BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — An LSU attorney is facing criticism after making comments some say are insensitive to victims of sexual abuse.
Lawyers representing Title IX victims are now demanding to speak directly to LSU’s president. They are worried that the statements as such could prevent victims from coming forward and compound the trauma already endured by the LSU students and employees they represent.
“When you do an investigation like we did, and you make it public invariably, the lawyers and the other folks are going to take advantage of it and try to file lawsuits,” said LSU Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel Winston DeCuir Jr.
This statement made by LSU’s top attorney, DeCuir Jr. has many people upset, including Karen Truszkowski and eight other attorneys suing LSU over sexual misconduct reporting failures. They said DeCuir’s statement is quoted as “callously insensitive.”
“I would imagine that that has a bit of a chilling effect on someone that is thinking that they want to report,” Truszkowski said.
Truszkowski and the group of attorneys sent a letter to the Louisiana Legislature’s Senate Select Committee on Women and Children in response to the comments, in hopes of expressing their frustration and hopefully moving toward a conclusion. They are also asking for a meeting with LSU President Dr. William Tate.
“We just want them to come to the table and maybe we can come to some kind of agreement,” Truszkowski said. “You are saying that you want to protect these women, you want to be transparent, ok, let’s sit down and talk about how you’re going to do that.”
Truszkowski does commend LSU for getting an independent investigation, but she hopes the school can solve this and build a better Title IX program going forward.
“We don’t want to put these women through long litigation if there is going to be an end to it that we can get to a little bit quicker,” said Truszkowski.
BRProud reached out to LSU and senators of the Committee on Women and Children for comment, but they were unavailable or declined to respond.