OU Graduate Files Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Former VP Tripp Hall
NORMAN, Oklahoma - OU graduate Levi Hilliard is accusing former OU Vice President Tripp Hall of sexual assault, he says, escalated over the span of a year.
Hilliard described the sexual misconduct during an interview with News 9 in April of 2019.
“He grabs me. Pulls me in. Pulls my head to the side and kisses me on neck and as he’s pulling away, he says 'Mmm yeah. That's the stuff,” Hilliard said.
The incidents happened between 2017 and 2018 at the University Club where he still works, according to Hilliard. The U-Club, as it’s known on campus, is an upscale restaurant used by OU Officials to wine and dine donors and potential donors.
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A message for Hall Wednesday afternoon went unanswered, but he has strongly denied the allegations in the past. Hall is expected to answer the lawsuit in the coming weeks, according to Hilliard’s attorney.
Hilliard and his attorney, Rand Eddy, are seeking compensation upwards of $150,000 for two claims; sexual assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional damage.
He is also demanding a jury trial in Cleveland County to make details of the allegations public, instead of going through a closed door mediation process.
“We're hoping to not only get justice out of this process but let the public know the facts,” Eddy said. “We feel that folks in Cleveland county, [an] impartial objective jury would be the best audience to determine what is true and what is not.”
Eddy, who is the father of another prominent OU and Hall accuser, Jess Eddy said the trial could also encourage other alleged victims to come forward, although he would not say whether they would be called to testify.
Hilliard has filed a tort claim with the Oklahoma Risk Management Department in hopes of including OU and its officials into the suit. That process could launch a third investigation into the allegations of misconduct at OU alongside the ongoing criminal investigations being conducted by a multi-county grand jury and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
OU’s internal investigation wrapped up late last week after the University’s former president David Boren announced he would be cutting ties with OU.
Likewise, Eddy said they are “very seriously” considering getting a court order for the entire or portions of OU’s internal investigation report, commonly referred to as the Jones-Day Report, so named after the law firm which conducted the investigation. The year-long investigation has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
Eddy is also the father of prominent OU, Hall and Boren accuser Jess Eddy. When asked whether that could be a conflict of interest in the suit, he flatly said no.
“I've supported my son 100 percent through this process, and I've seen what he's had to go through,” Eddy added. “If anything, that's going to motivate me to do the absolute best I can in this case.”
A trial date has not been, but Eddy said they expect to be in front of a judge by late summer.
Read the full lawsuit below: