This year, there have been 214 total sexual misconduct violations through the Dean of Students at Georgia State. Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
In May, three women, Michelle Tisdale, Cabria De Chabert and Alyssa Edgar, together came out publicly on Twitter, each with a case of sexual misconduct through the Dean of Students against the same student, Anthony Jones.
What followed was a massive discussion across social media within the Georgia State community about sexual assault and how prevalent it is. Many women came forward with their own stories publicly, and the Dean of Students reports there have since been several cases reported as a result of the discussion on social media.
This story is a long-form investigation, which is told in greater length than a traditional story by The Signal and which required weeks of investigation, interviews and document acquisition.
It contains an “as told to” element in which three women share their stories from their perspective with the writers of this story.
It is important to note that while several individuals use the term “sexual assault,” this is in their own words of what happened and does not indicate a criminal charge of sexual assault. As well, a case reviewed by the Dean of Students does not indicate a criminal charge either.
This story includes graphic depictions of sexual assault, first-person retellings from survivor experiences and use of profanity. In order to preserve the raw elements of this topic, we chose not to filter the individual’s emotions and detail.
The illustrations for this story represent the three women that came forward and a fourth: for all of the women who have joined the conversation and shared their stories. These women in the illustration are a visual, not realistic, representation.
Ada Wood, Editor-in-Chief
Brooklyn Valera, Managing Editor
Amanda Dixon-Shropshire, Staff Artist
PAGE DESIGN AND DATA VISUALIZATION BY
Ada Wood, Editor-in-Chief
As a recently graduated student from Georgia State, Michelle Tisdale was a member of the Zeta Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the programming chair for College Curls, a committee member of Spotlight Spirit and Traditions, a resident assistant for the past two years and a cheerleader.
On October 27, 2018, the day of Homecoming, I ended up at the tailgate and I was drinking the Sigma’s special drink, called “blue juice.” As hours go by, I’m coming down from being intoxicated and I was ready to go home.
Later on, my friends texted me about a party at the Sigma house, so I decided to go over with them. At this point, I’m sober again and I’m just barely sipping my drink because I don’t really want to get intoxicated a second time.
I had met Anthony Jones through the Greek community and became friends with him since he was a Sigma and so were my other friends. That day, Anthony had run for royal court for Mr. Blue and White, but he did not win and at the party he was drinking a lot.
He started to be touchy with me, and it was never anything I had experienced with him before because we had just been friends. It was unusual behavior for him. I ended up giving in and sitting in his lap, but I got up because it didn’t feel right.
Later, he asked me if I had seen upstairs or had I seen the whole house. I told him, “Yes,” but he asked me again a little later, and again I said, “Yes.” He wasn’t listening, and took my hand and guided me toward the stairwell.
He was trying to kiss me. I kept saying, constantly, “No, you’re drunk. No, you’re drunk.” Eventually, I gave in and kissed him; it didn’t feel right, just like when I gave in and sat on his lap.
I continued, over and over, telling him, “No.” He started guiding me upstairs to a room. When we got there, his back was to the door, and I was facing him. I wouldn’t say he was blocking the door, but if I wanted to get out, I would have to go past him.
He didn’t go inside my pants, but he touched me down there. At that moment, I didn’t know what to think. I knew I didn’t feel good about it because it wasn’t something I wanted, and it wasn’t something I consented to.
I was scared. I didn’t know what could have happened. We were up in a room all alone while everyone else was downstairs enjoying the party.
I eventually told him that I was going to let my friend into the party who was downstairs and was able to leave the room. Sometimes, my face tells how I’m feeling, and my friend had noticed that I was not ok, and I left the party.
I thought because we were friends before, he would come up to me and apologize. But he didn’t; he avoided me all week.
When it happened, I was very nervous; I was scared. This topic is not really talked about that much within the Black community, especially sexual assault. I remember being in my room, thinking I knew I wasn’t raped because he didn’t penetrate me, but I didn’t know what it was.
