KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Alexander P. Broughton, the University of Tennessee student at the center of last month’s infamous alcohol enema allegations, insists that he had never heard of “butt chugging” before he woke up in a hospital and denies he engaged in the practice.
The 20-year-old sophomore was brought to the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room in the early morning hours of Sept. 22 unconscious, with a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.45 percent and a bloody rectum, police accounts state.
According to a University of Texas police report, one of the young men who brought him to the ER — later identified as Broughton’s cousin — told an investigator that Broughton and other Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members had been “butt chugging” wine.
The term refers to the use of an enema to consume alcohol to get drunk faster.
On Tuesday, Broughton called an on-campus news conference to refute any such claims against him, lashing out at the media, UT administrators and police for the damage done to his reputation.
“The scandalous accusations surrounding that event never happened and I completely deny them,” said Broughton, flanked by his attorney and some 60 Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity members. “The inaccurate reporting this past week has caused me to question institutions that most of us accept as truthful.
“At this point, my intent is to clear my name, my fraternity’s name, and to punish those individuals and institutions responsible for the lies spread around the world.”
The story has made daily headlines and newscasts — Broughton said his name had registered 4.3 million hits on Google — while the fraternity’s UT chapter has been suspended and kicked off campus until at least 2015.
Broughton’s Knoxville attorney, Daniel F. McGehee, also made a point of saying that any inference that his client may be gay is false.
“He is a straight man and he thinks the idea, or the concept of ’butt chugging,’ is absolutely repulsive,” said McGehee, a Pi Kappa Alpha member himself.
The attorney said they intend to take legal action, but “it is yet to be determined” who they will bring a lawsuit against.
Yet he contends that the release of the UT Police Department incident report was in violation of federal medical privacy laws.
McGehee added that Broughton’s cousin and fellow UT student, John Patrick Carney — who is cited in the UT police report as the initial source of the alcohol enema account — has since denied making any such claims to investigators.
McGehee said he would provide a sworn affidavit from Carney when a lawsuit is filed. Carney did not attend Tuesday’s news conference.
A UT spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday on behalf of the university and campus police.
Broughton, his family and other Pike members have admitted the fraternity was holding a drunken “blackout party” but denied the butt-chugging account.
But university officials haven’t backed down from that conclusion.
“Evidence collected at the fraternity house later that evening supported this claim,” UT officials wrote in disciplinary charges against the fraternity.
Police officers who visited the Pike fraternity house shortly after Broughton turned up at the hospital found empty plastic bags of wine, and bloodstains throughout the house and restroom.
Meanwhile, Broughton’s injuries prompted medical staff to call for a sexual assault nurse to exam him.
Broughton later tried to blame the bloodstains in the fraternity house on a fight, according to a UT follow-up report.
On Tuesday, the student and his attorney claimed that Broughton sustained his rectal injuries when, unconscious, a fraternity member tried to raise him off the floor and, “used my belt to lift me up, which caused my shorts to be forced into my crotch area, at which time I was told that I defecated on myself,” according to a new release.
McGehee said that he and the fraternity’s Zeta chapter president, George Bock, arrived at the hospital within hours and that both specifically asked Broughton whether his injuries were the result of “butt chugging.”
“He looked at me like I’d lost my mind and asked, ’What is that?’ “ McGehee said. “That is the first time that he had ever heard of the two words, ’butt chugging,’ which have now become two famous words across the United States and across the world.”
Asked why the question ever came up if witnesses never made such a claim to police, McGehee accused investigators of inventing the story.
“I just drank way too much and you all are blowing it way out of proportion, said Broughton. “But I know the truth. I don’t care if y’all believe me.”
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