Army Accused of Callousness After Rape
NORMAN, Okla. (CN) - University of Oklahoma and military officials kicked a student out of the school's Army ROTC program after she endured a brutal, multi-day rape and failed to accommodate her resulting disabilities when she was employed as a civilian, the woman claims in court.
Army reservist L.K. sued the University of Oklahoma, its board of regents and civilian leaders of the Army and Air Force in Federal Court on Monday.
"This is a civil action regarding events at the intersection of an epidemic of university campus sexual assaults and the inability of the United States armed forces to effectively deal with sexual assaults and their aftermath in the ranks," the 10-page complaint states. "Defendants' actions and inactions contributed to plaintiff's brutal multi-day rape, and their conduct before-the-fact is thus inexcusable. However, their callous disregard of plaintiff's rights following her rape amounted to an administrative rape that should shock the collective conscience of citizens of a civilized society."
L.K. claims she was raped in November 2010 by a member of the Air Force who had been treated for serious, unspecified mental health conditions and then released prematurely.
"Defendants knew or should have known that the attacker posed a serious risk to the plaintiff and others, but defendants failed to act to prevent him from harming others," the complaint states. "After the rape, plaintiff immediately notified her Army chain of command. No immediate action to protect plaintiff's health and safety was taken by the Army after this notification. Instead of acting to protect plaintiff, the U.S. Army attempted to suspend her security clearance and disenrolled plaintiff from the ROTC program."
After she was removad from the ROTC program, L.K. says, she was hired by the ROTC as a civilian secretary. She claims she was retaliated against based on her disabilities resulting from the rape, resulting in her firing after she suffered a "life-threatening event" while in her doctor's office.
"As a result of the rape, plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer from multiple surgeries and side effects of her injuries," the complaint states. "This includes, but is not limited to ... the seizure disorder that developed after the rape."
University of Oklahoma spokesman Michael Nash declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday afternoon, saying the school does not comment on pending litigation.
He said the school "takes allegations of sexual abuse very seriously and thoroughly investigates each and every case brought to our attention."
L.K. seeks actual and punitive damages and injunctive relief for employment discrimination, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of her civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
She is represented by Edward White, of Edmond, Okla.