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Federal judge rules lawsuit against UArizona from Orlando Bradford victim can continue

Posted at 4:11 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 20:26:49-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal judge has ruled against the University of Arizona on two Title IX claims -- one on sexual harassment, the other on "diminished educational opportunities."

The case is now going to trial after the federal judge refused to side with University regents or the woman complaining of abuse.

The story broke in September 2016 when police arrested then-Arizona Wildcat running back Orlando Bradford. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and domestic violence. He's now three years into a five-year sentence.

Bradford's then-girlfriend told police he attacked her and held her against her will. She claimed the school violated her Title IX rights to an education free from sexual harassment and diminished her educational opportunities.

"Repeated beatings resulting in migraines, dizziness and ringing in her ears that made it difficult to concentrate and caused her to miss class," the lawsuit said, claiming she had to skip classes because, "bruises and scratches from Bradford's abuse were too significant to hide from her classmates and teachers."

Last month, Judge Susan Bolton heard oral arguments for the Arizona Board of Regents and the defendant's attorneys.

In Judge Bolton's decision on Friday, when it comes to education free from sexual harassment, she had scathing words for the university:

"...it is difficult to imagine how the university could have done less... But by far the most disturbing example of inaction is the university's complete failure to contact either Bradford or Plaintiff about Bradford's misconduct," she wrote.

But Judge Bolton ultimately said the courts had more to determine:

"A genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether Plaintiff was denied access to educational opportunities and benefits," she wrote.

A trial date in federal court hasn't been set. Orlando Bradford is set to be released from prison in December of 2021.