A Fort Valley State University student claims she suffered anxiety attacks and health problems after being sexually abused by a campus police officer.
This comes as FVSU is still under investigation for a possible sex scandal within the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority chapter on campus in April.
The student was an 18-year-old freshman athlete who had a scholarship and lived on campus, according the lawsuit, which was filed May 25 in Peach County Superior Court.
The lawsuit details alleged encounters between the student and Officer Wilbur Gene Bryant between Feb. 11 and March 8. Bryant has worked as a Fort Valley State campus police officer since 2002.
The student has also sued Fort Valley State University, the Georgia Board of Regents, which runs the state college system, and five anonymous people -- identified as "John Doe."
13WMAZ obtained the lawsuit from Peach County Superior Court, which documents the following.
ASSAULTS CAUSED ANXIETY ATTACKS
In February, according to the lawsuit, the student was involved in a misdemeanor incident on school property. Bryant inquired about the student's case details, including her personal phone number.
He told her he could make her charges go away "if she stuck with him," the lawsuit said.
The student reportedly received several phone calls from Bryant in the following weeks where he commented on her appearance and made sexual remarks toward her.
According to the lawsuit, in exchange for sexual favors, Bryant made offers to the student to take her on trips, buy her alcohol, and give her gifts. The student declined all offers.
On March 2, the lawsuit said, Bryant entered the student's dormitory room by using his campus police officer key.
Bryant allegedly made sexual advances toward the student, rubbed against her and tried to kiss her. The student refused his advance, the suit said.
He also placed four of her five toes in his mouth and sucked on them without permission, the lawsuit said.
On April 16, the student reported Bryant to the university and to the Peach County Sheriff's Office.
According to the lawsuit, the student suffered from emotional distress and an anxiety attack. She was unable to complete her spring semester at school.
As a result, her grades dropped and her performance as an athlete suffered. The lawsuit said she chose to transfer schools.
LAWSUIT SAYS OFFICER WAS DISCIPLINED BEFORE
According to the lawsuit, Bryant already had a list of offenses the university knew about.
The lawsuit says:
- In 2011, Bryant was accused of sexual harassment and for having an inappropriate friendship with a student. The lawsuit said he caused damage to the student's property.
- In both 2011 and 2013, Bryant was counseled for making inappropriate remarks toward a female co-worker.
- In 2014, Bryant was reprimanded and received a one-day suspension for unprofessional conduct. Later that year in August, he was required to participate in professional training.
In April, Bryant was sanctioned for Title IX violations because of inappropriate contact with the student who filed the lawsuit. He served a week of unpaid suspension.
All of these offenses were documented through a total of seven official letters sent by the university to Bryant, notifying him of the accusations and appropriate sanctions. All were included in the lawsuit.
13WMAZ reached out to FVSU for comment and they replied:
"A complaint dated April 14, 2018 was filed with our Title IX Coordinator alleging misconduct by a former university police officer. We immediately began an investigation and alerted the University System of Georgia. The officer involved no longer works at the university.
These incidents are uncharacteristic of the culture of the university; however, we take these and other acts of alleged misconduct very seriously. We will continue to be vigilant about campus safety as the GBI continues their investigations."
13WMAZ also reached out to the Peach County Sheriff's Office and they said Bryant was not charged with any crime previous to the lawsuit, and the investigation was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
They are not assisting the GBI with the investigation.
13WMAZ was unable to reach Bryant for a response.
The woman seeks that her past and future medical expenses are recovered, recover for her mental, physical and emotional distress and that defendants pay for the cost of the trial.
The case is still under investigation with the GBI; there are no updates at this time.