Woman Claims Violent Athlete Got a Pass
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CN) - Temple University kicked a volleyball player off the team and revoked her scholarship after she complained that her ex-boyfriend, a punter on the football team, threatened to kill her, the woman claims in court.
Emily Frazer sued Temple University, her ex-boyfriend Andrew Cerett, and Allied Barton Security Services, in Federal Court.
Frazer says she was on a full athletic scholarship, played starting middle blocker for Temple's volleyball team and was lead server for the 2011 fall season.
She claims that Cerett, a 6-foot-5-inch punter, also on a full athletic scholarship, assaulted her after she broke up with him in the spring semester of her sophomore year, and that Temple kicked her off the volleyball team and revoked her scholarship after she reported it.
She also sued an unidentified security guard for Allied Barton, which provides Temple with campus security, including in dormitories, and staffs the front desk of Frazer's dorm.
Frazer claims that when Cerett entered her dorm on Jan. 21, 2011, visibly drunk after drinking 19 shots in less than 30 minutes, Allied officers did not ask to see his ID, did not ask who he was visiting and did not make him sign in while he waited "for several minutes for the elevator which is located directly behind the security desk."
She says that nonresidents of a dorm "are required to follow the university sign-in policy in order to be granted access to dorms other than their own."
That policy requires that "an Allied officer will call the resident the guest is visiting and that resident is required to come to the front desk, sign in their guest and escort them to their room ... take the guest ID and hold onto it until they return to the front desk, sign out, and leave the building," according to the complaint.
Electronic card readers are on every dorm building; dorm residents swipe their student ID to get in.
Frazer claims that "Cerette testified at the student disciplinary proceeding that he had consumed nineteen (19) or more shots in less than thirty (30) minutes prior to arriving at Frazer's dorm building." He was, in short, so drunk that Allied security guards must have noticed it, she says.
Frazer claims that after Cerett entered her dorm he hid behind another student to get into the room of one of her friends. Frazer says she and her roommates left immediately when Cerett entered, but he followed and forced himself into the room to which they fled, causing her flee to her own suite down the hall.
Cerett followed again, kicked open the door and "burst into Frazer's room without permission ... screaming and threatening to kill Frazer," according to the complaint.
Cerett told her, "If I can't have you no one can have you," the complaint states.
Cerett then slammed the door shut, blocked it, and continued to threaten to kill her and himself, while "Frazer was crying and pleading with Cerett to leave and not harm her," according to the complaint.
Two students called police and forced Cerett into the living room of the suite before he "proceeded to punch through a window in the dorm hallway and spread his blood along the walls of the hallway" while he ran from campus police, Frazer says.
While Cerett dodged police, he continuously called and texted her cell phone, Frazer says. She says the chase ended when she followed campus police instructions and answered a call from Cerett and asked him where he was hiding.
Frazer says she ended her 5-month, on-and-off relationship with Cerett "due to his obsessive, controlling and disturbing behavior towards himself, Frazer and others."
She claims that Cerett was "known by university officials, including football coaching staff, to have psychological issues as well as anger problems ... had several altercations with fellow football players ... [and had] threatened to harm himself."
At least one complaint against Cerett had been reported to the university, after an incident in which "Cerett threatened to kill his roommate and fellow football teammate, Adam Metz," according to the complaint.
After his drunken frenzy, Frazer says, she stayed with friends and off campus, but Cerett continued to call her repeatedly as soon as he got access to a telephone.
Before Cerett's disciplinary hearing one month later, Frazer says, the university failed to protect her from Cerett's stalking and harassment.
She claims that Cerett followed her to and from class, regularly sat outside her dorm building, and once followed her "into the cafeteria and stood directly beside her and stared at her while she was having a conversation with a fellow student."
Frazer says her mother stayed with her in her dorm room for months after the assault, that she was unable to sleep, had flashbacks and sought professional counseling.
The ruling from his disciplinary hearing, issued in May 2011, found that Cerett had violated several student codes and suspended him until the fall semester, but the suspension ended before the 2012 football season began, Frazer says in the complaint.
One year later, Frazer says, she was booted from the volleyball team and her full scholarship was revoked.
Frazer claims this was "retaliation by the university for Frazer insisting on Cerett's discipline."
She says she went through the grievance process with Temple but only 50 percent of her scholarship was reinstated and she was not permitted to return to the volleyball team.
She claims the university negligently failed to deal with Cerett's issues and punished her for reporting his harmful behavior.
She seeks an injunction and punitive damages for constitutional violations, a hostile educational environment, sexual harassment, retaliation, and pain and suffering, and wants Temple ordered to "develop and institute "proper procedures for investigating and resolving complaints of harassment of students."
She is represented by Jason Kutulakis, with Abom & Kutulakis, of Carlisle, Pa.