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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Student Says Brown University Fumbled Rape Probe

A woman who says she was gang-raped by three football players brought a federal complaint against Brown University for its failure to discipline the students.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) – A woman who says she was gang-raped by three football players brought a federal complaint against Brown University for its failure to discipline the students.

Filed last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, the lawsuit says there is evidence of the Nov. 21, 2013, attack in the players’ cellphones.

“Yo like classic [Student C] tho … no invite just walks in and starts raping her,” a text between the other two students says, as quoted in the complaint.

The woman who says she was raped filed the Nov. 14 suit anonymously, and shields the identity of her three alleged attackers as well, calling them Students A, B and C.

Jane Doe says this text was time-stamped 6:14 a.m. on Nov. 22, the morning after she was drugged at a Providence-area bar, “against her knowledge and will, and then escorted by taxi to a Brown University dormitory where she was sexually assaulted by three males over an extended period of time.”

“LMAO,” one of the students texted again at 3:41 p.m., using the abbreviation for “laughing my ass off.”

“I died in her face, too real,” the text continued.

Meanwhile, “data from the cellular device of Student A also revealed explicit photographs of Jane Doe with Student B, taken at the time of the sexual assault,” according to the complaint.

Compounding this evidence, Doe says a forensic test of her hair yielded positive results for two over-the-counter, date-rape drugs that induce incapacitation and memory loss.

Doe says she was a freshman at nearby Providence College on the night of her attack.

A resident of Andover, Mass., Doe sought treatment related to the sexual assault at Lawrence General Hospital on Nov. 30. She reported the incident to Providence police just over two months later, on Feb. 3, 2014.

A Brown University police detective was present for her statement to the Providence police, and that the school obtained materials from the ensuing investigation, according to the complaint.

The search warrant on Student A’s dorm room and cellphone was allegedly executed on Feb. 26, with Student B’s dorm and cell searched on March 27. Doe says Student C’s cellphone was subject to a search warrant on May 8.

Despite Brown’s obligations under Title IX – the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education – Doe says the school showed “deliberate indifference” to provide redress.

Fearing for her safety since her assailants were never prohibited from approaching her, or contacting her or her friends, Doe says she dropped out of school.

Brown allegedly strung Doe along for over two years with an inquiry under the student-disciplinary code, “which did not comply with Title IX standards.”

“On June 21, 2016, Brown University informed Ms. Doe that it never completed any investigation, and that it had abandoned all disciplinary action against the three Brown University football players accused of sexually assaulting Ms. Doe,” the complaint states.

Noting that she is not the only victim of Brown’s indifference, Doe highlights an investigation that the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education brought against the school in July 2014.

“The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by a Brown University student, alleging that Brown violated Title IX in the redress of her complaint of sexual assault in August 2013,” the complaint states.

Doe seeks damages and injunction for civil-rights and Title IX violations. She is represented by Patrick Jones of Jones Kelleher and by Wendy Murphy of New England Law Boston.

Categories / Civil Rights, Education

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