Sampling of Complaints by Identified Victims

There are many examples of identified victims who complained their complaints were mishandled by their colleges. In some cases, the women said their mistreatment at the hands of college administrators was more traumatic than the original assault.

These are a sampling of such cases:

ALABAMA

University of Alabama at Birmingham: A female student named Shannon reported an incident to her school in October of 2015.  She claims that a school representative told her that it may be best if she would “drop out for the semester.” A no-contact order was put in place, but she was the one who had to avoid the accused student. After three months, the investigator (a divorce lawyer) concluded the accused not responsible without ever looking at Shannon’s rape kit, speaking with her psychiatrist, or reviewing the photos that corroborated the bruising she reported. “The assault was bad,” Shannon concluded, “but the way my school has treated me has created more trauma than the original assault did.”[1]

ALASKA

University of Alaska, Anchorage: In February 2017, the Department of Education issued its Title IX investigation findings detailing “very serious failures” by the university when investigating campus sexual assaults, including failing to investigate reports of student sexual assaults. Based on the OCR settlement agreement, the UA system must re-examine two dozen cases filed from 2011 through 2015.[2]

ARKANSAS

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas was named in a Title IX lawsuit by a former student, Elizabeth Fryberger. She alleged the University of Arkansas violated Title IX after she reported that Raymond Higgs, a fellow student, sexually assaulted her in October 2014. The university found Higgs responsible for sexual assault and ordered him expelled in December 2014. Higgs appealed, arguing that the sanction was too severe and would impede his athletic career. As a result, the university told Fryberger that his expulsion wouldn’t take effect until the day after his graduation.[3]

COLORADO

University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder: The university settled with a woman who claimed that it took the university four weeks to remove a student after he was found responsible for non-consensual sexual intercourse.[4]

INDIANA

Indiana University, Bloomington: The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation after a student filed a complaint in 2016 saying the university violated gender equality laws by mishandling her report of sexual assault. The complaint states that the assigned Title IX investigator was under his own unrelated investigation for sexual assault. The alleged perpetrator was found not guilty of sexual misconduct after the university’s investigation.[5]

IOWA

Drake University, Des Moines: Student John Doe filed a federal lawsuit alleging gender discrimination after the school refused to investigate his sexual assault claim against a female student. According to both parties, Doe was incapacitated due to intoxication when he and Jane Roe engaged in sexual activity. The following day, Roe filed a complaint of sexual assault. Doe filed his own complaint against Roe, which the school refused to accept, claiming it was retaliation.[6]

KANSAS

Kansas State University, Manhattan: Sara Weckhorst reported to KSU officials that she was raped at a fraternity house by two male students.  Weckhorst claimed that KSU officials refused to investigate because the alleged incident occurred off-campus.  Weckhorst filed a federal lawsuit against KSU alleging Title IX violations.[7]

Kansas University, Lawrence: A male student was found responsible for assaulting two female students, and transferred to another school after being allowed to withdraw for “non-academic misconduct in lieu of expulsion.” Former student Daisy Tackett filed a Title IX lawsuit against KU alleging that the six-month long investigation allowed a hostile educational environment to persist, the rowing coaching staff ignored her struggles with anxiety, and punished her for missing practice to meet with investigators.[8]

KENTUCKY

Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights: Allegations of an effort to protect members of the basketball team, who were accused of sexual assault, cast doubt on the objectivity of the school’s disciplinary system. The players involved in the incident were permitted to finish the season and conference tournament, but suspended for an undetermined length of time during the off-season. The NKU athletic director, who was aware of the allegations, never called the police.[9]

MARYLAND

University of Maryland, College Park: Two identified victims of sexual assault filed a complaint with the Department of Education alleging that the university mishandled their investigations.[10]

MASSACHUSETTS

Harvard University, Cambridge: Alyssa Leader filed a Title IX lawsuit against the University for “deliberate indifference” to her sexual assault claim against a fellow student, John Doe. Leader’s claim focused not only on the school’s initial response, but also on the University’s failure to respond “to her multiple reports that she was subjected to continuous, retaliatory harassment by Doe and his friends.”[11]

