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Oct 9, 2014 12:42 PM

Harris' attorney says woman was 'sexual aggressor'

The Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) The attorney for suspended Florida quarterback Treon Harris released a detailed statement Thursday, saying the woman was the "sexual aggressor" as he staunchly defended his client against assault allegations made against him.

Huntley Johnson attempted to dispel some reports about Harris' relationship with the woman and what happened early Sunday at an on-campus residence, saying "misstatements in the media have painted a picture that is inconsistent with the evidence."

Harris, a freshman from Miami, has been banned from team activities while authorities investigate sexual assault allegations made against him.

Johnson said the woman showed "no indication of any physical or mental trauma" after the alleged sexual assault.

"We believe the evidence will show the alleged victim was in fact the sexual aggressor with not one, but two young men early last Sunday morning," Johnson said.

Harris has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

The Associated Press does not usually identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Johnson's statement comes a day after the university released an 18-page incident report that was mostly redacted because of privacy laws. Florida coach Will Muschamp has said he is "very comfortable" with how the university is handling the situation and that everyone needs to let the legal process play out.

Harris' attorney is adamant the quarterback has done nothing wrong.

"We want to dispel the idea that the alleged victim and our client didn't know each other," Johnson said. "Our client and the alleged victim knew each other to the extent that they had each other's cellphone numbers and had previously spent time together of their own accord for the purpose of socializing together.

"We want to dispel the idea and rumors floating around that our client forced his way into the alleged victim's apartment. Those rumors are patently false. Mr. Harris has never been inside the young lady's room. We understand that all of the evidence was gathered from our client's room, which is where the interaction between the two parties took place."

Johnson said his investigation has produced no evidence that the woman was impaired and added that another man told law enforcement officials that he had sexual relations with the woman less than an hour before the alleged assault took place.

"We have provided law enforcement with multiple witnesses that will indicate what the interaction was between the alleged victim and our client before they returned to our client's room," Johnson said. "They were smiling and they were holding hands. They returned to the Springs Residential Complex in a car driven by another female student who was a friend of the alleged victim."

Harris replaced benched quarterback Jeff Driskel late in the third quarter against Tennessee on Saturday and led the Gators to 10 points in his first two drives. Florida held on to win 10-9.

Johnson said the woman started texting Harris before he left the locker room in Knoxville.

"We have previously indicated that we do not believe that Mr. Harris will be arrested or prosecuted," Johnson said. "That is because of our experience and the facts of this case. He is not guilty of a crime and he did not mistreat this young lady in any way that night."

Johnson also disclosed several ways in which Harris has cooperated with investigators: he agreed to a search of his dorm room and phone and gave a voluntary statement to law enforcement.

The attorney also provided at least six eyewitnesses to the events in questions, provided Internet photos of the alleged victim "smiling and happy" after the alleged misconduct Sunday.


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