FOX 2 (WJBK) - The sexual assault survivor, activist, and advocate who claims Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker sexually harassed her, issued a statement Monday night.
Brenda Tracy issued a statement in response to a Mel Tucker release earlier in the day. Tucker, currently suspended while an investigation by the school is underway, blasted the proceedings as biased and said the accusations were "completely false."
Tracy even accused Tucker of obstructing the investigation in her statement in a short but terse statement.
"This is just more of the same DARVO, deflection, victim blaming and lies that I’ve been dealing with now for months," she wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Coach Tucker has been delaying and trying to stop the investigative process since the beginning."
Tracy is an activist who speaks to college teams about sexual violence had spoken to Tucker's athletes numerous times.
A hearing will be held on Oct. 5th and 6th which Tracy alludes to in her statement.
"He can’t afford to go to a hearing that determines the credibility of the participating parties. I believe this statement is his way of getting out of participating in the hearing.
October 5th and 6th I will be present for the hearing and make myself available for cross-examination by his attorney Jennifer Belveal. I invite him to do the same."
A report from USA Today announced the existence of an investigation against Tucker, alleging he sexually harassed a rape survivor who had been invited to the university campus to speak about sexual misconduct prevention. In it, Tucker is described as masturbating and saying sexual comments while on the phone with Tracy.
On Sunday, AD Allan Haller said the school had placed Tucker on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which was being conducted under the school's Office for Civil Rights.
Earlier Monday, Interim President Teresa Woodruff said from the outset, the university was "focused on conducting a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation and hearing."
My response to Coach Tuckers statement:— Brenda Tracy (@brendatracy24) September 12, 2023
"This is just more of the same DARVO, deflection, victim blaming and lies that I’ve been dealing with now for months.
Coach Tucker has been delaying and trying to stop the investigative process since the beginning. He can’t afford to go… https://t.co/2UnzJLmv7C
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JULY 26: Head coach Mel Tucker of the Michigan State Spartans speaks at Big Ten football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium on July 26, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
"Interim measures were considered and implemented throughout the process, including increased monitoring and restrictions on Mel Tucker’s activities," she wrote in a statement to the school.
In Tucker's statement, he characterized his relationship with Tracy as "personal" and one where they shared "deeply personal and private information with each other." He also admitted to the phone call in question, but claimed it was beyond the jurisdiction of a Title IX inquiry.
"While I am saddened by Ms. Tracy's disclosure of the sensitive nature of this call, let me be perfectly clear – it was an entirely mutual, private event between two adults living at opposite ends of the country. She initiated the discussion that night, sent me a provacative picture of the two of us together, suggested what she may look like without clothes, and never once during the 36 minutes did she object in any manner, much less hang up the phone."
According to Woodruff, she, certain members of the Board of Trustees, the director of athletics were made aware of the existence of a complaint in December, but not the details of the complaint. A full report was submitted to both parties on July 25 and referred the case to a third-party resolution officer to hold a hearing.
It is scheduled for Oct. 5 and 6.
"This case is ongoing and will not conclude until there is a hearing decision and any potential appeals are completed," read Woodruff's statement Monday.
In Tucker's statement, he called the scheduled hearings "ridiculously flawed and not designed to arrive at the truth."