GCW attorney, Paul Kinne, filed a lawsuit against Lawrence University for Title IX violations, on behalf of a student who was sexually assaulted by another Lawrence University student. The university allegedly failed to respond to multiple reported student-on-student assaults that occurred on school premises, of which the college was aware.
The plaintiff reported two incidents against a male student and was told no action could be taken until Lawrence had multiple reports about the same perpetrator. However, Curt Lauderdale, Dean of Students, admitted the university had previously received and were aware of at least three prior reports from other women who had been harassed or assaulted by the same student. In addition, during the investigation period, yet another student reported herself as a victim of rape at the hands of the same male student.
Although the Lawrence’s Title IX coordinator, Kimberly Jones, promised the perpetrator would be removed from campus, he was not. As a result, the plaintiff lived like a prisoner in her room to avoid him – missing classes and campus meals, as well as access to the library. Moreover, she was forced to quit her campus job during the investigation.
“This behavior has got to stop” said Paul Kinne, the plaintiff’s attorney. “This is one more example of a college refusing to take action on reports of sexual abuse because the college fears publicity, which hurts recruiting. It is another example of a college gambling that if they ignore the problem it will go away.”
“We hope this will be yet another message to colleges that allegations of abuse must be taken seriously from the very first report, and policies and practices must change so that action can be taken to prevent abuse before it happens,” Kinne continued.
The plaintiff is seeking emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and economic damages from Lawrence University.