I didn’t know what had happened to me. So, I got on my phone and typed in Google, “sexual assault.” And that’s sad because it’s not talked about. When I read that, I knew, this is what happened to me.
I eventually went to the Dean of Students with a friend, and when I walked into the office, they said, “What are you here for?” I couldn’t even say it, so I asked to write it down. And on a piece of paper, I wrote the words “sexual assault.”
I was given a paper to write my statement. And as I was writing, I realized, “I can’t turn in this statement.” I can’t turn this into the Dean of Students. I’m an RA. There were so many violations, the room at the party was over capacity, there was underage drinking — I was underage drinking.
I couldn’t lose my job; I love my job. It’s my money, it’s my food, it’s my housing. I can’t give him that control and lose my job.
And I told the woman that I changed my mind, and I didn’t want to report. I went back to my dorm, I took the statement paper, I balled it up, threw it in the trash, and I cried.
There were so many turns I tried to do to give myself peace, but it always led me back to one thing: I couldn’t get in trouble.
The fact that I wanted to report, but I couldn’t lose my job. I couldn’t talk to my parents because they would have called the police.
The fact that I had to see him. We had a class together, African American studies, and he sat right behind me. We were in a group project together.
This class was my favorite class, but it was also serious; if you missed, you lost attendance points, so I couldn’t miss class. I was also taking science classes like chemistry — those are classes you don’t want to miss, even if you’re sick. I skipped all of my classes that week.
I asked my professor if it was ok to move him out of my group, and she told me, “You have to give me a valid reason; if you can’t, then I can’t remove him from your group.” And I couldn’t tell my professor because she would have to report it too.
I considered the Counseling and Testing Center, but I figured they would also have to report.
Every turn, I was afraid it would get back to housing because it happened on campus, and it would come back to me.
At this point, I feel like there was no place to turn, no place for healing. That’s when I started to get really depressed.
I’m grateful I met Alyssa and Cabria, under unfortunate circumstances, but it felt so, so, so much better to have met them. When I heard their stories, it broke my heart.
Even now, telling my story, I’m very emotional, about to cry. For the longest time, I felt at fault for what happened to Alyssa. Because if I had reported him that first time I considered it, it might have stopped it from happening to her later.
I blamed myself. But when I spoke to her, she reassured me it wasn’t my fault and that I had no control over the situation.
We all got together and we reported him on November 6, 2019. It was a very emotional day for each of us. A lot of us cried for different reasons. I cried because I was able to do something I wasn’t able to do a year ago.
At that point, I didn’t care about my job, I didn’t care about being fired — now, all I cared about was reporting him. It wasn’t just for me — I was doing it for Cabria, for Alyssa, for all of the girls who couldn’t report.
But the process was very long and very emotionally draining. This whole time, you heal from the situation all the way up until you hear something back, and then, it’s like opening up the wound again. I wasn’t in the best mental space.
When we got the first draft back, we were able to see what he said in his interview. He lied about us. He lied about me, he lied about Alyssa, he lied about Cabria.
With me, he said everything was consensual. That day, I was so hurt; I had never been through something like this. Why are you lying? I didn’t lie, so why should you lie?
I saw him at campus events, having fun, laughing. I even started crying. He was acting like everything was ok. It made it so hard to go to social events.
At one point, we received an email that “Anthony Jones refuses to take any responsibility.” And it also informed us that he would like to have a hearing. It was so hard because now I had to keep feeling this pain even longer.
And this man had a lawyer. I didn’t need a lawyer; I was telling the truth. But I was afraid because he was receiving legal advice; what if everything went in his favor? I was scared that my voice was going to be silenced.
During the hearing, because of COVID, it was online; I had to hear him and see him. He started off his statement talking about how he injured his arm. I couldn’t even understand. What did it have to do with anything? I think he was trying to get the panel on his side, going through all of this irrelevant detail.
The process was long. I remember thinking, “What is Georgia State doing? Why is it taking so long?” But I would say in the end that Georgia State did everything they could to the best of their ability.
