AP NEWS

Former Utah State football player Torrey Green ‘has complete faith’ he will be found innocent in 4 sex assault allegations

August 6, 2016 GMT

Former Utah State University football player Torrey Green believes he will be found innocent in the multiple sexual assault allegations that led the Atlanta Falcons to cut him this week, according to a public relations firm now representing him.

Zack Teperman, of the Los Angeles-based ZTPR, released a statement Friday on behalf of Green, saying the athlete “has complete faith that any further investigation will prove his complete innocence and he will be exonerated.”

The Falcons waived Green, who signed a free agent contract with the team in April, on Thursday after learning of the allegations first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune last month.

In 2015, four women — who didn’t know one another — separately went to Logan police to report being sexually assaulted by Green while he was a student. No charges were filed and the investigations stalled.

Prosecutors now are re-examining the cases.

Teperman said Friday that Green will cooperate with authorities “and looks forward to his next NFL opportunity.”

“It’s a shame his name is being dragged out there in the media and that this young man’s bright future in the NFL is going to take a major hit,” Teperman said.

After the Falcons cut Green on Thursday, the school’s head football coach, Matt Wells, said he had found out about the allegations within the past week, from the university. Green, a linebacker from California, played all 13 games of Utah State’s 2015 season under Wells.

USU Athletics Director John Hartwell defended Wells in a statement Friday, saying he “has a proven track record for disciplining and dismissing players, and he does not wait for an arrest to trigger action.”

Green was never arrested, and was not interviewed for the second two cases, according to police reports.

Logan police Detective Kendall Olsen handled all four cases. He sent the first two to Deputy Cache County Attorney Barb Lachmar, who declined to file charges at the time. He transferred a third case to neighboring North Park police, whose jurisdiction covered where the alleged rape occurred. That department did not move forward with the case. A fourth case reported to Logan police, in November 2015, also stalled.

Three of the women who reported to police were Utah State students and informed school officials. Under Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, schools must take action if there is a potential continuing threat to students. It also mandates that universities investigate credible reports that a student has sexually abused multiple students.

But it appears Utah State never fully investigated the allegations.

After The Tribune’s story last month, USU spokesman Tim Vitale said the school’s in-house legal counsel was reviewing the allegations.

That review will look at communication between offices that deal with sexual assault, how the school handles anonymous or confidential sexual assault reports, and mandatory reporter training.

Vitale did not answer questions about the scope of the inquiry or who would review the findings or act on any recommendations that come out of it.

Hartwell said Friday that inquiry also will include looking at “every action taken by the athletics program.”

He also defended the school’s athletics department as a whole, saying he takes “allegations of sexual assault extremely seriously, and we in USU Athletics take action — decisive and immediate action — as soon as it’s appropriate.”

He added that the athletics department educates student athletes about sexual assault prevention and reporting and that local police talk to players about that issue.

Prosecutors have said they are reviewing the four cases and are doing some additional investigations, a process they expect will take weeks.

Cache County Attorney James Swink told The Tribune he was meeting with the Logan police chief Friday because “we have quite a few things we need to follow up on,” adding that they will be working cooperatively with the police department.

astuckey@sltrib.com

Twitter: @alexdstuckey