Those are among the upsetting claims made in a lawsuit the student filed against the university September 15. The student, who is identified only as Jane Doe in the court documents, is now suing the school for violating Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender or sex discrimination and setting guidelines for handling assault complaints, and the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination based on a person's disability. The student says she developed severe anxiety, depression, and
"Had the University provided these options to Plaintiff in the Fall of 2013, Plaintiff would have been spared the failing grades, the continued fear for her safety, the depression and anxiety that stemmed from the repeated trauma she experienced in the fall of 2013, and the despair she felt from the University’s inadequate responses that led to suicide attempt," the suit says.
The lawyers for the student and the representatives for the university did not immediately respond to requests for comment from New Times. But this is not the first case in which UM has been accused of mishandling a sexual assault case or violating Title IX.
In April 2015, New Times published a
This is also the second high-profile case involving then-Dean William A. "Tony" Lake, who handled Title IX and sexual harassment complaints as the school's judicial affairs director until he was forced out in 2016 for mishandling another student rape case. In that instance, Lake punished then-student David Jia in 2014 for rape claims which later turned out to be false. Jia sued the school this past January. The case also led UM to
Lake did not immediately respond to messages from New Times about the latest lawsuit.
In the new case, the student alleges she was raped August 23,
The student says she first reported the assault and subsequent stalking to the RA program supervisor at her assailant's dorm. She says the supervisor said he'd speak with her rapist but ultimately did nothing and also did not provide the student with anymore advice or reference her Title IX rights in any way.
On September 16, 2013, the student says, she reported the rape to Lake. She says Lake never told her about her Title IX rights and failed to properly investigate the situation, although he did order
Later that same day, she reported the stalking to Coral Gables Police out of fear for her safety.
"She provided testimony and documentary evidence to the police, such as Facebook messages and text
messages," the suit says. "The police began investigating the case and informed Plaintiff of various resources available to her. They expressed concern that the University had not informed Plaintiff of her option to make a police report."
Just two weeks after the university issued the no-contact order, the student's rapist began harassing her again, she says. When the student reported the issue to Lake, he allegedly said that the school wasn't able to enforce the no-contact order and that it was on her to steer clear of the rapist.
"Dean Lake advised Plaintiff to 'avoid those situations' in which Assailant would come in contact with her," the suit says. "This was nearly impossible without Plaintiff’s avoiding all campus facilities and activities, including classes, therapy appointments, the library, the student center, or any other facilities on campus."
From September to December 2013, the student says, her stalker harassed her nine to ten more times. She claims she reported each case to Lake, but he and the school did nothing. And the suit claims that when the student met with Lake again in October, he tried to insinuate that the victim had not been raped.
"During this meeting, Dean Lake suggested to Plaintiff that perhaps Assailant had inserted his fingers and not his penis into Plaintiff’s
At another in-person meeting that month, the student warned Lake that her assailant was harassing other freshman women on campus, she says. Lake allegedly responded that the students would need to "figure out for themselves" if the guy was dangerous.
In December 2013, the student said she was stalked multiple times. She emailed Lake and said she was "fearing for [her] safety." She claims he did not respond for multiple days.
On December 10, a three-person university board found the assailant responsible for charges of "sexual assault and battery, intimate partner/dating violence, underage drinking, physical assault, and sexual harassment." He was, however, allowed to remain on campus despite his victim's repeated protests. The student said she was forced to obtain an emergency restraining order against her assailant from Miami-Dade County December 16, and only then was the rapist finally expelled.
The next day, the accused was arrested on stalking charges, the lawsuit says. He pleaded guilty the following spring.
In the meantime, the victim repeatedly asked professors and school administrators for help dealing with her anxiety, she says. She claims the school steadfastly refused to help in any major capacity until she attempted suicide in January 2014. She was then admitted
Despite everything, the victim graduated in May 2015 with a degree in microbiology and immunology. She says her grade point average dropped from 3.8 to 3.5 after the
"Currently a law student at the University of Houston, Plaintiff is in the process of applying to medical school and is determined to fix her GPA to reflect the caliber of student she was before the rape, and the accurate scholastic marks she would have had without the continued threats to her safety and the University’s deliberate indifference toward her being raped and stalked," the suit says.