I had my hearing date two days after my graduation date.
It baffles me how common this is and nobody talks about it. There are people who are taking a break from Twitter because women and men are sharing their stories and they aren’t used to it.
I’m forever grateful that we posted it on Twitter. We’ve started a beautiful movement that has created a safe space for men and women.
That’s all I could ask for, that it’s finally being talked about.
CABRIA DE CHABERT
Cabria de Chabert graduated this semester from Georgia State. She was a senior resident assistant, a peer mentor for incoming freshmen, on the executive board of Sigma Phi Omega and a student ambassador for the Civic Engagement Office.
I met Anthony Jones in the summer of 2018, in the Civic Engagement Office. From then on, we would just see each other around campus and say, “Hi,” to each other.
During the summer of 2019, my friends came to visit me at my dorm in Patton Hall and invited me to a party. I wasn’t really feeling it — I feel like that was my intuition — but I decided to go.
After the first party, where I had been drinking a lot, we got invited to a second party held by Anthony and his line brothers. I remember talking to Anthony when we got there, and he was telling me all about his sobriety, and I commended him in my head because I thought that was nice.
I sat down with Anthony, and he got me a blanket because I was cold and then started touching my leg. He asked if I wanted to go to his room, and I said, “Yes,” and we started kissing, which was fine. But then he started trying to take down my underwear, but I didn’t let him; I kept moving his hand.
I had no intentions of having sex with him. He kept saying, “I’ve been waiting to do this for so long.”
And I was thinking, “I don’t know if I should be flattered or concerned. He had been thinking about this?”
And then my friends started banging on the door, and I got up to see them, and I didn’t know what was going on because I was still tipsy. But they were pissed and started rushing me out of there, cursing. They explained to me that when they were trying to get to the door, his line brothers from his fraternity were blocking my friends, telling them to leave us alone.
They kept telling them, “No, we need to make sure she’s ok.” And so they told another line brother, and he said that it wasn’t his issue, that it wasn’t his problem and just turned his head to it.
That night, Anthony wasn’t the problem. It was his line brothers.
Anthony wouldn’t talk to me after that. But it was just so weird seeing him around without addressing it, so on October 23, 2019, I saw him in the office, and I asked to talk to him just to clear things up.
We started walking through Student Center East, then Urban Life, and he was going through all of these doorways, trying to find a place, looking into all of the classrooms. And I asked, “Why are we trying to find such a secret place?” and he told me, “I just want us to find a place where we can be comfortable and talk.”
We went into the stairwell on the second floor of Student Center East, and we started talking. I apologized for how my friends were treating him because I didn’t think he had anything to do with it. My friends are very unapologetic, so I know they were giving him a hard time.
That’s where things started getting weird. I wasn’t in a relationship when I saw him at the party, but I had a boyfriend now. He started touching my leg, and I told him, “You know I’m in a relationship.”
And he told me, “Yeah, but you’re a bad girl. You could be a bad girl for me.” I told him, “No.”
I told him I only wanted to clear up the old situation and make sure we were good. And then he told me I owed him “reparations” for everything he’s been through — with my friends bothering him.
Then he put his hand around my neck, and I got angry; I was telling him, “What are you doing? Anthony, this is weird.”
He pulled out his phone, and he said, “I’m going to set this timer for three minutes, and you’re going to give me head.” And I was like, that is not about to happen.
He kept forcing himself on me, and I kept saying stop, that he was making me uncomfortable, and I got up. He got up too and pulled down his pants and started choking me, his hands on my neck, pressing himself on me.
And I’m looking away as he started touching himself. He’s telling me to look, and I can’t even get the word, “No,” out. And I finally look, and he finishes himself and he’s just sighing, like “whew.”
I’m stuck. What the fuck just happened to me? I left, walked down to the eating area near Panda Express, sat there and then I started to cry. I didn’t know what to do.
Eventually, I found out there were two other girls, and it was crazy to hear that, it was comforting to know that I wasn’t alone but also so sad.
