Former athlete, others sue Nebraska over assault claims
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A former Nebraska volleyball player and eight other women have sued the university, alleging it did not properly investigate complaints of sexual assault and harassment.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Nebraska outlines an alleged pattern of unresponsiveness, sloppiness and indifference by university employees in charge of investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.
Seven of the women say they were victims of rape or sexual assault and two others say they were victims of sexual harassment and stalking, all between 2015-18. One woman also alleged racial discrimination.
The volleyball player said she had been groped at a party in 2018 and later transferred to another school because of emotional distress. Two other women also left Nebraska.
“UNL’s investigation and response to each of the Plaintiffs’ sex discrimination complaints was insufficient and did not comply with basic due process requirements,” the complaint said. “UNL’s response to each of the Plaintiffs constituted sex discrimination in a variety of ways.”
The complaint alleged violations of Title IX, the federal civil rights law ensuring equal opportunities for women in education, and that university training for students on sexual misconduct policies and investigation and reporting procedures are inadequate.
The women are seeking punitive damages to be determined at trial.
“The health and safety of all of our students, is of the upmost importance to us,” the university said in a statement. “We have a strong Title IX process and are confident in it. Every case is difficult and investigated based on the information made available. We cannot comment on the specifics of any Title IX investigation or on pending litigation.”