t happen to me,” the diver said.
The woman allegedly raped said someone from LSU emailed her, told her the school was aware of the incident and said she could get treatment at the university health center. The woman said she told a nurse at the health center she wasn’t going to file a complaint because she didn’t want people to think she’s lying and “I was kind of scared to go forward with it because he was so violent,” she said.
The woman boyfriend at the time was an LSU football recruit wasn’t at the party. He said the woman told him afterward about both the alleged assault and her conversation with the nurse.
The former boyfriend redshirted his freshman year. He steered clear of Guice because “I probably would have lost my (expletive) on him.”
He also said LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron brought up the subject of his then-girlfriend and Guice about a year after the alleged assault.
The former player said he doesn’t know how Orgeron knew what happened, but he believes the coach knew it was not consensual.
He said Orgeron told him that he shouldn’t be bothered by it.
“(Orgeron) said, ‘Everybody’s girlfriend sleeps with other people,’” the former player told USA TODAY.
“I lost all respect for him,” the player added.
Orgeron did not respond to a request for comment.
THE FALLOUT: The woman said when she heard Guice had told other players he’d had sex with her, she told them it had not been consensual.
“I think when the players went back and told him that, that’s when he got so violent,” the woman said. “Because he knew what he had done.”
She said during final exams the semester of her alleged assault she discovered someone dumped a protein shake on her car windshield. The cup that was left behind had Guice’s name written on it.
The woman said another time she was at a friend’s apartment when Guice stopped by. The friend told her to go and lock herself in his bedroom, which she did.
Guice banged on the bedroom door until she opened it.
“I just unlocked the door and looked at him,” the woman told USA Today. “He started going off and saying I don’t know who he is, I don’t know who I’m messing with and he should go and get his gun. I told him, ‘Do what you need to do.’
“After that, I closed the door in his face and locked it.”
The woman got into drugs and was arrested. She wound up in rehab. Counselors asked her to write a letter to the person she despised most. She wrote to Guice, she said. USA TODAY reviewed a copy of the letter, which does not name Guice but addresses her alleged perpetrator.
“Everyone seems to praise you but if they knew you have to take advantage of girls while they’re passed out just to feel powerful they would see the piece of (expletive) I see,” the woman wrote. “. . .I wonder what the media would say if they knew the real monster you are.”
The woman said she has pieced her life back together., When she saw that Guice had been arrested, she said a part of her was glad.
“I was just like, wow, they finally got him. They finally caught him,” she said. “It’s over with.”
WHO: A former LSU women’s tennis player who lived in the same apartment complex as Guice.
WHEN, WHERE: Late June 2016, starting a bar near the LSU campus and ending at her apartment.
WHAT HAPPENED: The woman said she had been drinking before she got to the bar where Guice bought her several shots of Patron. The woman said she was “very drunk, way took drunk to give consent.”
USA Today said the woman’s friend, another LSU athlete at the time, told them USA TODAY she was at the bar that night and described the woman as drunk. The friend said Guice offered to drive both of them home and dropped the friend off first.
The woman made it to her apartment where she lived alone. She said she and Guice went separate ways, then Guice texted her asking if he could come over. She said she texted back allowing him to come but saying nothing was going to happen.
The next thing she remembered from that night was Guice was forcing her to perform oral and then vaginal sex. She said he was gone when she woke up in the morning.
WHO SHE TOLD: She said she told a few close friends that Guice had taken advantage of the situation, but she did not explicitly describe it as rape at the time.
THE FALLOUT: The woman said she had been abusing alcohol and prescription drugs before the Guice incident. She said her drinking increased after alleged rape, such as before practice, and her teammates became so concerned that they told Julia Sell, the head women’s tennis coach. Sell dismissed her from the team after she tested positive for a drug that she had not been prescribed.
In April 2017, the woman checked herself into rehab, which LSU paid for, her father said. She told a counselor Guice had raped her and also informed her family and friends. A rehab center employee later reported the alleged rape to LSU, she and her father said.
Later that month, the woman’s father met Sell during the SEC women’s tennis championships in Nashville and said told her an LSU football player raped his daughter.
The father said Sell told him, “I don’t believe her.”
“I was floored,” her father said. “It’s not something I would say. It’s not something most human beings would say after being given that type of news, even if they don’t believe it.”
Sell did not respond to a request for comment.
The woman and her father said neither LSU’s Title IX office nor athletic department officials contacted the woman or her father about initiating an investigation or implementing interim measures to support her. The woman transferred to another school after leaving rehab that August.
The woman said she could have returned to LSU on scholarship. But she would have remained under Sell’s watch, so she left.
“LSU was such a toxic environment for me, I had to get” she said.
The woman contacted LSU’s Title IX office two years later to inquire if it had any record of her assault claim. Title IX coordinator Jennie Stewart told her they did, but that the record didn’t name Guice.
Stewart did not respond to a request for comment.
The woman’s assault is documented in a pending lawsuit against the NCAA. She and several women allege the college sports organization is liable for their assaults by athletes because it has failed to address athlete sexual violence at its member schools. The details of her assault claim in the suit, which conceals her and Guice’s identities, match those provided to USA TODAY earlier this year when a reporter first interviewed her.