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Florida QB Jalon Jones accused of sexual battery prior to transfer announcement

The 2019 Florida enrollee was accused of an assault occurring on April 6.

NCAA Football: Florida Spring Game Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

First, a mea culpa: I did not write about Florida Gators quarterback Jalon Jones entering his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal on Tuesday, when Matt Zenitz of broke that news.

And I did not do that for a specific reason: Because the whispers behind the scenes on Jones — on message boards and among those in the know on social media — pointed to something more than simple competitive reasons prompting Florida’s likely fourth-string quarterback to transfer.

I wasn’t going to write half of a story on Jones deciding to transfer and noting details in my triangulation like Thomas Goldkamp being told by sources that “both parties” — Florida and Jones — “agreed on the split,” because I felt that speculation would be unfair to Jones, whom I could not report any further on with confidence.

But now Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times has brought what is likely the primary reason for Jones’s transfer to light: He was accused of a sexual assault by a fellow Florida student in April, per a police report obtained by Baker.

The details of Baker’s initial report post-acquisition of that police report are scarce. The woman in question “told authorities that Jones sexually assaulted her in the early morning of April 6” but “declined to press criminal charges,” which would lead anyone with knowledge of the tangle of law enforcement organizations governing the University of Florida and Gainesville whether the authorities in question were from the University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), the Gainesville Police Department (GPD), or (least likely) the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).

Baker’s only mention of which organization fielded this report is not in the body of the story itself, but its subheader, which mentions “campus police” — or UFPD.

UFPD no longer publishes a specific crime log, but its “crime map” does show two reports of sexual assaults defined as sexual battery occurring around 2 a.m. on April 6 on Stadium Road; those may or may not have any connection to the report in question.

It seems especially likely that they are unrelated given that the specific location of the alleged assault — at the Keys Residential Complex that is home to many Florida athletes who live on campus — is one of the less graphic details from the police report written up by Graham Hall of The Gainesville Sun.

On April 6 at 2 a.m., the victim went to visit Jones at UF’s Keys Residential Complex, according to University of Florida Police Department incident report.

The victim told officers “she was upset about an incident that happened earlier that night with a friend she had a disagreement with,” and Jones proceeded to console her.

Jones “started to kiss her on her neck and removed her jean shorts and underwear and digitally penetrated her vagina,” according to the report. Jones proceeded to turn the victim around and “inserted his penis into her vagina,” according to the report.

The victim told Jones to stop multiple times during this incident, the report said. According to the report, the victim told UPD officers “Jones only stopped when she saw and heard (UF freshman Jaydon) Hill in the living room.”

Hall further writes that the woman says she pushed Jones off of her and went to Hill, asking to go to fellow Florida freshman Chris Steele’s room — from where she and a witness ordered an Uber to get home.

Later, the woman — and a witness — had a rape kit performed at Shands Hospital. At that point, she did not want to press charges, leading to the only actions taken from there being a complaint withdrawal and notification of a UF victim advocate.

Furthermore, the Sun’s Robbie Andreu writes that there are not one but two reports related to Jones’s conduct on April 6, indicating that he was accused of multiple assaults against multiple women.

As one would expect from an incident in the UFPD jurisdiction in which no criminal charges were filed, there is no record of this incident in Alachua County court records. A search of them for Jalon Jones turns up only a speeding ticket from January.

Baker’s only detail on Florida’s response, meanwhile, is this:

Gators spokesman Steve McClain said UF is aware of the incident and that athletic and campus protocols were followed.

But he does write that the story will be updated.

When it is, and when other reports are made, expect them to delve into questions of when, precisely, the woman — or women — made the report(s) in question, when the university and Florida’s football program were availed of all this, and what, if anything, changed about Jones’s status as a student or a football player as a result.

And if Florida is proven to have permitted Jones to participate in football activities after being made aware that this allegation was made to police or that a Title IX proceeding was set in motion — something that seems quite possible, given that Florida’s spring game happened on April 13, and that Jones ran for a touchdown late in that game — expect to feel at least a bit discomfited by what you learn in the coming days.