Former Kicker Matt Boermeester files petition in response to expulsion

first_imgDaily Trojan File PhotoAttorneys for former USC kicker Matt Boermeester are seeking to have his expulsion from the school overturned, filing a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Aug. 11. Boermeester was suspended indefinitely from the football team in January following an alleged incident involving his girlfriend, Zoe Katz. He was expelled in July as a result of an investigation by the school’s Title IX office.The petition names the University, along with Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry. It states that after getting french fries from McDonald’s around midnight on Jan. 21, Boermeester and Katz were “engaged in loud, consensual horseplay and laughing” in an alley near Katz’s home.It states that another USC student walked past them to put his garbage in the dumpster and “walked back without ever turning his head towards the two of them.” When a second student who had witnessed the incident from a window approached Katz and asked if she was OK, Katz “said she was fine.”According to the petition, Katz didn’t make a report to USC about Boermeester, but Tanner Smith, another student who was told about the incident, reported it to his father, Peter Smith, the men’s tennis coach. As an employee, Smith was required to report the incident to the Title IX office.But attorneys for USC filed a court document last Friday that appeared to refute those accounts.“Two male students who lived in the area observed the assault and confirmed that it was violent,” the statement said. The document, which refers to Katz as “Jane Roe,” alleges that Boermeester placed his hands around Katz’s neck and pushed her against a wall at least twice. It states that the other students spoke with Katz alone in her residence following the incident and asked her to stay in their apartment.“[Katz] was crying, but stated she would return to her apartment because she did not want to ‘make [Boermeester] more mad,’” the filing stated.The document goes on to state that Katz would often report bruises on her legs and arms because Boermeester would “hit her or grab her tightly when he was angry.”But Katz did not want to “burn” Boermeester because she still cared about him, according to the court filing.“[Katz] noted that [Boermeester] was ‘very good at making [her] feel like [she] need[ed] him,’ and had torn her down so she felt dependent on him,” the USC filing said.Katz was also allegedly concerned that Boermeester would find out that she made a statement to the Title IX office. “He can’t know I made a statement. Can you not tell him I made a statement,” she texted the Title IX investigator, according to the filing. In another apparent text exchange before the Title IX office notified Boermeester of the investigation, Katz texted the investigator that she had been seeing Boermeester at school and that they were on “fine tems.”“I just act normal so he doesn’t [get] suspicious,” Katz texted. “Like most of the time we act totally fine even like friends like there haven’t been any problems.”The filing claims that the alleged assault was captured by a surveillance camera near the location of the incident. Though Katz released a letter through her attorney last month refuting claims that Boermeester assaulted her and claiming that the Title IX office treated her and Boermeester unfairly, the University responded with a statement in the filing.“[Katz’s] later denials were contradicted by her own initial statements to [the Title IX investigator], as well as the weight of the evidence collected during the investigation, including text messages among [Katz] and her friends, eye witness accounts, witness statements … and a surveillance video,” the filing stated.According the filing, Katz’s attempts to protect Boermeester “may be motivated by love or fear of reprisal.”Boermeester was two classes shy of graduating before being suspended, Katz said in her letter. The former kicker was the Rose Bowl hero for the Trojans in January, making the game-winning field goal as time expired to beat Penn State.last_img