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Stanford Accused of Again Poor Handling of A Sexual Assault Claim

Although allegations of rape are still too often ignored, there are laws and college procedures in place to protect students (both the alleged victim and the alleged rapist), even when colleges and universities fail to take action. Victims of sexual harassment and assault can file a complaint under Title IX, a federal law that forbids schools from giving preference to certain students over others based on gender.

According to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, Stanford University had more cases of sexual harassment and assault open for review than any other American University. And that was before Stanford made headlines when its student, Brock Turner, was convicted of sexual assault and given a sentence lenient enough to incite heated controversy.

Now the prestigious school is facing another lawsuit filed by Equal Rights Advocates, a California-based nonprofit, and two law firms filing on behalf of one of the alleged victims.

The lawsuit alleges the prestigious university repeatedly failed to properly respond to complaints brought by three different victims over a period of three years of an alleged sexual predator on campus.

The lawsuit refers to the perpetrator only as “Mr. X,” and to the victims as “Ms. A,” “Ms. B,” and “Jane Doe.”

The lawsuit alleges Ms. A was involved in an abusive relationship with Mr. X, and when she tried to end it, he came to her dorm room, where he physically attacked and raped her. After Ms. A alerted the school, they allegedly did nothing to protect her or punish Mr. X. A campus counselor allegedly implied Ms. A had been the one at fault, and other school officials allegedly told her it would be hard to pursue legal action against Mr. X.

Two years later, two other undergraduate students reported having suffered sexual harassment and assault from Mr. X. The school promised to investigate the reports, and during the impending investigation, Mr. X was allowed to finish out the semester and walk at graduation. It wasn’t until after graduation that the results of the investigation were released. The school found him guilty of sexual misconduct and banned him from campus for ten years.

While the alleged sexual predator was able to graduate and move on to some degree with his life, even after the investigation found him at fault, all three of his victims reported struggling with their classes after they were attacked, and two of them took a leave of absence. Jane Doe was even placed on academic probation, as if she were the one who had done something wrong.

The lawsuit against Stanford is alleging the University violated Title IX and continued to subject those who had already suffered from sexual abuse to a hostile environment, which resulted in both economic and emotional distress for them.

After the suit was filed, Stanford released a statement claiming they were sympathetic to students who suffered from sexual assault and that they had no tolerance for such attacks.

But the lawsuit alleges just the opposite and now it will be up to a federal court to determine whether Stanford acted as a true advocate for all its students.

Super Lawyers named Chicago and Oak Brook business trial attorneys Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso 2015 Super Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes.  Our Title IX attorneys have represented students and College Administrators wrongfully accused of misconduct in internal school proceedings and in court. We also handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.

DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Naperville, Evanston and Wheaton litigation attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago student rights attorneys and Chicago business, commercial, shareholder dispute and partnership dispute trial lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Evanston, Wheaton, Elmhurst and Lake Forest, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a student misconduct action or business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.