NEW YORK

Columbia University, New York: Amelia Roskin-Frazee reported an incident of sexual assault to the school a few weeks after it allegedly occurred. Roskin-Frazee states that school representatives told her to go to police and failed to investigate her claim. A few months later, Roskin-Frazee claimed she was brutally raped again by another unknown assailant while entering her dorm room. She was reluctant to file a complaint due to the response from her prior complaint. Roskin-Frazee filed a Title IX lawsuit on March 21, 2017, alleging university staffers were “apathetic and unresponsive” to her reported rape and multiple sexual harassment claims.[12]

Cornell University, Ithaca: In February 2017, four attorneys from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights visited Cornell University to hold open discussions about the campus climate surrounding sexual assault. The consensus among attendees: “it’s bad.” Meeting participants charged that the university Title IX office cared more about avoiding litigation than seeking justice. Respondents had no ability to examine or confront accusers or to question witnesses or be represented by an attorney, and complainants were not informed of the investigation’s timeline.[13]

NEW MEXICO

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque: A former student sued the university alleging university administrators interfered with a police investigation into her gang rape by two football players and a third student. Following an investigation, the Justice Department concluded that the University of New Mexico’s Office of Equal Opportunity created a system so traumatizing that “almost all complainants with whom the United States spoke said that they wished they had never gone through the process and would not refer another student who had experienced sexual assault to OEO.”[14]

OREGON

University of Oregon, Eugene: A woman sued the university, alleging that she was raped by three basketball players and that the school tailored and delayed their discipline so the men could still play in the NCAA tournament. She also said the university gave its lawyers her counseling records. The university settled with her. The university now is being sued by the three basketball players.[15]

TENNESSEE

University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Eight women sued the University for “deliberate indifference” regarding sexual assault by athletes. Among the lawsuit’s more troubling allegations, when football player Drae Bowles tried to help a woman who said she had been raped by other players, the coach called him a “traitor” and multiple players attacked him for helping her. In the settlement, UT agreed to pay the eight women a total of $2.48 million.[16]

TEXAS

Baylor University: A federal Title IX lawsuit filed against BU, by a former female student, in January 2017, was the sixth of its kind filed in the wake of an investigation that revealed the university failed to properly respond to and address allegations of sexual assault committed by students. An independent report charged, “coaches were inappropriately involved in disciplinary and criminal matters or ‘engaged in improper conduct that reinforced an overall perception that football was above the rules,’ and did more to hinder, not help, women who made allegations of assault or domestic violence.”[17]

UTAH

Utah State University, Logan: Several students made complaints of sexual violence by Jason Relopez. No action was taken and Relopez was permitted to remain on campus. Subsequently, Victoria Hewlett, a USU student who was unaware of the first incident, reported that she was raped by Relopez. When Hewlett went to police, Relopez was arrested and charged criminally. He received a one-year jail sentence. Hewlett subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against USU for not taking appropriate action in the face of complaints by multiple victims.[18]

VIRGINIA

Richmond University: Cecilia Carreras reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow student. Carreras later claimed that the Title IX coordinator gave an inappropriate justification for the actions of the accused student. Further, she claimed the university didn’t do enough to keep the alleged attacker away; that administrators responded with insensitivity when dealing with the case.[19]

WASHINGTON, D.C.

American University, Washington DC: In 2016, a male student admitted responsibility for allegations of sexual assault against a female AU student. The male student was placed on probation for one year, banned from Greek life, and required to take an online educational module on sexual assault. The victim filed a Title IX suit challenging the fact that she was forced to sign a gag order about the case.[20]

WISCONSIN

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater: Two identified victims filed a Title IX complaint against the school, saying administrators failed to interview key witnesses in their cases. One student charged, “I don’t think anybody should be treated the way that I was. It was worse than the assault, a lot worse. I regret with everything, coming forward and saying anything.”[21]

Citations:

[1] Tyler Kingkade, She Was Barred From the Library to Avoid Him, The Huffington Post (March 8, 2016), available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/college-sexual-assault-gag-orders_us_56ddd17ae4b0ffe6f8ea278c.

[2] Tyler Kingkade, Advocates Worry About New Era Of Secrecy On Campus Rape, Buzz Feed News (February 23, 2017), available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/advocates-worry-about-new-era-of-secrecy-on-campus-rape?utm_term=.pbvLAJEkW&utm_content=bufferacc2a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[3] Tyler Kingkade, A University Says It Shouldn’t Have To Pay Money To Campus Rape Victims, Buzz Feed News (March 21, 2017), available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/university-of-arkansas-title-ix-lawsuit?utm_term=.kmrXXzbGk&utm_content=buffer63619&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#.bppjjYO8q.

