Police Chief Resigns After Reprehensible Comment
(UT) – The Utah State University police chief has resigned after comments he made regarding sexual assault came to light. Chief Earl Morris was recorded speaking to the football team regarding sexual misconduct and Mormon women.
“If you’re not used to a Mormon community, folks, I’m here to tell you, the Latter-day Saints community — young ladies, they may have sex with you. I don’t know if they’re going to have guilt afterwards, but they’re going to go talk to their minister, their bishop, priest, whatever you want to call it,” Morris said as some players laughed. “He’s going to say, was it consensual?”
Morris went on, “I can tell you that oftentimes it’s easier to say, no, no, no, that wasn’t consensual. And then what happens? Now there’s an investigation.”
According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Morris warned the team that LDS women will often tell their bishop that sex was non-consensual because it’s “easier.” They might be “feeling regret,” he continued, for having sex before marriage, which goes against the faith’s teachings of abstinence, so they’ll say it was assault.
Law Enforcement has a Long History of Not Believing Women
Unfortunately, it is extremely common for law enforcement to assume that women are lying about being sexually assaulted. That attitude only increases if the accused is an athlete or a member of a fraternity.
In the meeting, Morris and the Logan department’s assistant police chief gave out their personal cellphone numbers for the players to call if they needed advice or had concerns that an officer didn’t treat them properly.
This is unbelievable. How are women supposed to feel they are being treated fairly when their accusers have direct phone access to the top people over the agency investigating cases against them?
University in Violation of Title IX
The information on Chief Morris came out after a female student was assaulted in 2019. Her case was so poorly handled that she ended up filing a civil lawsuit against the university. The sexual assault case originally fell under the horrendous guidelines of the Trump administration. They included the right of the assailant to interrogate the victim, in person. The right of the assailant to see all hospital photographs taken of the victim, and much more.
The victim in the civil lawsuit was forced to bring forth her own witnesses, rather than the investigators looking into her claims. The investigator was changed repeatedly and recorded evidence was lost, forcing her to have to repeat the process multiple times.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an investigation into the school’s policies and handling of sexual harassment and assault from 2013-2017, saying the school had not been in compliance with Title IX guidelines.
In 2020, the university announced a settlement with the DOJ, with USU President Noelle Cockett saying in a statement, “The review found that, during this three-year time period there were university-wide failures in addressing sexual misconduct.” Part of the settlement included a restructuring of the way the school should handle sexual assault investigations.
Regardless of the ruling by the federal judge, the university continued the victim’s case under the old guidelines. When the victim “said it was going to be too difficult for her to attend the hearing and be questioned by her alleged perpetrator. The coordinator told Flint that likely meant her case would be dismissed.”
Public Safety was in His Title
Earl “Morris joined Utah State as the chief of police and director of public safety in July 2019.” Director of Public Safety was literally part of his job title. But apparently that safety only applied to male students. On December 15, Morris was placed on administrative leave. On December 16, he resigned.
I highly recommend the article by The Salt Lake Tribune. This case is not unique. It’s happening at schools all over the country.