Woman files federal lawsuit against ODU following rape claims

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC/AP) -- A woman who reported being raped on the campus of Old Dominion University has filed a federal lawsuit against school.

The lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press on Friday accuses the school of unlawfully detaining the woman, intentionally inflicting emotional harm on her and violating Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in education. The woman is not identified in the lawsuit.

The woman says in the lawsuit that the school failed to adequately ensure her safety by not having any university staff in the on-campus building where she says she was attacked in 2014.

13News Now spoke to the student after the alleged attack, she said, "They made me believe, they even said, 'We're going to be your heroes through all this, and I think they were his hero more than mine."

During that exclusive interview, she added, "I have post-traumatic stress disorder, and I'm always thinking about this. It's day to day. It's every day. It's all I think about."

The woman said ODU violated the Clery Act, which, in part, requires schools to inform victims about counseling services, their options to notify law enforcement after an assault and options for changing their living situation.

"What really made me upset was I felt like ODU is not taking my case seriously," she told 13News Now. "I feel like no one knows, no one -- even in the dorm I'm staying in -- knows a girl got raped a door down."

Old Dominion University issued the following statement Friday:

While we do not comment on pending litigation, Old Dominion University takes reports of sexual assault seriously. We treat students with compassion, dignity and respect.

ODU Sexual Assault Lawsuit by 13News Now on Scribd

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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