University of Florida wide receiver and former Booker T. Washington High standout Antonio Callaway was found not responsible Friday in a Title IX sexual assault investigation. The decision allows Callaway, a sophomore, to both remain at school and on the Gators football team.
According to the hearing decision, Callaway was accused of violating three student code of conduct rules: causing physical injury or endangering another’s health or safety; sexual assault; and sexual misconduct, which is described as “any intentional intimate touching of another without consent of the other person or in circumstances in which the person is unable … to give consent.”
Callaway’s complainant, along with her parents and five witnesses, boycotted the hearing because a Gators football booster — Jacksonville-based attorney Jake Schickel — was appointed to handle the case. UF said in a statement last week that all committee members are trained and vetted for their impartiality.
The case revolved around the complainant’s assertion that she could not consent because she was intoxicated, according to the document. However, Schickel wrote in his decision that affidavits provided for the hearing indicated the accuser did not appear intoxicated.
“As a fact finder it is my impression that Mr. Callaway was honest, sincere, and presented himself well,” Schickel wrote in his decision, adding that Callaway was the only live witness at the hearing. “He testified the sexual encounter was consensual, at least on the part of [the complainant].”
John Clune, a Colorado-based attorney representing the complainant, cited conflict of interest as the reason for the boycott. . Clune added that his client is unsure whether she plans to return to UF when the semester begins on Aug. 22 and that, at this time, there are no plans to file any lawsuits related to the case. There is a 10 business day window for the complainant to file an appeal, according to the hearing decision.
“It’s a disgrace,” Clune said. “The school has completely let down everybody in the UF community with the handling of this case.”
Callaway’s attorney, Huntley Johnson, issued the following statement after the decision was made:
“The complainant's advisor has gone out of his way to distort Mr. Callaway's actions. Please allow us to level the playing field. This decision by the hearing officer reflects only a fraction of the evidence which is not favorable to the complainant. The young lady's advisor has said, ‘they take their witnesses and go elsewhere.' They need to be careful what they wish for.”
Callaway and former UF quarterback Treon Harris — whom the complainant also cited as being involved in the case — had been suspended from the school since January. The suspension was modified in June so that they could attend on-campus classes.
Harris transferred from UF in July. Callaway has been practicing with UF since the Gators opened fall camp on Aug. 4