Women claim Texas A&M underplayed sexual assault allegations against student athletes

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hannah Shaw and Meghan Romere are speaking publicly for the first time about their allegations that they were sexually assaulted on campus by two Texas A&M student athletes.

They said they are outraged over the way the school handled their allegations.

“I was scared of him hurting me,” Shaw said.

It’s been almost three years since Shaw said she was raped by Austin Van Overdam, a member of the university’s swimming and diving team.

Shaw said the school failed to hold him accountable after she reported the assault. She said while Van Overdam was suspended, he’s now back at school and back on the team.

“What I really want A&M to do was to protect us,” Shaw said.

Romere said a member of the football team exposed himself and performed a lewd act while she was tutoring him. Romere said she reported it to the university but wasn’t happy with the outcome.

“It was just like they didn't care. He was a highly sought-after recruit. He was an athlete. He mattered more than I did, which stung,” Romere said.

The student athlete claimed it was unintentional and pleaded no contest to two counts of indecent exposure after Romere went to the police.

While Texas A&M would not comment on specific cases, the university released a statement that reads:

“Texas A&M investigates every claim of sexual misconduct. When violators are confirmed, sanctions are imposed in all cases."

Van Overdam’s attorney released a statement, saying his client is being unfairly maligned and defamed by woman with whom he had a brief consensual encounter nearly three years ago.

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