Updated at 4:45 p.m.
Attorney Huntley Johnson, who is representing Florida Gators freshman quarterback Treon Harris while the player is being investigated for sexual battery, released a statement to the media Thursday in which he claims his client is “not guilty of a crime” and “did not mistreat this young lady in any way” on Sunday morning.
OnlyGators.com obtained the release at noon.
Johnson further claims that the alleged victim was the “sexual aggressor” in not one but two separate sexual interactions Sunday morning, noting that text messages provided to police will prove that to be the case and a second “individual has given testimony to law enforcement that he had sexual relations with the alleged victim less than an hour before the alleged sexual conduct with our client took place.”
According to Johnson, the young woman, via text message, “initiated the conduct with Mr. Harris while he was still in the locker room in Knoxville” and continued conversation with him and the “other gentleman” once the team’s plane landed back in Gainesville, Florida.
Harris is currently serving an indefinite suspension from the Gators athletic program and an interim suspension from the University of Florida.
Among the claims made by Johnson in the three-page issued statement:
» “We want to dispel the idea that the alleged victim and our client didn’t know each other. Our client and the alleged victim knew each other to the extent that they had each other’s
cell phone numbers and had previously spent time together of their own accord for the purpose of socializing together.”
» Johnson denies a report that Harris “forced his way into the alleged victim’s apartment,” calling those rumors “patently false” and noting that Harris “has never been inside the young lady’s room.” Instead, all of the evidence collected by forensic investigators in this case came from Harris’s room, according to Johnson, “which is where the interaction between the two parties took place.”
» The investigation done by Johnson and his team has “produced no evidence whatsoever that the young lady in question was impaired.”
» Johnson says his firm has directed law enforcement to “multiple witnesses that will indicate what the interaction was between the alleged victim and our client before they returned to our client’s room: they were smiling and they were holding hands.” He also notes that Harris and the young woman were driven to the Springs Residential Complex, where Harris resides, by “another female student who was a friend of the alleged victim.” Furthermore, Johnson “turned over at least six (6) eyewitnesses to the events in question to law enforcement.”
» Harris immediately agreed to a search of his dorm room and cellular phone, according to Johnson. He also informed law enforcement where he was throughout the night in order to help police “secure video surveillance.”
» Johnson’s firm has “provided law enforcement with information gathered from the Internet that this young woman posted on Sunday, after the alleged misconduct, where she is smiling and happy” with “no indication of any physical or mental trauma.”
Remember: the statement issued by Johnson and his law firm is one side of the story, and it is their job to prove their client’s innocence. Whether the UF Police Department and state of Florida decide to charge Harris for this incident remains to be seen.
The full text of Johnson’s press release can be read by clicking here.
Update: In a conversation with the Orlando Sentinel‘s Mike Bianchi, Johnson made it clear that Harris “absolutely wants to stay at the University of Florida as a student and a student athlete.” He also explained why he went ahead and issued such an aggressive press release defending Harris.
“The reason we released our statement is because the university put out an 18-page heavily redacted police report and that caused all kinds of wild speculation,” Johnson told the Orlando Sentinel. “So we decided to step up and present the facts as we know them. When all is said and done, we feel everything that we’ve said will be verified.”