I started talking to the other girls and hearing their stories. We went up to the office together on November 6, 2019 and wrote out our statements. From there, it was an entire journey.
I wasn’t ok. I’m a psych major, so I was taking classes where we would talk about sexual violence, and I would actually miss class.
I started counseling. I went to the Student Victim Assistance; they helped a lot. There were days where I felt like I couldn’t breathe — especially when I saw him around.
I was feeling scared. I was feeling shameful. I was in a relationship, and even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, I put pressure on myself because it had happened.
I felt like his brothers were judging me, that they thought I was trying to bring their fraternity down. There were a lot of rumors, so his brothers were trying to cover their ass, in my opinion. Anthony never said anything about it, but he would use his brothers’ words to hurt my character, saying, “This person says she’s been ran through, this person says she’s messy.”
It was very hard. I felt betrayed. I care about people — I wouldn’t be a leader on campus if I didn’t care about people. I didn’t trust anymore. I was very guarded.
In the Dean of Students, Mr. and Mrs. Mazique — they had to be neutral — but they were very kind and very helpful. Some students are running with their own narratives, and I want them to know that Georgia State — the Dean of Students — really did help.
The Student Victim Assistance office checked up on me every week, every step of the way; I always felt comforted. They sent emails to my professors, asking them to take it easy on me. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to graduate if it wasn’t for them.
We went in on November 6, 2019, and I had my hearing May 1, of this year. So, it took a minute. I feel like he should have a harsher punishment, but I understand they can only do so much with the evidence.
We were going to do it through the police but they told us that it would take two to three years, and I just couldn’t endure it for that long, seeing him, dealing with him.
The only thing I wish Georgia State had was cameras in the stairwell. If there were cameras in the stairwell, this wouldn’t have happened. That was the only thing I was fighting for, for someone to believe me.
The only evidence I had was a photo of his semen, dried up on the stairwell.
We didn’t want to put him in jail. Even though I know what he did was terrible, I didn’t feel comfortable being the dictator of his well-being. But seeing other women around him on campus, seeing my mentees around him on campus — it hurt my soul.
Our sole purpose for doing this was for awareness.
Alyssa Edgar graduated this May as a biology major. She was involved in the chemistry club, a member of the Honors Student Organization and a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Divine Nine, Greek community.
I was at a Sigma party in January 2019 when I met Anthony. We exchanged numbers and started talking shortly after.
There were two separate events that happened between us. The first happened in February. We weren’t in a relationship, but we were in the “talking stage;” I was his Valentine, and we were getting to know each other.
We had just been on a date, and we came back to my apartment. I never intended on having sex with him. I didn’t really want to do anything, but he wanted to have sex. Consensually, I decided to perform oral sex for him, hoping that would be enough.
Then, we were kind of wrestling on my bed, and he got on top of me; he was trying to get my body in position for sex. He started pulling my underwear down and I kept pulling them up, but once they were down, I put my hand over myself. Then he was holding my wrists down with one hand and my feet with his feet.
He inserted himself into me and we had sex. I thought that because I didn’t say, “No,” it meant I hadn’t been sexually assaulted.
But after I talked to the Dean of Students later, they had explained to me that I still gave him clear signs that I didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t know that for a while. I thought he was just an aggressive person.
After that, we stayed together. There were little things that happened after that, some consensual things as well, but never anything like him inserting himself inside me without my consent.
In October, I had found out what had happened to another girl, Michelle. And I was done with him. I wrote him a letter, and I was going to break up with him on that Friday, but I was waiting until then because I wanted to enjoy my week and enjoy Halloween. I knew when I told him, he would try to convince me otherwise.
That week, we were pretty distant. And he had been talking to my line sister, explaining he was going to ask me to be his girlfriend.
On October 31, 2019, we both ended up at the same party. We kissed, we danced, but I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. Throughout the night, I became really drunk, enough to where I was stumbling.
