May 25, 2011 09:10

white noise

News and views from inside the media bubble 

WAKE FOREST RESPONDS TO FORMER STUDENT’S ALLEGATIONS IN ‘TODAY’ SHOW SEGMENT

Last week, Wake Forest University president Nathan Hatch issued a letter in response to allegations leveled by former Wake student Maggie Hurt that former Wake basketball player Gary Clark sexually assaulted her as Clark’s teammate, Jeff Teague, stood guard outside the door of the Miami hotel room after an NCAA tournament game in 2009. Hurt made her allegations during a segment on NBC’s “Today” show, which aired May 19. A former member of Wake’s pep band, Hurt said she reported the incident to university police upon her return to campus. After a hearing by the school’s judiciary council, the school took no disciplinary action against Clark or Teague, Hurt said. In his open letter to the university community, Hatch claimed the “Today” show segment misrepresented the school’s character and its response to the alleged incident.

Hatch touted the school’s rape education, prevention and response program known as PREPARE as one of the first of its kind in the country. Also, the school has a full-time, professionally trained victim’s advocate, “who is available to students around-the-clock during the academic year,” Hatch stated.

“Ultimately, however, the decision of whether to file a police report, and when to do so, is a personal decision that must be made independently by the individual student,” he added. Michael Grace, the lawyer who represents Clark and Teague, responded by saying his clients are considering taking legal action against Hurt, according to the website foxportscarolinas.com. In a letter, Grace said that both Clark and Teague were “stunned and outraged” by Hurt’s allegations and appalled at the one-sided nature of the “Today” show report. “That NBC would provide Ms. Hurt with a forum to air her story to millions — a story which is dramatically different from any story she has told in the past — without giving both Gary and Jeff an opportunity to respond, is tragic and will adversely affect them for years to come,” Grace stated.

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