Former Roberts Wesleyan College student is suing the college
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A former Roberts Wesleyan College student is now suing the college.
She said she reported a rape to school officials and claims they mishandled her case by tipping off her alleged rapist.
The attorney of the victim said her client who will be referred to as Jane Doe as she wishes to remain anonymous.
They are suing the school after her attorney says her client was raped last October and school officials showed reckless disregard for Jane Doe’s protected rights.
“They made plans to watch a television show together. She went to his residence hall room and she was assaulted,” attorney J. Morgan Levy said.
Levy said her client was working towards her teaching degree when the alleged rape happened last October.
“She promptly made a report to the school about what happened,” Levy said. “Like she was trained to do during her orientation. And they did not respond in the way that she thought they would and not in a way that was helpful to her.”
Levy said instead, the college responded by trying to explain all of her options, and then at the end of the meeting, the Title IX coordinator told her she could assist her in coming to a quote “beautiful reconciliation” with the person who assaulted her.
“If she had decided she wasn’t going to go forward with a formal complaint and she was taken aback by their way of talking about her options, especially because at that moment she was already feeling very you know, she’s traumatized,” Levy said.
In a statement to News10NBC, the college says:
“Roberts Wesleyan College has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our students and our campus community.
The law requires every college to follow federal and state guidelines when responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. Roberts Wesleyan College’s policy and resources for responding to allegations of sexual misconduct can be found on the college’s Title IX website.
Out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved, and per college policy due to the restrictions imposed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the college cannot comment on the specific details of this matter. FERPA prevents schools from releasing details of student records.
Roberts Wesleyan College is committed to providing a safe learning, living and working environment free from sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination. Roberts has a number of resources available to students, faculty and staff, including the campus wellness center, campus safety, external counselors and advocates.”
But Levy said the coordinator further compromised the investigation by contacting the accused before he could be interviewed by police.
“Instead of listening to what she wanted. The Title IX coordinator reached out to the other party the very next day,” Levy said. “And he then immediately reached out to her to say, ‘why am I getting a call from the Title IX coordinator?’”
In a statement, the young woman said, “I want Roberts’s students to know that despite what they tell you in orientation, in my experience the school didn’t help me. Rather than give me time and space to get help and figure out what I wanted to do, the Title IX coordinator tipped off the person who hurt me. Really, instead of helping me, Robert’s traumatized me more.”
“The main point of the lawsuit is to try to make sure that Robert’s doesn’t cause another Robert’s student to experience the same thing that miss Doe has experienced,” Levy said.
According to Levy, no criminal charges have been filed.
The official court document can be found below: