Chenoweth Law Group

Oregon student sues college after rape on campus

A female student has introduced civil litigation against a community college for harm that befell her on the school's campus. The student is seeking $5 million from Southwestern Oregon Community College after a fellow student raped her on Oct. 22.

The student said that the school failed to adequately secure the dorm where she was staying at the time of the crime. In the early morning hours, a male student allegedly entered her room, took her back to his room against her will and raped her. During the ordeal, she screamed for help, and briefly escaped from the man, but there was no one there to help her. The plaintiff alleged that the school did not have security at her building when the incident happened.

The lawsuit also claims that the alleged predator, who was indicted by a grand jury on six felony charges, had a history of raping and inappropriately touching females and that the school should have treated him as a high risk. Police records on the man back up those claims. He was investigated in connection with a rape that took place in Vancouver in May and was eventually charged with second-decree rape.

The victim also said the man was noticeably drunk at the time of the crime and his level of intoxication should have suggested to campus security that he was a threat to safety. The suit states that she sustained physical injuries during the incident along with emotional distress.

Meanwhile, the man, who is charged with first-degree rape and kidnapping, pleaded not guilty to all his charges. However, he will have an opportunity to change his plea at an upcoming court appearance.

College students who reside on campus should feel secure and safe in their home away from home. As students socialize with their classmates in and around their dorm areas, a level of security needs to be maintained to ensure the safety of other dorm residents. Resident assistants as well as security personnel are responsible for monitoring the on-campus resident housing for activities that could lead to personal injuries.

Source: The Register-Guard, "Rape accuser sues college," Karen McCowan, Dec. 10, 2011

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