He ended up taking me to a stairwell, and we were kissing. He started moving my underwear again, trying to insert himself into me. At this point, I still know I don’t want to have sex. And he put himself inside me anyways, and I asked him to stop because it was hurting me.
It didn’t last that long. It was very short. Afterwards, I left the party.
The next morning, I could feel that I had sex. That’s when I talked to my friend, one of Anthony’s line brothers, and he had encouraged me and the other girls to report it.
At first, I didn’t want to talk about it; I wanted to be done with it; I wanted to move on; I didn’t want to keep thinking about it. Eventually, my friend told us that if we didn’t report, he was still going to. And in the end, I’m very glad he did that because it motivated us to do the right thing.
Throughout the whole thing, I appreciated Mr. Mazique. But it was a really slow process. It took a long time. We reported in November and had our hearings in May.
Because it was intense, they brought lawyers into it. Georgia State did better than I thought they would — some schools don’t respond at all. They were very proactive.
As for the consequences Anthony faced, I think the most important thing is now everybody knows there are social consequences.
In the beginning, when I was figuring out what had happened, I was really, really sad. I would cry at night and the mornings. I was depressed.
It was hard because I was dating Anthony, and on top of losing him, I’m realizing what horrible things he’s done to other women, what horrible things he’s done to me.
I threw myself into my school work to distract myself. I would get anxious or nervous when I saw some people from his chapter, or even seeing Anthony on campus.
But I’m feeling better now that everything’s out in the open and the case is closed, and I can see that my story was believed.
This was a catalyst for other women at Georgia State to speak out about sexual assault and that makes me feel empowered, despite the sadness.
THE RESULTS OF THE CASE AND JONES’ RESPONSE
In all three cases, Georgia State student Anthony Jones was charged with violating Section 2, Subsection A(18) of the Student Code of Conduct, “engaging in any sexual misconduct.”
According to the Dean of Students’ Sexual Misconduct Policy, sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to, “unwanted behavior [such] as dating violence, domestic violence, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment and stalking.”
The results of each case included sanctions recommended by the Sexual Misconduct Board: a suspension until Aug. 17, three counts of disciplinary probation, three counts of sexual misconduct training, a transcript annotation and no contact directives for each woman. Dean of Students Michael Sanseviro agreed with the Board’s recommended sanctions in each case.
No contact directives issued by the university remain in place while the individuals involved have a relationship with the university. After graduation they no longer apply.
According to Sanseviro, Jones has not graduated from Georgia State yet, even though he was planned to this past semester, and will be able to resume coursework following his suspension on Aug. 17.
Students that are scheduled to graduate prior to the completion of a case can experience a delay in receiving their degree or diploma if sanctions are applied by the Dean of Students.
Although Jones received disciplinary probation in all three cases, the latest date is enforced. He is expected to remain on probation until May 4, 2021, even if he is scheduled to graduate before then. This is to ensure that the individual on probation cannot participate in Georgia State activities that require good standing as a student or alumnus.
Sexual misconduct training was also given in all three cases, however, it only needs to be completed once. Failure to complete the workshop can impact a student’s ability to receive their degree/diploma, even if the student qualifies for graduation from the university.
A transcript annotation can be applied permanently or temporarily for five years. This way, if the student’s transcript is requested by future employers, another institution or a graduate program, all transcript recipients will be aware of the violation.
During Jones’s time at Georgia State he has been involved in multiple student organizations, including the Student Government Association, Pi Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Panther Ambassadors and the 1913 Society.
In 2019, Jones ran for SGA president. During the SGA debates, Jones was questioned about his removal from the Senate, prior to running for president.
Similar to the instance Tisdale explained in her trial with the Dean of Students, Jones said he missed so many meetings due to an injury as he showed the crowd a scar on his arm. Jones was later disqualified from the race for bribing a student for her vote.
In response to his first sexual misconduct allegation, Jones was sanctioned and removed from his position as fundraising director of the Pi Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity by former President Donnell Ray. Current President Takia Tinsley upheld the decision in a statement released by the fraternity.
