Now It Gets Interesting

Now It Gets Interesting

Well, this Dyshawn Pierre story has taken a fun little turn, hasn’t it? The DDN released a full accounting of the incident, which occurred near the end of April, yesterday afternoon:

In response to a request under Ohio public records laws for records related to criminal allegations against Pierre, UD police provided 15 pages detailing an investigation into allegations that a sexual assault occurred on campus in the early-morning hours on April 23.

The incident was reported in May and the investigation was concluded in June. It then was turned over to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor’s office spokesman Greg Flannagan said his office declined to press charges “due to insufficient evidence.”

The location of the incident is listed as a Caldwell Street residence hall. The heavily redacted report does not identify the suspect or three witnesses, but lists them as students.

University of Dayton Caldwell Street00011Investigative records say the suspect and complainant were drinking at Timothy’s on Brown Street before going back to his campus residence.

There, the female claims, he pressured and sexually assaulted her while “she pushed at the suspect and told him to stop.”

Per the report, written by the investigating officer: “The complainant told me that, after a moment of silence, she told the suspect, ‘What just happened wasn’t okay.’ She said the suspect replied, ‘What. Are you calling this rape?’ The complainant told me that at that point she had not quite comprehended the gravity of what had taken place, so she told the suspect no.”

Specific details of what she alleges happened were redacted from the report.

His version of events differs: “At no time, did she by words or actions ever indicate that she was an unwilling participant,” he wrote in a statement.

“I never held her down so it was impossible for her to get away, or held her down in any way. I never told her to or demanded that she do anything,” he wrote in a statement. “Everything we did was totally consensual.”

The woman didn’t contact police directly, but told her friends who contacted the school’s Title IX coordinator.

“She said she did not, at this time, wish to file criminal charges against the suspect,” the report says. “Neither did she wish to see him go unsanctioned completely.”

UD officials won’t comment on why Pierre isn’t on the basketball team, beyond a statement released Sunday after ESPN reported that he was suspended.

Pierre is now represented by Dez Well’s (and Ray Rice’s) former attorney, Peter Ginsburg. Ginsburg released the following statement on Pierre’s behalf yesterday afternoon:

[su_testimonial name=”Peter Ginsburg” photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Peter_Ginsberg_headshot.jpg” company=”Sporting News” url=”http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2015-09-24/dyshawn-pierre-suspension-sexual-assault-allegation-dayton-lawyer”]”Dyshawn adamantly denies that he engaged in any inappropriate conduct of any sort. Law enforcement clearly agreed and decided not to pursue prosecution of him. Ignoring that decision made by qualified professionals, the University of Dayton subjected Dyshawn to fundamentally defective and unfair University disciplinary procedures orchestrated to appease a broken Department of Education policy. We will be challenging the University’s handling of this matter in the near future.”[/su_testimonial]

What is clear from this situation is that Dyshawn Pierre has nothing to lose. With no threat of criminal prosecution and a somewhat spurious suspension already handed down, the ball is firmly in his court. At worst, Pierre loses his appeal and has no choice but to accept the ten-game suspension. At best, UD capitulates and Dyshawn is permitted to take part in all team activities. 

However, I am not sure how realistic the latter scenario is given that Pierre is not enrolled in the University this semester. Even if Dayton completely reverses course and acknowledges their original finding was heavy-handed (I can assure you the press release will not be as blunt), Pierre would be a half-semester behind academically. It seems that no matter what results from his appeal, Pierre has no real recourse as far as his ten game suspension is concerned. The earliest Pierre could rejoin the team would be when the spring semester commences, which is exactly the punishment the University of Dayton has already handed down.

So, given all the facts that we have now, I believe the endgame for Pierre and Ginsburg is rather apparent: seek financial damages for defamation of character.

Which throws yet another wrench into this whole mess. If Ginsburg decides to file a lawsuit, which seems probable, the timetable for a resolution becomes perilously protracted. UD would undoubtedly file a motion to dismiss, discovery would begin, the threat of depositions would be discussed, etc. If this is the path Pierre & Ginsburg decide to pursue, it would follow that the senior from Canada wouldn’t see the floor at all this season. A legal undertaking such as this takes months, not weeks.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of a speedy resolution. Would Dayton quickly settle this case to put this ordeal behind it and get Pierre back on the court in time for the spring semester? Who knows? I’ve heard the appeal for a code of conduct violation is almost impossible to win, a sham of a proceeding. I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Nevertheless, I don’t see any reasonable avenue that would have Dyshawn Pierre in a Flyer uniform before December 22 — at the earliest.  What I am convinced of, however, is that Ginsburg has fully advised Pierre of the pitfalls that come with his decision to pursue this particular course of action. All parties enter the subsequent proceedings with eyes wide open. The way things look today, we should all prepare for what could be a prolonged process.

But, first things first. Pierre will have his appeal heard in front of UD’s suits. A friend of the blog went through a similar code of conduct inquisition while at the University of Dayton and will have his first-hand account on the site in the near future.

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o’ D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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