Articles Posted in Title IX

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In the onslaught of mishandled sexual assault allegations Baylor University is currently facing, it can knock one off the list.

The settled case involves a former student who alleges she was assaulted at a place called “The Rugby House,” an off-campus residence where Baylor officials had received reports of sexual assault occurring in the past. The plaintiff (who went only by Jane Doe, to protect her identity) did not name her attacker in the lawsuit, although she said he was not a member of the school’s rugby team.

The lawsuit claimed Baylor University had initially offered to help her identify the person who had drugged and kidnapped her, and told her they had received other reports of similar attacks happening at The Rugby House. But the university allegedly gave up the search and stopped contacting Jane Doe five weeks after the incident.

Jane Doe said she was too embarrassed to file a police report, but that her mother had contacted school officials about the incident to see what they were doing about it. Jane Doe dropped out in 2015 and filed her lawsuit against the school in 2016. The details of the settlement have not been released to protect her privacy. Continue reading

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When tragedy strikes, we are generally told not to blame the victim. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to do so, especially when the victims are women who have been sexually assaulted.

Ten different women filing similar allegations against Baylor University in Texas allege their rights were denied and/or violated under federal law. All the women allege they were sexually assaulted, either on school grounds and/or by other students, including at least one football player.

When the women reported the assaults to Baylor University officials, they’re reports were allegedly ignored and treated with indifference. Now the women have filed a total of six lawsuits against the school for allegedly violating their Title IX rights.

Baylor submitted requests for the first four lawsuits to be dismissed. It has not yet asked the court to dismiss the two lawsuits that were most recently filed, but it may still do so in the future. According to Baylor, the allegations submitted by the ten different women did not bear enough similarities to be filed jointly. Since they involved different places, victims, contexts, and alleged attackers, Baylor argued the combined cases should be dismissed and filed individually.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman disagreed, refusing all four of Baylor’s motions to dismiss. In his written decision, Pitman noted the similarities in claims brought by all the plaintiffs, namely their alleged mistreatment by Baylor officials, which allegedly resulted in deprivation of educational opportunities, either as a direct or indirect result of the trauma they suffered and the school’s refusal to properly handle the situation. Continue reading

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Although various people and organizations can put together estimates of the number of sexual assaults that take place in a given time frame, it is extremely difficult to come up with an accurate number. Because so many incidents go unreported, it is common for different sources to come up with wildly different estimates and it’s nearly impossible to tell whose estimates are more accurate.

According to a recent lawsuit filed against Baylor University, more than three dozen football players for the university committed at least 52 rapes in a four-year period.

These numbers are much higher than Baylor’s version of events, which currently recognizes 19 players involved in 17 reports of alleged physical attacks since 2011.

The most recent lawsuit, filed by a plaintiff whose name is only give as “Elizabeth Doe,” is just one of at least five such lawsuits filed against the university by women who were allegedly attacked and who claim the school did nothing to protect them or respond to their complaints. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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NPR reports:

At the University of Tennessee Tuesday, 16 of the university’s head coaches held a rare joint press conference. They defended the university in the wake of a Title IX federal sexual assault lawsuit. ..

The press conference was a rare sight. All of the University of Tennessee’s head athletic coaches – including football, baseball, diving and soccer – sitting on a stage, telling reporters that UT is not such a bad place. Robert Patrick coaches women’s volleyball at the Southeastern Conference school.

 

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Because our reputations are so valuable, any accusation of wrongdoing can cause serious damage to a person’s career and social life. As a result, accusations should be handled delicately and this is especially true when it comes to rape.

When a college student is raped by a professor or fellow student, the college or university the student attends is required to react in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX. This ensures that both parties will be dealt with fairly, and that the identity of the accuser will be protected.

According to a recent lawsuit, Florida State University (FSU) failed to comply with Title IX when a student accused Jameis Winston, the quarterback of the University’s football team, of raping her. Winston is now reportedly leaving for the NFL.

The morning after the alleged rape, the accuser went to a local hospital where she was examined by authorities who obtained evidence for a rape kit. After that, the case was turned over to the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD). Continue reading

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Statutes intended to protect one group of citizens can sometimes be applied to another group. Title IX, for example, is a federal statute that was designed to promote gender equality by protecting women. However, in one recent lawsuit against Columbia University, a male student is suing the university for discrimination under Title IX.

At issue is an evening in which the student had sex with a female freshman at the university. He says it was consensual. She says otherwise. The university suspended him for one year, an outcome that he claims was unjust.

He hired Andrew Miltenberg, a Manhattan attorney who has taken on the cases of the accused in numerous instances of alleged sexual assault. Despite the fact that representing the accused in such a situation is far from popular, Miltenberg insists that those accused are not always given access to the rights under the law. According to Miltenberg, as a defendant in one of these cases, “You got factual statements made that you’re not necessarily allowed to review and you’re certainly now allowed to have copies of. … You may or may not be able to present your witnesses. You probably don’t have the chance to cross-examine.”

There’s no doubt that this is a very delicate issue and remaining fair to all parties involved can be extremely difficult. After decades of women accusing colleges and universities of not being harsh enough on those who commit sexual assault, now there are groups saying they have gone too far in the other direction and have begun discriminating against men. Continue reading