[4] Diana Moskovitz, Why Title IX Has Failed Everyone On Campus Rape, Deadspin (July 7, 2017), available at http://deadspin.com/why-title-ix-has-failed-everyone-on-campus-rape-1765565925?utm_content=bufferb0b24&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[5] Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, Feds Investigating Indiana University’s Handling of Sexual Assaults, Buzz Feed News (June 2, 2016), available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/maryanngeorgantopoulos/department-of-education-opens-third-investigation-into-iu-bl?utm_term=.ix2ddoZNA#.dwzeev53d.

[6] Ashe Schow, Lawsuit: Father Fired After Defending Disabled Son From Campus Kangaroo Court, Watchdog.com (March 20, 2017), available at http://watchdog.org/291268/father-fired-defending-disabled-son-campus-kangaroo-court/.

[7] Tyler Kingkade, Lawsuit Says University Policy Let Repeat Rapist Prey On Women, Buzz Feed News (November 28, 2016), available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/kansas-state-lawsuit-accused-student-rape-again?utm_content=bufferfdd37&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[8] Ashley Scoby, A Woman Says She Was Raped; The Injustice She Felt Afterward Only Added To Her Pain, The Kansas City Star (December 9, 2017), available at http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-kansas/article119977028.html?utm_content=buffer5f7e3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[9] James Pilcher, NKU Basketball Players Involved in Sex ‘Incident’, Cincinnati.com (September 8, 2016), available at http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/your-watchdog/2016/09/08/nku-basketball-players-involved-sex-incident/89993064/.

[10] Fox 5 DC, Two Victims of Sexual Assault File Federal Complaint Against UMD, November 2, 2016, available at http://www.fox5dc.com/news/215171080-story?utm_content=buffer11197&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[11] Andrew M. Duehren & Daphne C. Thompson, In Title IX Suit, Harvard Will Go to Court, The Harvard Crimson (September 7, 2016), available at http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/9/7/Harvard-preps-for-Title-IX-suit/.

[12] Kaja Whitehouse, Columbia Ignored Me When I Was Raped In My Dorm: Lawsuit, New York Post (March 21, 2017), available at http://nypost.com/2017/03/21/former-student-says-columbia-didnt-care-she-was-viciously-raped-on-campus/?utm_content=bufferb5c8b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

[13] Drew Musto, OCR Open Forum Reveals Concerns Regarding University’s Title IX Office, The Cornell Daily Sun (March 2, 2017), available at http://cornellsun.com/2017/03/02/ocr-open-forum-reveals-concerns-regarding-universitys-title-ix-office/.

[14] Diana Moskovitz, supra at note 4.

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, New Baylor Lawsuit Alleges Culture In Which Drugs, Alcohol And Sex Were Encouraged, ESPN.com (January 28, 2017), available at http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/18569197/latest-lawsuit-filed-baylor-university-alleges-culture-which-drugs-alcohol-sex-were-encouraged.

[18] Alex Stuckey, Rape Victim Says She Was Sixth To Report Utah State Student, Sues School For Not Acting, The Salt Lake Tribune (November 7, 2016), available at http://www.sltrib.com/home/4342991-155/rape-victim-says-she-was-sixth?utm_content=bufferce226&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

[19] Tyler Kingkade, Student Says University Botched Rape Case, Then Called Her A Liar, Buzz Feed News (September 14, 2016), available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/university-of-richmond-campus-rape-victim-called-a-liar?utm_term=.fuKMMJQ5N&utm_content=buffer76fef&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#.ieaKKR0pV.

[20] Tyler Kingkade, He Admitted to Sexual Assault, But She’s The One They Tried to Silence, The Huffington Post (March 8, 2016), available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/college-sexual-assault-gag-orders_us_56ddd17ae4b0ffe6f8ea278c.

[21] Kate Briquelet, College Coach: I Was Fired for Reporting Campus Rape to Police, The Daily Beast (August 25, 2016), available at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/25/college-coach-i-was-fired-for-reporting-campus-rape-to-police.html?utm_content=bufferb5f9c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.