Attorney: Panel rules charge against Vols' Johnson unfounded
Aug. 11, 2016
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The lawyer for suspended Tennessee defensive lineman Alexis Johnson says a student disciplinary panel has determined that an allegation against his client was unfounded.
Gregory Isaacs relayed that information Thursday in a tweet and statement. Isaacs added that "we're not at liberty to comment further."
Tennessee interim vice chancellor Jacob Rudolph said that "we are unable to discuss any student conduct situation."
Johnson, who signed with Tennessee in December, has been suspended from the team since his February arrest on charges of false imprisonment and aggravated assault. The false imprisonment charge was dismissed and the aggravated assault was reduced to misdemeanor domestic assault April 21, and prosecutors agreed to drop all charges if he avoided trouble for the next six months.
Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said Thursday that "we are aware of the report" and that Johnson's status with the team "has not changed at this time."
Johnson signed with Tennessee in December and enrolled at the start of the spring semester. He spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College.
University of Tennessee police said at the time of Johnson's arrest that he was "play fighting" with a woman in a Knoxville apartment between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Feb. 14, and that it escalated until he placed his hands around her throat two to three times. The woman told police that as she attempted to leave the bedroom, Johnson blocked the door.
The woman also told police she and Johnson had previously dated two times and she had had sex with him once.
The woman in this case was one of eight plaintiffs who filed a suit earlier this year alleging that Tennessee had violated Title IX policies and created a "hostile sexual environment" through a policy of indifference toward assaults by athletes. The suit was settled in July with Tennessee agreeing to pay $2.48 million
AP college website: collegefootball.ap.org