Stanford University knowingly allowed a sexual predator to roam free on campus and to graduate, despite several reports of sexual assaults on female undergraduates, a new bombshell lawsuit claims.
The civil rights suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco by a student identified as Jane Doe, alleges that the prestigious university failed to discipline a “known predator,” who had allegedly threatened to kill one of his victims.
The plaintiff, a current graduate student at Stanford, says she was raped by another male student — Mr. X — who had previously sexually assaulted at least one other female student.
One of these women, referred to as Ms. A in the court filings, accused Mr.X of repeatedly assaulting her over the course of several months, in 2010 and 2011. In one instance, he brutally choked her “nearly to the point of unconsciousness” and told her that no one would notice her death, before molesting her, Ms. A says.
But when Ms. A reported his actions to university officials, one of them suggested that she deal with the incident by “renting a car and going to a beach,” the suit claims.
No investigation was triggered.
When Ms. A then decided to visit a university counselor, the latter disapproved of Ms. A’s revealing sweater shirt, before asking if she had put herself in a promiscuous situation to appear “sexually available,” she says.
Another woman reported Mr. X to the school for becoming “violently angry” after she refused to have sex with him. He allegedly threw a table at her and punched her, “splitting her lip,” the complaint says.
The suit argues that Stanford’s failure to investigate Ms A’s complaints and appropriately punish Mr.X made it easier for him to go on sexually assaulting Ms. Doe, whom he began dating in 2013. According to Ms. Doe, Mr. X forced himself on her after she refused to give him oral sex, berated her and told her to “kill herself.”
The lawsuit further alleges that, through its lax response, Stanford “deprived Ms. Doe of access to the educational benefits or opportunities provided by Stanford, in violation of Title IX.”
Lisa Lapin, Stanford’s vice president of university communications, said in a statement that while they had “sympathy for the plaintiff” the university would be vigorously fighting these accusations, as they believe “that Stanford has acted with appropriate diligence and compassion.”
Stanford is one of several major U.S. universities under federal review for their mishandling of sexual assault cases on campus.
This lawsuit comes only months after the controversial case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was released from jail after serving half of a his six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus.