Attorney: Florida QB Treon Harris not guilty of a crime, woman was “sexual aggressor”

By Adam Silverstein
October 9, 2014

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.”

41 Comments

  1. Ken (CA) says:

    Here comes the spin doctor. It will be nice if the police report comes out and says the same thing (although they said it will be several weeks so his season is essentially over anyway), but as I said before, nothing good tends to happen at 3 AM, and it would have been nice if he never put himself in that kind of position to begin with, especially as he had just stepped up to be one of the “leaders” of this team. Does this team have anyone that is a leader?

    • Rakkasan says:

      I’m thinking back to when I was an 18 year old boy. If some girl had texted me that she was going to let me have my way when I got back you can be sure I’d be jumping on that as soon as I could, and damn the consequences.

  2. cline says:

    two sides to every story.

  3. BillyBob says:

    Sounds like Treon Harris is innocent. Go Gators

    • Steven says:

      His lawyer wouldn’t be very good if he made him sound guilty would he?
      Let’s just wait until we get the whole story.

      Right now it would seem that 1 of the 2 parties is lying.

  4. sjkoepp says:

    Haven’t read many attorney press releases, but this seems like pretty strong evidence that all (if true) can be proven. Problem is that all these things could be true but still have been rape if consent wasn’t given at the time. All things leading up to it are irrelevant- how on earth do you prove that though is the question.

    I’m already praying for this thing to be over and we’re only 4 days in. Unfortunately, it’s just a horrible situation any way you slice it.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      I could be wrong here but I believe the consent part would be proven in those text messages he is referencing.

      • Rakkasan says:

        Not necessarily. It could be consent was given but taken away during the act. If she says she’s had enough and for him to get off or get off her and he didn’t, then it would be rape.

  5. Ralph Paine says:

    As Dr Phil says I don’t care how flat you make a pancake there is always two sides. The University has taken the appropriate action at this point. However if it turns out that the young lady lied she should be prosecuted for filing a false statement to the police.

  6. Michael Jones says:

    However this plays out, it is “patently” disgusting. If Harris and his team are fabricating an elaborate falsehood to make the victim look like a liar, then it is disgusting. Conversely, if the alleged “victim” isn’t a victim at all, and she has made all of this up for who-knows-why and Harris is the actual victim, then that is also disgusting. Either way, there’s some really disgusting s–t going on here.

    I feel for Adam, a guy who–like most of us–just seems to love sports, having to cover this kind of material because one of the principals is a Gator football player. Just reading it makes my stomach turn.

    • DFWGator says:

      The defense attorney will do everything in their power to paint a positive picture for the person they’re defending. That’s their job, just like it’s the prosecution’s job to organize all evidence and paint a picture beyond a reasonable doubt.

      I just don’t see the elaborate falsehoods you’re talking about. If you read the attorney’s statement, he’s obviously trying to paint the girl a certain way and Harris as doing absolutely nothing wrong. All of the evidence he goes on to describe can be factual and true and in Treon’s favor, and it can also be true that once they got behind closed doors she said ‘No.’ The latter is all that really matters.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        “All of the evidence he goes on to describe can be factual and true and in Treon’s favor, and it can also be true that once they got behind closed doors she said ‘No.’ The latter is all that really matters.”

        Actually, the latter matters not, if it cannot be proven and those text messages Huntley is referring to shows without a doubt that she initiated the sexual advancements.

        • senuod says:

          The “latter” matters immensely to every person involved. It matters incredibly, because that is the entire determinant of what happened that night. Regardless of what occurs legally, whatever happened that night is centered around that “latter”, which could be a serious turning point in the lives for both of the people involved.

          It absolutely matters.

          • gatorboi352 says:

            Forgive my wording; I meant it doesn’t matter in the legal sense. If there is damning evidence in text message form no less that this woman was the one who was the “sexual aggressor” yet zero proof she said “no” behind closed doors (making it her word against his at that point) the text messages will weigh much heavier in a decision coming down. That’s what I meant.

            It totally matters in the lives of these folks involved outside of the legal case itself, of course.

            • Michael Jones says:

              Okay. You’ve clarified. Disregard my previous question.

            • senuod says:

              Gotcha

            • DFWGator says:

              It matters absolutely in the legal sense as well. Just because she initiated it doesn’t mean she couldn’t retract it at any point either. Text messages may not be nearly as damning as physical evidence found on either party or in the room itself. I certainly hope it never got to that level, but let’s not make it sound like some suggestive texts are the smoking gun in a potential rape case.

