Atlanta Dream star Layshia Clarendon is suing the University of California in a civil suit which alleges that she was sexually assaulted during her time there by a member of the athletic department. According to an Outside the Lines report, the lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the school’s regents.
Mohamed Muqtar, the employee who allegedly committed the assault, is also included in the lawsuit as a defendant. Muqtar, who according to the Outside The Lines report is also known as “The Mayor” around campus, is the assistant athletic director for student services and has worked at the school for 25 years.
In the lawsuit, Clarendon says that Muqtar invited her to his apartment during her freshman year, and subsequently followed her into the bathroom and assaulted her.
Last spring during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Clarendon wrote an article for Mic about an assault in her past. In the piece, she said,
I denied this reality for a long time because I didn’t want any of it to be real. It’s still difficult to come to terms with my experience. Denial felt safer than having to process and work through my reality.
I walked alone in my shame for years. I only recently told my girlfriend, and she was the first person I ever shared my story with. That’s a long time to carry something. Something that I should not have felt I had to carry. I am speaking up because I want people to know that it can happen to anyone, that you are not alone and that it was not your fault.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Muqtar also assaulted another athlete during her sophomore year. An instructor at the university was reportedly told about Muqtar’s behavior by “multiple” student athletes and approached officials in the department about them. However, according to the OTL story, the school did not take action because the athletes in question never made official reports.
Regarding the news today: I want the shame to not be my own anymore, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.
My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else. That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. #TimesUp
It feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.
Clarendon played for Cal all four years of her college career from 2009 to 2013. She was picked ninth overall in the 2013 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever before being traded to the Dream. She also took home a gold medal with the U19 National Team at the World Championships in 2009.
The University of California is expected to make a statement about the lawsuit, and we will update this post when that statement is released.