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Student Blames University for Sexual Assault

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - A teaching assistant at UC-Santa Barbara beat a student while he sexually assaulted her in his office, the student claims in court.

Jane Doe sued Jeffrey Beckstrand and the Regents of the University of California in Superior Court.

She claims that on Valentine's Day 2012, Beckstrand overpowered her in his office, told her he had a knife, pulled her head back by her hair, and "forced her to orally copulate him. Beckstrand also struck plaintiff in her face several times with his hand."

Doe says she was an undergraduate at UCSB from 2008-2012, and that Beckstrand was a teaching assistant in one of her classes. She says she asked him for help on a paper and he told her to meet her in a campus courtyard at 9 p.m. It was Valentine's Day.

They went to his campus office, Doe says, where "Beckstrand began asking plaintiff personal questions and then touched plaintiff's breast without plaintiff's consent." Doe says she tried to leave, but "Beckstrand blocked her attempts, stating: 'You won't leave unless I ask you to leave.'"

The lawsuit continues: "Beckstrand, against plaintiff's will and without her consent, pulled plaintiff's shirt up and told her he had a knife. Beckstrand then forced plaintiff onto her knees. While plaintiff was on her knees, Beckstrand used one hand to pull plaintiff's head back by her hair, and the other to unzip his pants and expose his penis. Plaintiff struggled to escape but Beckstrand overpowered her. Beckstrand then forcibly opened plaintiff's mouth and forced her to orally copulate him. Beckstrand also struck plaintiff in her face several times with his hand."

Doe seeks punitive damages for sexual assault, sexual battery, premises liability, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

She is represented by Jeffrey Coleman of Tustin.

The University of California did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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