AP NEWS

Former student sues William Jewell College over sex assault

May 7, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former student claims that William Jewell College didn’t do enough to protect her against rape and provided insufficient health care and support after she reported being sexually assaulted by a football player.

The Kansas City-area woman filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the small liberal arts college in Liberty, the Kansas City Star reported.

She left the school after other students harassed her for reporting the assault to police in 2017, according to the lawsuit. The night she told authorities of the assault, men banged on her dorm room door and screamed threats that they planned to sexually assault her too, the lawsuit said.

Liberty police investigated her allegations but prosecutors declined to file charges.

The college also investigated and found “a preponderance of evidence” that suggested the football player sexually assaulted the woman. The player was expelled in 2017.

The woman’s lawsuit seeks monetary damages and for the college to improve its sexual harassment and security policies.

William Jewell hadn’t received a lawsuit as of Monday. The college’s spokeswoman declined to comment because of federal privacy laws, but she said student safety is a priority.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy related to sexual misconduct and have a comprehensive Title IX program in place that guides our response to any incident or allegation,” the spokeswoman said. “As part of our commitment to our students, we also have support services and counseling available, mandatory training for faculty, staff, and students, and a strong partnership with the Liberty Police Department.”

The lawsuit claims that the female student was assaulted in a dorm after watching a movie with the football player. The woman said the male student kept making advances and touching her despite her repeatedly telling him to stop.

The lawsuit alleges that William Jewell failed to follow its security procedures that require the dorm’s resident advisers to check each room for unauthorized visitors.

The suit also claims the college hadn’t conducted a proper background check before admitting the football player, which would have revealed his involvement in sexual activity that led to his transfer to another high school.

The woman said the school failed to provide her with adequate mental health care and emotional support after the assault.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com