Attorney: Pierre innocent of sexual assault allegation, will fight suspension

The lawyer for Dayton senior Dyshawn Pierre, who was suspended by the school for the first semester following a sexual assault accusation, said his client is innocent and intends to fight the action.

The Dayton Daily News reported that the school investigated an allegation of a sexual assault that was said to have happened April 23 and was reported in May. The newspaper said the Montgomery County, Ohio, prosecutor's office declined to press charges "due to insufficient evidence."

"A false accusation against University of Dayton student-athlete Dyshawn Pierre has recently become the subject of media attention in light of Dyshawn's semester-long suspension," Pierre's lawyer, Peter R. Ginsberg, said in a statement released Wednesday night. "Dyshawn adamantly denies that he engaged in any inappropriate conduct of any sort. Law enforcement clearly agreed and decided not to pursue prosecution of him. Ignoring that decision made by qualified professionals, the University of Dayton subjected Dyshawn to fundamentally defective and unfair University disciplinary procedures orchestrated to appease a broken Department of Education policy. We will be challenging the University's handling of this matter in the near future."

The school said in a statement Sunday that Pierre is not enrolled at the university for the fall semester. Sources told ESPN that Pierre has been suspended but is expected to return to the team for the Dec. 22 game against Miami (Ohio).

"Dyshawn looks forward to a full and fair hearing and, ultimately, to vindication," Ginsberg said. "No one, woman or man, should be subjected to abuse, and no one, woman or man, should be deprived of fundamental rights and fair treatment. We look forward to the truth coming out, and Dyshawn looks forward to returning to the University of Dayton."

Pierre is the leading returning scorer, at 12.7 points per game, and rebounder, at 8.1 per game. Dayton won 27 games last season before losing to Oklahoma in the round of 32.