A judge said Wednesday she is leaning toward denying former USC kicker Matt Boermeester’s petition for reinstatement to the university in the face of a domestic violence allegation involving his girlfriend, but said she will not issue a final ruling until Friday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue said she believes that despite Zoe Katz’s subsequent denials that Boermeester physically abused her, Katz’s initial comments to a Title IX investigator to the contrary could not be “thrown into the wastebasket.” The judge noted that Katz told the interviewer the day after the confrontation that Boermeester put his hands around her neck and shoved her against a wall. Katz’s denials of any abuse did not come until months later, Hogue said.
“It’s very difficult for me to believe some investigator made up these statements when the details were so clear,” Hogue said.
The judge also said she did not find evidence Boermeester was denied due process or was a victim of a biased investigation.
A Title IX probe led to Boermeester’s expulsion from the university and its football team. Boermeester, who kicked the game-winning field goal in USC’s win against Penn State in the Rose Bowl in January 2017, is accused of pushing Katz, a member of the USC tennis team, against a wall late one night that same month outside her residence near the university.
Boermeester’s lawyer, Mark Hathaway, said Katz repeatedly denied making the statements attributed to her and that she and his client walked away from the incident holding hands. He described both Boermeester and Katz as two athletes at the top of their game who are strong physically and mentally.
“She never complained to anyone,” Hathaway said, adding that Katz repeatedly said the statements attributed to her were false.
Hathaway said a surveillance video of the encounter exonerated his client, but the judge said there actually was some evidence of abuse on the images. She also said Boermeester had been drinking “quite heavily” that night.
Boermeester left Saddleback Junior College to transfer to USC in the fall of 2014. He had another year of eligibility remaining with the football program. He made 18 of 25 field goal attempts in his final season.