“As a chapter we have always been angry and disgusted at his decision to bring destruction and harm to people’s lives and we could never support, protect or associate ourselves with him or his actions,” the document states.
When presented with the accusations, Jones said he was unable to comment.
“Per my confidentiality agreement with the school, I can neither confirm nor deny any of these accusations,” Jones said.
Dean of Students Michael Sanseviro refuted that there is any confidentiality agreement preventing Jones from speaking about the case.
Jones ultimately declined to comment on the allegations.
GSUPD’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE CASE
According to Georgia State University Chief of Police Joseph Spillane, an investigator was immediately assigned to Cabria De Charbet’s sexual battery case when she filed the complaint. De Charbet’s complaint was the only incident reported and the only complainant that requested prosecution.
All parties were interviewed and in December 2019, the case was forwarded to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
In March, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said that there wasn’t enough probable cause to prosecute Jones.
In her interview with The Signal, De Charbert expressed concern about the lack of cameras in the stairwell where she was assaulted.
“As far as the University Camera system we are constantly evaluating and upgrading the system,” Spillane said.
The Signal has been reporting on GSUPD’s advances with cameras around campus as an ongoing concern for students.
On Jan. 17, 2019, The Signal published an article about the approved $2 million fund proposal by Georgia State’s Video Surveillance System Committee. And on Oct. 29, 2019, The Signal published an op-ed about the lack of cameras around campus.
On June 1, a letter was sent to administrators and faculty across Georgia State in various departments signed by the “Radical Coalition of Survivors.”
The letter includes a list of failures and demands for Georgia State. The demands include extensive training of Georgia State employees and the termination of faculty accused of protecting and enabling predators.
Attached at the end of the letter is a developing list of abusers, demanding their immediate expulsion.
The coalition states that it would be forced to take “public action” against Georgia State if a response wasn’t issued by June 5.
However, Vice President of Student Engagement and Programs Allison Calhoun-Brown wrote a letter in response to the coalition by their requested deadline. She expressed her confidence in how the university handles the reports and that past mistakes are corrected once identified.
Calhoun-Brown also responded to the coalition’s concern over the disproportionate student to counselor ratio outlining Georgia State’s plans to double the counseling staff by “opening a new satellite office for the Counseling Center this fall … providing more resources to support … all students including those who may be victims of sexual assault.”
Calhoun-Brown also mentioned the inability to verify the allegations stated in the coalition’s letter but said that every formal misconduct complaint will be investigated.
“I invite you to meet with me and a small team of senior university leaders to discuss our shared goals for a safe campus community,” she said.
Shanbrae McFarland Uwaifo, founder of the Radical Coalition of Survivors said she created the organization as a safe space for survivors of sexual assault.
“As I went through my own experience, I realized that I literally had no one to turn to, no community [that] centers survivors,” she said.
McFarland Uwaifo told The Signal that the names of the members of the coalition would remain anonymous. She said she would like the focus to remain on the accused rather than the victims.
Read the letter from the RCOS to the university administration below.
Editor’s Note: The letter from the Radical Coalition of Survivors in this article does not contain the final page, the “developing list of abusers” because the names on that list have not been confirmed by The Signal.
A CASE AND A DENIAL
Kaylah Oates-Marable, a grad student at Georgia State, completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia State in 2019. After seeing the other three women come forward on Twitter, she followed suit by sharing her story as well.
In February 2018, she met Trequavius Thomas on Twitter, against whom she would later present a sexual misconduct case to the Dean of Students.
Their story shows the duality of the aftermath of a sexual misconduct accusation on both sides, when there are two different stories.
After two weeks of knowing each other, Oates-Marable said the two went to a party together, where they had a disagreement about another man at the party, in which Thomas asked her if she was talking to the other man. When she said she wasn’t, he said he didn’t believe her.
“I was really drunk; it was like being in a movie where the scenes flash back and forth. I know at some point in the night I asked him to take me home,” she said. “It wasn’t until I was sitting on a bench at the party starting to fall asleep, and then the next thing I knew, I was in his car — that’s when I realized how drunk I was.”
