Tuesday, October 22, 2013

UConn Women File Sexual Assault Complaint

A group of female students and former students at the University of Connecticut have filed a complaint with OCR, alleging that the university failed to adequately protect them or respond to instance of campus sexual assault. One of the students alleges that she rebuffed by campus police, who did not take serious the threats of rape she received after publicly criticizing the university athletic department for not adequately addressing instances of assault instances involving male athletes. Another claims she was victim-blamed by a campus police officer, who told her that "women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter, or rape is going to keep on happening until the cows come home." That same student alleges that she was not notified when the university revoked the sanction of expulsion it had initially applied to her assailant, and she had to confront him in the dining hall.  A third student also reports that campus police ignored her complaint that she had been assaulted by a male student athlete.  If an OCR investigation determined that these allegations are true, it could use its Title IX enforcement power to require the university to improve its sexual assault policies and practices.

The students are represented by attorney Gloria Allred, who also represented the students from Occidental College in a similar matter.  Occidental recently paid a financial settlement to avoid a lawsuit with the complainants.