        • Michael Jones says:

          So once a girl sends a sexually suggestive text message, it’s on? No turning back or changing her mind?

          • Rakkasan says:

            Sure, but it boils down to her credibility, and the text messages plus the witnesses show her to not be very credible. That makes this a case most prosecutors wouldn’t touch.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Harris’ attorney has made very clear representations that everything that happened was consensual, that Harris did not “mistreat this young lady in any way.” So while I agree with the last portion of your comment, the first portion of your comment seems to disregard some of the content of Adam’s piece.

  7. Chris says:

    What a bad deal for Harris. His character is damaged no matter what because of something he had no control over.
    What will happen to the girl?

    • Steven says:

      I’m not taking side, but this is HIS lawyer talking.
      Of course it’s going to sound good.

      The facts will come out and then I’ll judge.

  8. BillyBob says:

    -Ralph Paine

    I agree 100%

  9. W2 says:

    It’s just a sad thing all the way around.

  10. Gatorgrad79 says:

    What girl has access to a locker room and team plane?? A cheerleader…..?!?

  11. BillyBob says:

    In today’s world you are guilty until proven innocent. Harris should not have been suspended at all until he was charged with a crime. Anybody can accuse someone of anything, just because you have been accused, doesn’t mean you did it, and shouldn’t suffer consequences of a crime that you haven’t been proven guilty of committing.

    • Steven says:

      It’s definitely a legitimate conversation to have.
      I would argue that its not “today’s world”. It just the way it always has been.
      It’s also not just public perception. The law treats you like you are guilty until proven innocent a lot of time.
      Just ask those awaiting their trial dates in a jail cell.

      But you have to take allegations seriously and let the police do their job.
      I’m glad the university took immediate action while this gets sorted out.

      Also just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it can’t be morally reprehensible. I wouldn’t want someone like that representing my school either.

      I’m withholding judgement until we get the facts

    • gatorboi352 says:

      “In today’s world you are guilty until proven innocent. Harris should not have been suspended at all until he was charged with a crime. ”

      I invite you to read up on Title IX and the requirements and rules universities like UF must comply with to continue receiving federal grants and such.

    • Thatguy15 says:

      I agree completely

  12. 305Gator says:

    I know there are 2 sides to every story but Huntley Johnson has put out some very strong arguments on Treon’s side of the story. Now as long as the police investigation agrees with this info then Treon can be said to be innocent of any crimes.
    The whole situation stinks. Hope we have a resolution sooner rather than later.

  13. Oldflyer says:

    So, the attacks on the accuser have begun. Similar to what happened in Tallahassee.

    I have no idea what Huntley Johnson is like; but, it appears that he makes a living representing UF football players. Somehow, I think his statements deserve to be viewed with the same credibility as those of the accuser. Not by Gator fans of course.

    What girl would have access to the locker room? A student trainer majoring in sports medicine for instance. My daughter was one; although she did not work directly with the football team–except in the training room during rehab. Frankly, I worried about her at the time, and always cautioned her to be very careful any time she saw alcohol being mixed with testosterone. She was unscathed other than having a roommate raped while in school by an unknown assailant. Believe me, that is traumatic in itself; and shakes any girl’s confidence in her environment.. Her school more recently achieved notoriety when a male athlete murdered his girl friend, another athlete, in a drunken, jealous rage.

    I obviously have no idea how this will end. I hope there is a definitive answer to what transpired; and if TH is innocent he is able to move forward with minimal damage. As the father of two daughters, and the grandfather of two more, it does piss me off to see people on the internet who have no information to base an opinion on, immediately assume that the accusation is baseless and the accuser is the guilty party.

    • Timmy T says:

      Said young lady was not in the locker room. They are talking about text messages from the girl to Treon while still in the UT locker room.

      • I’ve updated the story to clarify. It is in the full text, but I forgot to bring it over when breaking it down.

      • Timmy T says:

        And according to the lawyer’s statement, she was also texting a second guy at the same time. He is painting a picture to look as if this girl were setting up a “get together”. Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t. Not for me to guess, but that looks like where Johnson is going with this case.

  14. SW FL Joe says:

    How can this not be a distraction to the team? I wish we were on the road this weekend.

    • Galloway1520 says:

      So does LSU.
      Seriously, this whole situation stinks.
      And Harris’ lawyer kind of reminds me of the atty. on Sinefeld. Just sayin…

Top