A former Coppin State basketball player has filed a lawsuit against the university, naming key staff, including head coach Juan Dixon.
Ibn Williams says Dixon failed to act when Willaims disclosed that Lucien Brownlee, a director of player development, was allegedly tormenting and harassing him into sexual acts.
The suit claims Williams knows “by information and belief” that Brownlee is behind an elaborate sexual assault scheme. Williams says he sent someone he believed to be a woman sexual images of himself under the guise of a budding romance.
But the catfisher soon turned into a blackmailer, threatening to use the images unless Williams fulfilled deviant requests. When Williams refused to comply with requests, the blackmailer leaked the sexual photos to the staff and team, per the suit.
Here’s What The Lawsuit Says Happened:
The lawsuit doesn’t primarily target Dixon but argues that he was negligent in protecting Williams. It also named Coppin State University, the University System of Maryland, Lucien Brownlee, athletic director Derek Carter and the state of Maryland. Williams reportedly filed the lawsuit last week, according to Baltimore Brew–who broke the story.
Though the blackmailer claims to be a third party, Williams strongly believes Brownlee is behind it all. The catfish communication began during Williams’ first semester in the fall of 2018. By the end of it, the catfisher became a blackmailer. They allegedly demanded Williams agree to any requests or risk his private conversations and images being exposed.
“In fear of losing his place in the basketball program, his tuition and room, and board payments he was promised by Coppin State University, Plaintiff continued to respond to the person messaging him in an increasingly futile attempt to appease his tormentor,” the lawsuit states.
By the end of the spring semester of 2019, Lucien Brownlee told Williams that the blackmailer also had images of him. At the time, Brownlee was a senior who was going to return as staff the following semester, per Baltimore Brew.
After that conversation, Williams began receiving requests to engage in sexual acts with Brownlee, but the athlete refused at first. In the fall semester, the threats ramped up again. The blackmailer, knowing Brownlee’s availability, requested a video of Williams and Brownlee engaging in oral sex.
“In the face of the threat of exposure and loss of his position in the basketball program and its financial support and with the insistence and urging of Coach Brownlee, Plaintiff acquiesced,” the lawsuit states.
In early December, the blackmailer alerted Williams that Brownlee was going to arrange a sexual encounter between them. Williams ignored the request. As the days passed, more requests for sexual videos rolled in, and the blackmailer rejected a solo video Williams sent. The blackmailer insisted Williams engage in sex with Brownlee–all the way through March 2020.
How Is Juan Dixon Involved?
In an attempt to distance himself from the blackmailer, Williams disclosed a different allegation to his family. He shared his discomfort with “the unchecked use of illegal drugs and inappropriate behavior of members of the basketball program” during away games. In response, his father set up a meeting with head coach Dixon to discuss the drug issues.
Williams suggested a transfer, but the suit says Dixon “was adamant that [Williams] should stay with the program” despite being “helpless to address the drug issue in any meaningful way.”
When Williams returned to campus in the fall of 2020, the blackmail started again. When Williams paid the requests no attention, alleged blackmailer Brownlee released the images to the staff, team, and public in November 2020. The suit says that the following day Dixon called Williams to practice, where they spoke about Brownlee.
“Defendant Juan Dixon admitted to the plaintiff that Lucien Brownlee was mentally ill or otherwise emotionally imbalanced and that his history was known to the Coach, Derek Carter, and the school,” the suit states. “Defendant Dicon again confirmed his awareness of the Coach Brownlee’s instability later that same evening in a phone call to Plaintiff’s brother nad father where Defendant Dixon repeated that Lucien was “sick” and had a “troubled background.”
How Did The University Respond To Williams’ Disclosure?
Williams took his story to the university after Dixon allegedly failed to take any action against Brownlee. But the suit alleges Coppin State caused further emotional distress by neglecting to treat him like a victim of sexual assault. Instead, the suit claims, he was questioned about his past sexual experiences and orientation.
The lawsuit accuses the university and its coaching staff of being negligent with how they “hired, supervised and controlled those in positions of authority within the basketball program.” Additionally, it suggests the university retaliated against him by terminating housing and tuition assistance when Williams disclosed his sexual assault.
Williams is seeking joint or separate damages from the defendants, including Dixon.
No word yet from the head coach, who is also widely known from Real Housewives of Potomac along with his wife Robyn Dixon.
The university told Baltimore Brew they don’t discuss pending litigation.