UD player Pierre sues university over suspension

UD subjected him to ‘defective’ procedure, attorney said in a release

University of Dayton basketball standout Dyshawn Pierre is suing the University of Dayton for what he describes as an unfair process that “disrupted his education” and caused a “drastic blow to his reputation.”

  • Dyshawn Pierre sues UD for semester-long suspension
  • Alleged sexual assault happened April 23 on campus
  • Prosecutor's office declined to press charges

Currently, Pierre is not enrolled this semester at UD after another student accused him of a sexual assault that he denies happened, and county prosecutors say lacks sufficient evidence to merit criminal charges.

Pierre described his suspension as a “fundamentally unfair and defective internal process that deprived him of vital rights and protections and has resulted in a disruption in his education, a drastic blow to his reputation, and a potentially fatal interference with his dream to bring a national basketball championship to Dayton,” according to a statement released Wednesday by Pierre’s attorney Peter Ginsberg.

In response to the lawsuit, UD released the following statement: “The University of Dayton’s processes are in compliance with U.S. Department of Education requirements. The University does not comment on pending litigation.”

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 investigation 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.

Investigative 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.”

As a result of missing the first semester, Pierre — the Flyers’ leading returning scorer and rebounder — may not return to school until December, meaning he would miss the first 10 games of the season.

Last month, Pierre’s attorney, Peter R. Ginsberg, said Pierre was innocent and would fight the university’s decision.

“A false accusation against University of Dayton student-athlete Dyshawn Pierre has recently become the subject of media attention in light of Dyshawn’s semester-long suspension,” Ginsberg said in a statement last month.

“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.”