According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times, Gator sophomore receiver Antonio Callaway has been cleared in the Title IX sexual assault investigation. This decision will allow Callaway to remain at school and on the football team.
A third-party Title IX hearing officer, Jacksonville attorney Jake Schickel, found Callaway not responsible for conduct causing physical injury, sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
The University of Florida has drawn criticism from the complainant’s lawyer because of Schickel’s ties to the university.
In a report from ESPN, Callaway was cleared of three violations of Florida’s student conduct code: conduct causing physical injury or endangering another’s health or safety, sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
The University of Florida’s Communications department, in an email to ESPN Gainesville, had the following to say:
The University of Florida will not tolerate sexual misconduct and thoroughly investigates every allegation it receives through the student conduct and Title IX processes.
While we want to be as transparent as possible, we cannot address rumors, media reports or misleading statements from attorneys on this subject.
We cannot confirm whether or not any allegation or student conduct investigation exists; and the university is barred from discussing specific student disciplinary cases. Federal and state law are very clear on this front and require strict confidentiality of this kind of information.
Be assured that any situation of this serious nature reported to the university is immediately addressed following Title IX regulations, U.S. Department of Education guidelines and university policies. These policies and practices support those who report sexual misconduct of any kind and ensure a fair investigation and process for the accuser and the accused beginning with the initial report and through any appeal.
Either side may elect to appeal the decision in a student conduct case. A written appeal must be received by the reviewing authority designated by the university within 10 business days of the decision. An appeal may be made on any or all of the following grounds:
· Violation of student rights
· New information or evidence (students who attend the hearing)
· Preponderance of evidence was met (accuser appeal) or was not met (accused appeal)
· Inappropriate sanctions imposed
A final decision would be made within 10 business days following receipt of the complete file and any meetings with the parties. Ultimately, the reviewing authority could require a new hearing or accept, modify or reject the decision or sanction imposed.
This story will be updated as it develops.