The former USL tennis player claims that her former coach lied about a Tiger soccer player who physically abused her between May 2017 and August 2018 and accused her coach of treason during the investigation.
Former footballer Jade Lewis, 21, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, tweeted a statement Wednesday night accusing her of not reporting her accusations of physical abuse by Tiger receiver Drake Davis.
USA Today reported Monday that Davis began dating the anonymous Lewis in January 2017. Lewis reportedly told police and the U.S. today that Davis had bruised or bled him at least six times in the year they met.
The newspaper reported that at least seven USL officials knew immediately that Davis was physically abusing his girlfriend, but ignored this information for months because Davis continued to abuse and strangle her.
USL tennis coach Julia Sell has made a statement that she didn’t know anything about the statements of my teammate Lewis and myself. That statement is a blatant lie. Four members of the LSU National Tennis Team informed the coach separately about these events in the period May 2017 to August 2018. These women would be willing to confirm this information and confirm my story, as they did in the USA Today article. In addition, during this period, my parents called to express their concerns and my coaches let them go. Finally, I would like to add that Coach Cell ordered the tennis team to stay away from me during the criminal trial about the accusations I made. They were my teammates and my best friends at the time and I needed their support.
I was betrayed by Coach Cell, and I won’t stand by while she denies that she didn’t know what I was going through when she really knew the whole truth and just decided to watch. As details of sexual misconduct are constantly coming to light within the LSU, I hope the LSU will change its focus in athletics and decide to be transparent and repentant instead of continuing to create cover-ups and false stories.
In a previous Twitter statement on Wednesday, Sell denied that she or her husband, head coach Michael Sell, was aware of Davis’ alleged abuse.
The recent history of USA Today suggests that Mike and I have not reported any allegations of abuse on data reported to us by a parent and former player, Julia Sell writes. This assumption is incorrect, as we have never been informed of these claims. Moreover, we would not reject or question such claims. We have taken appropriate measures in the past and will continue to do so and comply with all reporting protocols. All victims must be heard and supported, and we promise that we will be there for them and help them to stop all forms of sexual and domestic violence.
Police arrested Davis in August 2018 on charges of hitting an ex-boyfriend in the second degree. The LSU suspended him from the team indefinitely and the judge ordered him not to contact a woman.
According to an edited report on the arrest of the LSU police department received by ESPN, one woman reported four cases of physical abuse by Davis between May 2017 and June 2018. In the first case, the woman went to Davis’ house to pick up her things and he would have punched her in the stomach.
In a second incident, in April 2018, Davis would have struck the victim on the left side of his abdomen and broken a rib. She told the police that a USL doctor assessed her injury. According to the report, she gave the police a photo of the bruise.
In the third undated incident, Mr. Davis was reportedly upset that the victim was waving at a friend. Davis took the victim near Perkins Road and threw his phone out the window. When the victim got out of the car, Davis tried to leave her. Then Davis came back, and the victim got back in the car. When she got back in the car, Davis strangled the victim.
Finally, according to the report, Mr Davis was upset by the text message conversation in June 2018 and therefore went to the victim’s home. He came in with the key the victim gave him. When he entered the victim’s room, he strangled her, smashed her in the stomach, and grabbed her by the ear, and the earring was torn off; the ear was bleeding. According to the police, the victim yielded photographs of the bruises in her neck as a result of strangulation.
In March 2019, Davis pleaded guilty to three charges against a foster partner and one charge of violating a protection order as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution. In court he confessed that he beat the woman in the stomach and then pushed her on the couch, leaving her with bruises and cuts on her leg.
The judge sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment, suspended him on the basis of the time he served and suspended most of his remaining sentence. The judge appointed Davis to two years probation and ordered him to be accompanied.
Davis enrolled at Southern University in October 2019.
USL football coach Ed Orgeron read a statement earlier this week. First of all, I want to say that we must support and protect victims of sexual violence and all kinds of abuse. Neither our society, nor this campus, nor our football program has room for such behaviour. If an indictment is filed, we have a legal and moral obligation to report it to the office of the university under Title IX to ensure that the proceedings are properly followed. I have taken appropriate measures in the past and will continue to do so and follow the reporting protocols. I’m sure the university is today attempting to consider our policies and processes when making accusations.
In another statement, LSU Acting President Tom Galligan wrote that the university takes all reports of sexual violence or abuse seriously and noted that the school investigates each of these cases and tries to support the victims.
But we’re not perfect, and we can and we will do better, Galligan wrote. One case of sexual abuse or violence is too many.
LSU hired an independent law firm, Husch Blackwell, to review the University’s Title IX policies and procedures. Mr. Galligan also appealed to all victims of abuse who have not reported these cases or who have reported them and feel that the complaints have been misreported to contact the office of Title IX University.
In August 2018, ESPN reported that the woman had reported four violent incidents with Davis to LSU police in the past 18 months. The woman told the police that Davis hit her so hard in one case that he broke one of her ribs, in the other he started choking her, and later he wrote that he might kill her. The warrant indicates that the police have received text and photographs of the bruises.
USA Today reported that Lewis track and field coach Donavon White told that Davis hit her in the stomach during a fight in May 2017. The woman’s father said that he had also told Mike Cell and that he had spoken with him twice in the summer of 2017 about his daughter’s relationship with Davis.
On the second call, according to USA Today, Lewis’ father said he specifically told Mike Cell that Davis hit her. According to my father, Mike Sell said: It’s impossible, it’s impossible.
USA Today reported that they found no evidence that White, Mike Sell or Julia Sell informed anyone of Davis’ alleged abuse, including the university’s Title IX coordinator, as required by federal law and university policy.
The newspaper reported that two coaches and a track and field bus later told the police that they were not aware of Davis’ behavior until a year later.
Another former LSU tennis player told the U.S. today that she personally reported Davis’ abuse of Julia Sells at least six to seven months earlier.