TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A lawsuit related to the handling of abuse complaints against a former University of Arizona student-athlete will proceed to trial, a federal judge ruled.
Former football player Orlando Bradford is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated assault against two ex-girlfriends, who were also students at the Tucson university, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Bradford was removed from the football team in September 2016, the day the first woman reported the domestic violence to police, university officials said.
Both women filed lawsuits against the school after reporting Bradford, claiming university officials knew he was abusive toward another student and failed to take action.
Lawyers representing the university argued the school had limited knowledge of Bradford's abuse of another student and no knowledge of abuse of the women in the lawsuit, but the university produced a handwritten note in May that detailed Bradford’s abuse of the former girlfriend and another student.
The letter was emailed by executive senior associate athletic director Erika Barnes to a Title IX investigator and the dean of students, officials said.
The university violated their federal Title IX rights to an education free from discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or dating violence, the lawsuit said.
The question remains if Bradford led to denied access to educational opportunities and benefits, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton said, after ruling to take one of the lawsuits to trial.
A trial date has not yet been determined.