Kansas State University Title IX Lawsuit
Tessa Farmer and Sara Weckhorst, were each brutally raped by KSU students at off-campus fraternity houses. Both reported the rapes to KSU and identified the perpetrators, one of whom is now in prison. KSU refused to investigate or take any action against the perpetrators, allowing them to remain on campus, and justified its indifference on the basis that the rapes occurred off-campus.
Two female students argued in a federal lawsuit that Kansas State University’s refusal to investigate a 2014 report of an off-campus rape enabled the alleged assailant to commit another rape the following year. They said the university gave “a free pass” to a male student who they allege attacked each of them in separate incidents.
Crystal Stroup was raped one night in 2015 by the male student at her apartment near the Kansas State campus in Manhattan. Stroup reported the rape to authorities because she didn’t want it to happen again to somebody else. Then, she heard that the same man had been accused of raping another student, Sara Weckhorst, a year earlier.
Stroup and Weckhorst joined forces in the civil suit, accusing Kansas State of negligence and of violating their rights under the federal anti-discrimination law Title IX. The suit focused on the university’s internal deliberations over investigations of sexual assault.
At issue in Stroup and Weckhorst’s complaint was whether Kansas State was reluctant to pursue internal investigations of reported sexual violence that occur off campus. The two women, who are represented by attorney Jonathon Fazzola, accused Kansas State of “deliberate indifference” to Weckhorst’s 2014 report of being raped at a fraternity house. They charged that the university “refused to investigate” because the alleged assault occurred off-campus.
Weckhorst and Farmer “filed the lawsuit to stand up for victims of rape on college campuses and are thrilled to see the U.S. federal government out in support of the law.”
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