Co-ed files Title IX lawsuit against College of Charleston, but it is likely too late
Charleston — A West Coast co-ed has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the College of Charleston.
However, should the Senate GOP appoint one judge to the US Supreme Court, the victim’s lawsuit will not see the light of day because any Trump appointed judge would side with the court’s four conservative jurists to kill all pending Title IX lawsuits.
The Post and Courier reports that two men barged their way into the victim’s dormitory four months ago, when she was 17. (NOTE: Although a California native, she was old enough to consent to sex in South Carolina as the age of consent is 16 [it is 18 in her home state]. However, as the Post and Courier reported, the victim was in such a bad condition, she was not able to consent to any sexual activity.) That was when the men gave her alcohol and drugs, forced her to strip and then raped her.
The lawsuit was filed on December 16.
The victim charges the College, its Board of Trustees, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and its Chi Omicron chapter of negligence for failing to “take proper precautions” or “develop adequate policies and procedures” that would have ensured the young woman’s safety.
“They allowed this environment to occur,” said Nathan Hughey, attorney for the woman, regarding C of C and Alpha Epsilon Pi. “A responsible national chapter would never allow a chapter to exist that was that far off base from what was safe and healthy and what a fraternity should be about.”
The woman, then 17, was invited to a party hosted by Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Chi Omicron chapter at the college to celebrate “Bid Day” marking the end of recruitment when new pledges are officially invited to join a fraternity. While at the party, two fraternity brothers “forcibly led” the woman into a men’s dormitory bedroom, where they locked the door, forcibly stripped her naked, forced her to take illegal drugs and perform sex acts on one of the men. The suit claims the other man started taking photos and video of her assault on his cellphone.
The two bros were later arrested by the College of Charleston’s campus police after the victim was shown in a lewd and lascivious image on one of the men’s IPhone. That showed the teen undressed and sitting on a bed with a naked male. The man who was naked in the IPhone image was charged with engaging a child for sexual performance and indecent exposure, while the other man was charged with first- and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Both men bonded out.
The Charleston Police Office has taken over as the lead in the investigation.
Three days after the alleged assault, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s headquarters revoked the chapter’s charter. Hours later, College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell announced a ban on alcohol at all Greek social functions following “a series of dangerous behaviors,” including “disruptive parties” and “medical transports related to extreme intoxication.”
Since the alcohol ban, at least five fraternities have been punished for violating it. Kappa Delta, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Kappa Sigma have all been sanctioned for hosting events this semester where alcohol was provided. Pi Kappa Alpha faces the most serious sanctions after new members were forced to serve as designated drivers for active members, buy them meals, clean their apartments, perform push-ups and planks, and hold pennies “against the wall with their nose while answering questions.”
The victim has since dropped out of college and returned to her native state. She is also undergoing intense counseling.
“Her dreams of what her life was gonna be at this point have been ruined,” Mr. Hughey told the Post and Courier. “This is something that’s probably going to carry on with her for the rest of her life.”
Aiken Area Progressive is taking the extremely rare step of redacting the names of all parties involved – except for the president of the college, lawyers and organizations – in this case.