Former Wake Forest student and alleged victim Maggie Hurt appeared on the Today Show this morning to discuss an incident occurring on March 21st , 2009. Hours after the Demon Deacons' season ending upset loss to Cleveland State 84-69 in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, Hurt claims that she was coerced into a room by former player Gary Clark and forced to perform oral sex in a hotel bathroom. She goes on to say that "(Wake Forest) let me down when I needed it the most".
The statements made on the Today Show differ from the reported facts in the Dade County police report which Maggie filed two months after the alleged incident occurred. No charges were ever filed by Dade County because of a lack of evidence.
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The Winston-Salem based attorney Mike Grace, who represents Gary Clark and Jeff Teague has gone on record several times over the past week defending his two clients stipulating that no sexual assault occurred. He goes on to point out inconsistencies with her story, including the omission in the police report that she had been drinking and had a previous sexual encounter with a Wake Forest cheerleader earlier in the evening.
The alleged incident occurred around 4:00 A.M. according to the police report. The report states that Hurt passed Teague and Clark in the hotel hallway, where both the team and the pep band were staying, and had a conversation about sex. After the conversation, in which she admitted she liked Teague, he invited her to come upstairs and "she agreed". When they were upstairs, she went into the bathroom with Clark where she alleges he then forced her to commit sexual acts.
Grace responded to the charges in the Winston-Salem Journal that the players were "devastated" and that this "doesn't mean (Maggie) is promiscuous, it just means she made poor decisions."
Wake Forest had a limited response due to FERPA privacy laws, but a letter from President Nathan Hatch states "the University takes these issues seriously, has a well-established Code of Conduct and has procedures for hearing alleged violations of that Code of Conduct".
No lawsuits or charges have been brought forth at this point from any involved parties of the incident.
Wake president Nathan Hatch responded with the following email:
Dear members of the Wake Forest community,
This morning I watched the NBC Today Show segment about the problem of
sexual assault on college campuses. The segment included an interview with a
former Wake Forest student and illustrated the complexities of these
matters. I am troubled by the prevalence of sexual misconduct in our society
today. Regarding the described incident, however, I feel strongly that the
University's response, as well as our character, has been misrepresented.
In the face of allegations made about the University in the news media, we
remain committed to abiding by Federal law, known as FERPA. As our earlier
statements explained, FERPA prohibits the University from providing
information about the incident discussed on the Today Show, or any other
parts of a student's educational record. However, I can affirm Wake Forest
believes its educational mission begins with the health and safety of our
When Wake Forest students established PREPARE (Policy group on Rape
Education, Prevention And Response), it was among the first programs of its
kind in the country. Today, the program is comprised of 20 trained student
advocates who work directly with victims who report sexual assaults, as well
as approximately 60 trained female and male students, who deliver
educational and awareness programs for the campus. First-year students are
required to attend educational programs that provide guidance on how to both
prevent sexual assault and seek support for themselves or friends.
Additionally, Wake Forest has a full-time, professionally trained victim's
advocate, who is available to students around-the-clock during the academic
year. The victim's advocate informs students of their rights, including
their right to file a report with appropriate law enforcement authorities at
any time. Ultimately, however, the decision of whether to file a police
report, and when to do so, is a personal decision that must be made
independently by the individual student.
This highlights only a few of the many resources Wake Forest offers
students. I am grateful to our Student Life professionals who have dedicated
themselves to serving our community.
The matters surrounding sexual misconduct deserve our continued energy and
commitment. We will keep working with faculty, staff and students to enhance
our campus culture. I know you will join me in supporting these efforts.