Dueling Lawsuits Over Prof-Student Incident
CHICAGO (CN) - A Northwestern professor accused of sexually assaulting a student sued the Sun Times for publishing an article stating he was accused of rape.
Peter Ludlow sued Sun Times Media, Cumulus Broadcasting, WLS AM 890, and Fox Television Stations dba Fox 32 News in Cook County Court.
A Northwestern student sued the school on Feb. 10, accusing it of retaliating against her for complaining that philosophy professor Peter Ludlow sexually harassed her.
Ludlow responded with his own lawsuit, on Valentine's Day.
"Despite that the lawsuit was not filed against plaintiff Ludlow, the student included false allegations that plaintiff Ludlow engaged in 'sexual harassment' and 'sexual assault.' Plaintiff Ludlow adamantly denies these allegations," Ludlow's complaint states.
"The student did not include any allegation in the lawsuit that plaintiff Ludlow had raped her or even that the two had engaged in sexual intercourse."
On Feb. 10, the day of the first lawsuit, the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on the Evanston Review website, under the headline, "'Student allegedly raped by professor suing Northwestern University' which discussed the allegations in the lawsuit in great detail," Ludlow says in his complaint.
Fox News and Cumulus both published the story on their websites and tweeted the article on their Twitter accounts, Ludlow claims.
The next morning, "per plaintiff Ludlow's attorneys' demand, defendant Sun-Times revised the title of the article it had posted to read 'Student claiming sexual assault by professor suing Northwestern,'" the complaint states.
Fox and Cumulus also revised the title of their articles, but the URL addresses remained the same, and they did not delete the previous tweets that included the word "rape," Ludlow claims.
"Prior to the publication of defendants' articles, plaintiff Ludlow had never to his knowledge been accused of rape in any forum, public or private," he claims.
The article referred to in Ludlow's complaint says that professor allegedly sexually assaulted a student in February 2012 after they attended an art event together, and that the professor encouraged the underage student to drink until she blacked out.
The student claims she woke up in the professor's bed, and tried to kill herself two days later because of the trauma of the incident, according to the article.
Her lawsuit claims that Northwestern continues to employee Ludlow, despite a committee's recommendation that he should be fired.
Ludlow seeks damages for defamation, and false light invasion of privacy.
He is represented by Kate Sedey with the Case Law Firm.