In a sworn affidavit, then-Volunteers football player Drae Bowles says he was attacked and threatened by teammates for helping a woman who told him she had been raped by players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams, and told by head coach Butch Jones that he had “betrayed the team.”
The Tennessean first reported the affidavit, executed two days ago, which was included in an lawsuit filed by eight women against the University of Tennessee. The suit was filed earlier this month, with the amended complaint, featuring new information like Bowles’s affidavit, was filed today. Bowles’s account can be read in full below.
Bowles said he had discovered the woman, referred to here as Jane Doe IV, in her car in a parking lot “hyperventilating and crying” in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2014. She told him she had been raped by Johnson and Williams, according to the lawsuit, and Bowles drove her and her friends to the hospital. Later that day, Bowles was approached by linebacker Curt Maggitt. From the complaint:
Maggitt, who had heard that rape had been reported, asked accusing questions to Bowles about the events the night before. Bowles told Maggitt what had happened. Maggitt became violently upset, said that Bowles was trying to “fuck up AJ” and suddenly punched Bowles in the mouth with great force, causing Bowles’s lip to bleed. Bowles fought back and threw punches before the fight and assault was broken up by teammates.
Bowles said that he called head coach Butch Jones to tell him what had happened.
Coach Jones stated to Bowles he was very disappointed in Bowles and that he had “betrayed the team.” Bowles became extremely upset, broke down and cried.
“Several hours” later, Jones called Bowles and said he was sorry for calling him a snitch.
The next day, according to the complaint, Bowles was eating by himself in the training center when he was confronted by players Geraldo Orta and Marlin Lane (who had been accused of rape by another woman in 2013). According to Bowles, Orta told him that people got shot for this sort of thing.
The team ostracized Bowles for his actions, according to the complaint and in statements to the police by Orta, Maggitt, and Williams.
199. In his interviews with police, UT football player Geraldo Orta stated that he felt Bowles had betrayed the team and that where he (Orta) came from, people got shot for doing what Bowles did. These facts are set forth in the Knoxville Police Department Incident Report.
200. During the interview Orta also admitted having confronted Drae Bowles in Smokey’s Cafe (the athletic dining facility), getting “in his face” and saying “some threatening things.”
201. Orta further acknowledged that UT football player Curt Maggitt had also, in a separate incident, confronted Drae Bowles in the team locker room and that Head Coach Butch Jones had “instructed the team to stay away from Bowles and Bowles was given time away from the team.”
202. Curt Maggitt admitted to police assaulting Drae Bowles. Maggitt also admitted the fact that he had purchased alcohol for the party.
Michael Williams, in his interview with police, said that the team had “a hit” out on Bowles. Bowles soon transferred to UT Chattanooga. The affidavit states that Jones didn’t discipline any players for their actions.
Johnson and Williams have pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated rape. Their trial is scheduled for later this year.
Bowles’s full account is below.