According to Oates-Marable, the next thing she knew, she was in his bed with him on top of her, his fingers inside of her. It wasn’t until then that she realized she wasn’t at her own house and that they were at his place. She remembers him telling her, “I went through your phone, and you lied about the guy at the party, but that’s ok, though,” and kissed her forehead and rolled over.
“Kissing someone on a forehead is such an intimate thing; for him to do that with someone he didn’t know — who he had just done something terrible to — it was disgusting, it was creepy,” she said. “It’s such a gentle, caring act. But he had just done something so not caring.”
She said when she woke up in the morning, she asked him, “Did you go through my phone last night?” And he said, “Oh, you remember that?”
“This man did not think I would remember what he had done to me,” she said.
When it first happened, Oates-Marable said she was really depressed.
“My biggest fear is that I will never be fully whole again. It’s like a broken vase that’s now a thousand pieces of shattered glass; you can put it together, but it will never be the same,” she said.
But now, she says she feels empowered and hopes other men read these stories and know how terrible this is and call out their friends.
“I thought that no one was going to believe me. But people believe me,” she said. “I feel heard, I feel supported. I feel like I matter. I feel like my voice matters.”
Oates-Marable said that multiple women have come forward since she has shared her story about incidents they have also experienced with Thomas.
While Thomas admits he did go through her phone, he says he never touched her inappropriately.
“Yes, I was wrong to go through her phone, I was wrong to cuddle with her while she was intoxicated,” he said. “But for her to add details that I penetrated her is terrifying … details like that can ruin a person’s life.”
Thomas said that while he considers himself an ally to survivors, this experience has changed him.
“I had to go to counseling; I tried to kill myself, I was going through it,” Thomas said. “I’ve had people call me sick, call me a predator. I’m not a predator, I’m not.”
Thomas said after getting to a good place, he feels that when Oates-Marable posted the accusation on Twitter, it was to give herself a platform.
In a letter from the Dean of Students to Thomas on May 18, 2018, it was alleged that Thomas sexually assaulted Oates-Marable.
The letter notes he was found responsible for all of the charges based on the evidence that Thomas had provided her with alcohol while at the party, and he had admitted to touching her butt and kissing her on the forehead while she was asleep in his bed. As a result, he was subject to complete Sexual Misconduct Training.
Read the letter Oates-Marable received from the Dean of Students on the case decision below.
THE NUMBERS — SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CASES AT GEORGIA STATE THIS YEAR
Dean of Students Michael Sanseviro, between 2019 and 2020, 180 Title IX cases were reported to the Dean of Students. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prevents sex discrimmination in any educational institution that is federally funded, which includes sex-based violence.
Of the total 180 cases, 19 didn’t charge the accused after a full investigation, and 36 resulted in the accused being found responsible, eight investigations remain open and two cases are awaiting a decision.
The other 115 were closed for various reasons — for example, the accused wasn’t a student, the complainant didn’t respond or provide additional information, or the complainant or the accused was unidentifiable.
There have been 214 sexual misconduct violations; however, the number of violations can exceed the number of cases because more than one violation can be applied to one case.
Last week, the week of June 8, six cases were reported. Non-consensual sexual contact was identified in three incidents, sexual harassment twice, sexual exploitation once and two violation types are unknown.
The Sexual Misconduct Board seats ten faculty and staff members. Currently, there are eight members and two vacant seats. Members new and old are required to attend training by the University System of Georgia.
Sexual misconduct training is provided by the Sexual Misconduct Awareness Risk Reduction Training group. The Office of the Dean of Students oversees both the Sexual Misconduct Awareness Risk Reduction Training group and the Men in Violence Prevention Initiative.
The sexual misconduct training uses practices from the International Institute for Restorative Practices and covers the Dean of Students’ sexual misconduct policy. In order to measure a student’s success in the training program, a questionnaire is given to assess their decision-making and critical thinking.