6 students accused of making false report against SFA cheerleader now suing school

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
6 women part of 'swatting' case not motivated by race, police say
What happened the night a SFA cheerleader said police stormed her dorm with guns drawn? This is the timeline the police chief gave.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRK) -- Six students accused of being involved in an alleged swatting incident at Stephen F. Austin State University are suing the school claiming they're being deprived of due process.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday, Oct. 5, more than three weeks after the alleged incident. The six plaintiffs were identified in the suit only by their initials.

Apart from the university, its board of regents and SFA President Dr. Scott Gordon were named as co-defendants.

Last week, the parents of 17-year-old Christin Evans said their daughter was sleeping in her room when SFA police officers suddenly barged in at 3 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14.

They believe a group of students targeted their daughter and have called on SFA to reprimand them.

READ MORE: SFA cheerleader targeted by 10 students who led officers to swarm her dorm with guns, family says

"I CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT:" The teen spoke out since the scary incident and said it was a terrifying moment she will never forget. Hear from her family in the video above.

In the lawsuit, the students claim the university called them suspects, and threatened to punish them without telling them what rules they broke.

The suit also points out school officials said the body camera video from SFA police is different than what was said by Evans' lawyer.

SFA has called upon the victim's family to permit the release of the police bodycam video so that "everyone will be able to see exactly what happened, and see that the video will show a very different scenario than what is being portrayed in media," SFA's public communications liaison Erica Harris said.

READ ALSO: SFA officials want to release bodycam footage in 'swatting' case

The plaintiffs want the university to release the video and stop referring to the students as "perpetrators" without a proper hearing.

SFA released the following statement regarding the bodycam video:

"SFA has submitted its investigation of a false police report in a residence hall to the Nacogdoches District Attorney's office, as announced in a press conference [Saturday]. If permission is granted by the victim, the university will release the body cam video from the incident."

WATCH: SFA held a new conference Saturday, Oct. 3, asking the Evans family for permission to release the bodycam video

FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Watch the video above to see what officials said about releasing the video involving the swatting case.

The victim's family lawyer released the following statement after the press conference:

"The Evans family and their attorney were not given notice of the SFA press conference. All 11 students which SFA stated were involved in false report of felony by Christin and endangering her life are still on campus. Normal procedure at other schools is to remove students while the disciplinary process proceeds. SFA is threatening to release an edited part of the video of their minor daughter in sleepwear to the nation. The Evans family is legally entitled to a copy. SFA'S threat to release the video to the public is intimidation to silence the victim by embarrassment. The public will not accept this. Christin Evans cannot stand to relive this trauma caused by SFA and 11 SFA students. We request SFA to start cooperating."

The call for the release of the video came days after the police chief at SFA said the incident was not motivated by race.

The family's attorney said police told Christin they had received a report stating she had scissors and was threatening to stab students.

Police then said the report was false.

Christin's parents said police told them as many as 10 students were involved in executing the false report. However, the police chief said the allegations focused on a core group of "six females."

WATCH: Full briefing from SFA police chief on 'swatting' incident

FULL PRESS CONFERENCE: Police walked reporters through the "swatting" incident at Stephen F. Austin that reported involved up to 10 students.

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