Former student sues UNL fraternity, alleging she was raped by member

A woman is suing a fraternity at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, alleging that she was raped by a frat member “who gravitated to the most vulnerable women at parties.”

The woman, a former UNL student, alleges that the assault took place the night of April 22, 2017, through the next morning. It happened at the Alpha Theta Chi chapter of Chi Phi fraternity during a party, according to a civil complaint filed in Lancaster County District Court.

The complaint identifies the woman only as “Jane Doe” and does not specifically identify the man she says assaulted her.

According to the complaint:

The woman was invited to the off-campus party at the Chi Phi house at 1143 S. 17th St. in Lincoln. While there, she drank two cups of “jungle juice,” a combination of some kind of alcoholic beverage and a mixer, and became incapacitated.

About 12:30 a.m., she began to feel sick and vomited. A fraternity member took her to a private bathroom on the second floor, which was where he lived. At least two other frat members saw them there.

The member, the complaint said, was drawn to vulnerable women at parties, had previously been inappropriate toward women and had been reprimanded for it.

But the fraternity took no action to protect the woman from him, despite the other members knowing that she was incapacitated, vomiting and alone with him.

In the fraternity member’s room, he led her to his bed, where, clothed, she passed out.

Later, she awoke briefly to find some of her clothing removed and the frat member on top of her, having sex with her without her consent.

“She was unable to move or speak and lost consciousness again within a few seconds,” the complaint said.

She awoke again several hours later.

The woman’s attorney, Elizabeth Govaerts, said a police report was filed, and a Title IX sex discrimination investigation initiated. As a result of the Title IX investigation, UNL suspended the alleged assailant for two years, Govaerts said.

A UNL spokeswoman said the university hasn’t seen the lawsuit yet and can’t comment on it.

The fraternity’s phone was temporarily disconnected Friday night; a message left for it via Facebook was not returned.

The complaint alleges that the fraternity was negligent on multiple levels, including not having adequate policies or procedures in place to keep female guests safe, allowing the fraternity member with a history of inappropriate behavior to “prey” on the plaintiff and “failing to develop and implement basic safeguards to prevent sexual assault.”

The suit says she was forced to incur $3,000 in medical expenses. It alleges she suffered physical injury, had a pre-existing condition aggravated, suffered mental illness, humiliation, inconvenience and disability and expects that to continue.

She was unable to complete her education at the university and suffered economic loss, lost wages and lost earning capacity, it says.

The suit does not list a specific dollar amount the plaintiff is seeking, other than the $3,000 in medical expenses and other damages as decided by the court.

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