NCAT N.C. A&T sign 2018

GREENSBORO — A cheerleader at N.C. A&T is demanding the immediate removal of her coaches after she says they failed to report her rape to the university's Title IX coordinator. 

The woman, who identified herself as the victim on social media, said in a letter posted on social media that she is a freshman marketing student and a member of the school's Blue Squad cheerleading team. She wrote that she had been raped by a graduating senior who is a former member of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. 

The News & Record does not name victims of sexual violence.

Greensboro police received a report of the rape from the university's police in fall 2018 and opened an investigation on Nov. 16. According to the police report, the rape happened at Campus Crossing Apartments at 2813 Spring Garden St. in Greensboro. 

On various social media sites, the woman said she had reported the rape to the cheerleading coaches and was met with a "lack of empathy and responsibility." 

A&T's website includes a section that answers questions for victims of sexual misconduct, a Title IX violation, including whether there is a cost for counseling, whether they should go to police and what happens if they were drinking underage at the time of the sexual assault. 

Students do not have to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator, but a school employee must and is encouraged to do so within 24 hours, according to the Q&A on the website. 

The student said her coaches violated that policy.

Tiffany Jones, the university's director of media relations, said in an email that privacy laws prevented the school from discussing the matter. 

"We are deeply saddened to hear of any allegation of sexual assault and take such allegations very seriously," Jones wrote. "The university will continue to pursue investigations regarding any claim and provide care and assistance to any victim of an assault in our community, as well as work with authorities to bring perpetrators to justice."

The freshman wrote in the letter that her rape had led to bullying by her teammates. She said she also had been blamed for the rape. 

In her letter, the woman said that keeping the coaches in place perpetuates a culture where protecting the sport's brand is more important than preventing sexual assaults and victim blaming. 

Several cheerleaders, many from the Gold Squad, tweeted out support for the woman. 

The student's tweet has led to many other women coming forward on social media to discuss their own sexual assaults at the university, including naming their alleged attackers and publishing their photos. 

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Contact Danielle Battaglia at 336-373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.​

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