DELAND, Fla. (CN) – A freshman claims she was gang-raped in a locker room “throughout the night” by members of the Bethune-Cookman University basketball team after one player drugged her and called up his teammates, who walked her naked through campus.
Plaintiff DF says she was a freshman on full athletic scholarship to Bethune-Cookman University in the autumn of 2010.
“On December 5, 2010, beginning at approximately 11:00 p.m., 20-year-old Clifford Jervon Reed began plying 18-year-old DF with alcohol in his white Mercedes-Benz while on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University,” according to the complaint in Volusia County Court.
Reed was a member of the Bethune-Cookman men’s basketball team and the son of it head basketball coach, Clifford Reed Jr., according to the complaint.
DF claims that Coach Reed and other Bethune-Cookman employees knew that Reed’s son was in the habit of providing alcohol to other underage students.
“Instead of preventing this from happening, Coach Reed, in fact, provided alcohol to Clifford Jervon Reed and other members of his men’s basketball team or facilitated its purchased by them,” the complaint states.
“Coach Reed and other Bethune-Cookman University employees also gave members of the men’s basketball team, including 20-year-old Clifford Jervon Reed, keys to the basketball gymnasium and men’s basketball team locker room so they could have unrestricted and unsupervised access to these facilities at all hours of the day and night, despite knowing that team members used the locker room for parties, sexual activity, and sexual misconduct that was expressly prohibited by B-CU’s Standard of Conduct and Judicial Affairs.”
DF claims that Reed’s son “proceeded to drive DF to another location where he obtained an unknown substance that he poured into the bottle of alcohol they were drinking. No longer drinking from it himself, Reed then gave the bottle back to DF. After two sips, DF became incapacitated, and she passed in and out of consciousness in the back seat of his car.
“DF remembers hearing Reed call other members of the B-CU basketball team on his cellular phone and driving back to campus. She told him she felt sick and wanted to go home.
“Instead, Reed drove back to the Bethune-Cookman University campus, where he picked up three other students and from that point forward and continuing throughout the night and into the next morning, DF was repeatedly sexually assaulted and/or gang-raped by Reed and other members of the Bethune-Cookman University men’s basketball team.
“The sexual assault continued in the Bethune-Cookman University basketball gymnasium, when her assailants walked a naked and incapacitated DF through the campus and into the men’s basketball team locker room without anyone stopping them, using their keys to gain access to the locker building.
“While the sexual assault was taking place in the B-CU basketball gymnasium, a janitor employed by Bethune-Cookman University entered the men’s locker room and witnessed the sexual assault on DF, yet he neither stopped the assault nor reported it to the police.
“The sexual assault on DF in the men’s locker room continued until sometime after 5:00 a.m., when someone cleaned the blood and semen from her legs and walked her back to her dorm room,” according to the complaint.
DF says the school failed to suspend Reed and her other rapists immediately, failed to report the incident to the NCAA as required by the NCAA, and failed to enforce its rules prohibiting students from alcohol, sex and sexual assault.
She accuses the school of “discouraging DF from proceeding in any way on the matter, and … negligently or willfully covering up the sexual assault.”
And, DF says, she lost her scholarship because she left the school because it insisted she associate with the men who raped her on away basketball games.
“Since that time, Bethune-Cookman University has refused to take any responsibility for the events it allowed to happen on its own campus and has continued to impugn DF’s character and blame the rape on her, instead of fixing the problem and punishing the wrong-doers,” the complaint states.
DF says Bethune-Cookman has a history of sexual assault against its students: “In 2009, it quietly fired four professors who had for years been taking female students to an off-campus apartment to have sex.”
When those events became public, DF says, the school “commissioned a report to repair its image that concluded with recommendations to ‘repair the climate of fear and intimidation that kept these incidents quiet for several years.’
“Unfortunately for DF, the climate of fear and intimidation continues at BC-U and the university continues to look the other way as university rules are broken and its students are sexually assaulted.”
DF seeks damages for negligent training, supervision and retention, negligent security, medical expenses, the loss of her scholarship, lost wages, injuries, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of the capacity to enjoy life.
The only defendant is the university.
DF is represented by William Wolk with Eaton & Wolk of Miami.
Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college, was founded by Mary McLeod Bethune in 1904 as the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School. Bethune, born to parents who had been slaves, became a leader in civil rights and education, and an adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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