Suspended Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus is suing the school for violating his rights during a Title IX investigation over the summer.
Cephus, who will stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted two women this spring, claims the university violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the investigation by denying him the ability “to participate in an interview or otherwise meaningfully participate in the university’s process,” according to the lawsuit.
He is no longer with the Badgers, having left the team before the charges were filed to focus on the case. He was suspended from the program once charges were announced.
“Defendants have knowingly and intentionally forced (Cephus) into the predicament of having to either waive his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by choosing to participate in the university process despite the potential harm to his criminal defense or decline to participate in the university’s process thus leading to the inevitable finding of responsibility and severe sanctions,” the lawsuit alleges.
“We have not yet reviewed this lawsuit. However, we are confident that our processes related to these types of investigations comply with federal law,” a spokesperson for Wisconsin told the Wisconsin State Journal.
The Title IX investigation was opened in May and concluded at the end of August.
In August, just before the start of the season, Cephus was charged with felony second- and third-degree sexual assault. The criminal complaint states he sexually assaulted both women in his apartment in April.
In September, a Dane County Circuit Court judge rejected a motion to dismiss one of the counts at a preliminary hearing. The defense had contended the women were not as impaired as the prosecution said they were, which led to one of the charges.
One of Cephus’ lawyers, Stephen Meyer, said he has surveillance videos that show the women leaving the apartment building without any issues, and also a text message from one of the women hours later that has a heart and a kiss emoji.
Cephus, a junior from Georgia, was in line to be Wisconsin’s top receiver this season. He has denied doing anything wrong and said the sex was consensual.