One of two women who said they were physically abused by former Arizona running back Orlando Bradford filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against the university on Tuesday.
Bradford, from Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced to five years in prison in November after pleading guilty to two counts of felony aggravated assault in a plea deal.
Bradford, who played for the Wildcats in 2015 and '16, was arrested in September 2016 after his then-girlfriend told police that he had hit and choked her. The day after his arrest, the woman who filed the lawsuit Tuesday told police that Bradford had also physically abused her.
Bradford, who entered the 2016 season as Arizona's starting running back, was dismissed from the team following his arrest. He was initially charged with 10 felonies and five misdemeanors before accepting the plea deal.
The woman who initially called police about Bradford's abuse, a former Arizona softball player, filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against the university in October.
Attorneys for the woman in the most recent complaint said in her lawsuit that high-ranking university officials, including coaches, senior athletics department officials, the dean of students and UA police, were "repeatedly notified that Mr. Bradford was engaging in predatory behavior toward female students and posed a substantial risk of harm to female U of A students. Among other things, officials learned that Mr. Bradford had beaten, choked and threatened women on campus, along with other acts of dating violence."
"In response, the University took virtually no action: It failed to open a Title IX investigation, failed to take measures to protect the affected students and potential future victims, and failed to impose any discipline on Mr. Bradford apart from limiting his access to campus dormitories," the lawsuit says. "Instead, the University ultimately promoted Mr. Bradford to a starting running back position for the fall 2016 football season."
The lawsuit claims university officials were aware that the woman in the most recent lawsuit was one of Bradford's victims, but "took no action to notify Plaintiff of other reports of violence or to provide her with any assistance or accommodations to escape what had become a terrifying spiral of abuse."
In February 2016, the woman filed a claim with the Arizona Board of Regents, offering to settle the case for $1 million. Her attorneys filed Tuesday's lawsuit after failing to reach a settlement.
The woman said Bradford assaulted her throughout the spring semester in 2016, "regularly choking, hitting and kicking her and even dragging her by her hair." The lawsuit said Bradford also frequently threatened the woman with more abuse if she reported him to police.
On April 11, 2016, the lawsuit alleges, Bradford attacked the woman while at her apartment, grabbing her, dragging her screaming across the floor and choking her until she managed to escape. A neighbor heard her screams and called the Tucson Police Department. When police arrived at her home, Bradford wouldn't allow her to answer the door until she covered her scratches and other injuries.
The lawsuit said the woman's mother was so concerned about her behavior that she made an unexpected visit and noticed bruising and scratches on her daughter's face. The plaintiff wouldn't disclose the abuse, but her mother called Arizona's dean of students to discuss her concerns. By that time, according to the lawsuit, university officials were already aware of Bradford's previous abuse of women.
When the woman attempted to end their relationship in June 2016, Bradford continued "to harass and began stalking Plaintiff, appearing at her apartment unannounced and sending her threatening messages, warning that she had 'no choice' and 'I think I will kill you if you leave to be honest.'"