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USU Chief Quits After Remarks to Football Players Surface

Earl Morris told Aggies players Mormon women might falsely accuse them of rape
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2021 5:05 AM CST
University Police Chief Resigns Over Sexual Assault Remarks
In this undated photo provided by Utah State University, Utah State University Police Chief Earl Morris is seen.   (Utah State University via AP)

The chief of police at Utah State University resigned Thursday—two days after a speech he made to football players about sexual assault was described in a federal lawsuit against the school. In a recording of the speech made to Aggies players this fall, Chief Earl Morris can be heard saying that Mormon women might have consensual sex with them and then, "feeling regret," claim it was was nonconsensual. "If you’re not used to a Mormon community, folks, I’m here to tell you, the Latter-day Saints community ... young ladies, they may have sex with you, but then they’re going to go talk to their minister, their bishop, priest, whatever you want to call it," he said. Players can be heard laughing in response to the chief's remarks, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Morris also told players that police have no choice but to investigate reports of sexual assault, and "the cards are stacked against you from the moment that happens." The university said Wednesday that Morris had been placed on administrative leave "pending confirmation of reprehensible and unacceptable comments made to USU student-athletes," reports the Utah Statesman. It said the chief's remarks "are not consistent with the university’s values or the trainings provided on sexual misconduct at Utah State."

The recording is part of a gender discrimination case filed against the university by student Kaytriauna Flint, KSL reports. She says that after she reported being raped by a USU football player, proceedings dragged on for almost two years and she was told at one point that is would "probably be easiest" if she just left the university. The case was dismissed last month after she told the Title IX coordinator she would find it too upsetting to attend a hearing where she would be questioned by the alleged perpetrator. Flint tells the Tribune that she felt sick to her stomach after hearing the recording of the chief's speech. Last year, federal investigators found there had been a pattern of mishandling sexual assault cases at USU, especially when football players or fraternity members were involved. (More Utah stories.)

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