In a complaint filed this week in US District Court in San Francisco, a current Stanford graduate student and former Stanford undergrad alleges she was assaulted by a male student who was allowed to remain on campus and graduate with both undergraduate and masters degrees, despite the university being made aware of his actions. CBS 5 reports that the civil suit argues Stanford University stood in violation of Title IX by allowing the alleged sexual predator to stalk its campus, depriving female students of the educational benefits and opportunities provided by the school. A representative of the university denies the charge.
The male student, identified as Mr. X, allegedly raped at least one other female student prior to his alleged attack on the plaintiff, according to the complaint. That plaintiff is listed as Jane Doe. Stanford failed to “protect her and other female undergraduate students from a male student who was a known sexual predator on campus,” the suit claims.
Specifically, Mr. X choked and raped a woman on campus in February 2011 according to the complaint, and though his actions were made known to the university, they were not, allegedly, investigated. Three years later, in February 2014, Mr. X assaulted Jane Doe, and in between 2010 and 2014, the suit claims, Mr. X physically and/or sexually assaulted no fewer than four female Stanford students.
Mr. X, the Chronicle writes, is 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds. He attempted to rape the plaintiff according to the complaint after she refused to perform oral sex. Doe had previously had a consensual relationship with her alleged attacker, and after her refusal, Mr. X physically and verbally assaulted Doe, according to the claim.
“We have sympathy for the plaintiff in this case, but we will be vigorously defending the lawsuit as we believe that Stanford has acted with appropriate diligence and compassion within the constraints of privacy laws,” Lisa Lapin, Stanford University’s vice president of university communication, told CBS 5.
Three law firms are representing Jane Doe in the action according to the Chronicle, and the lead attorney for one of those firms, Rebecca Peterson-Fisher of Equal Rights Advocates says that “Institutions like Stanford need to be held accountable for their failure to recognize the severity of these crimes and to comply with Title IX.”
The school was recently criticized during the trial of Brock Turner, a former freshman whose lenient sentence for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman outside a fraternity party made national headlines. Turner, now a registered sex offender, has returned to his home state of Ohio.