Student at U. of Oregon Files Lawsuit After Rape Claims

A female student at the University of Oregon has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university and Dana Altman, coach of the basketball team.

She claims that she was sexually assaulted by three players on the University of Oregon basketball team and is seeking to have her tuition and school expenses refunded. She is also asking for any expenses paid out for her assault be refunded along with compensation for the emotional pain and loss of enjoyment of life she suffered.

In the complaint filed on Thursday, the unnamed student, alleges that the university violated her “civil rights, privacy and deprived her of her right to an education.” The suit says, “UP delayed taking any action on the sexual assaults for over two months while it prioritized winning basketball games over the health, safety, and welfare of its students.”

Brandon Brown, one of the players accused of assault, had previously been suspended from Providence College in Rhode Island after being accused of sexual misconduct. The lawsuit states that Coach Altman was aware of his history before bringing Brown to the team. Altman claims to have no knowledge of Brown’s past or the reason for his expulsion, but Brown’s mother said the coach was made aware of the situation.

There are also claims that UO opted to forgo any disciplinary actions against the players and allowed them to continue to play on the team.

Charges were never brought against Brown or the other two players accused, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson due to what the prosecutors said was a “lack of evidence.” All three men claimed to not have assaulted the student, but said they engaged in consensual sex with her.

Two of the three players were able to play in the NCAA tournament, despite the fact that the UO officials were aware of the accusations of sexual assault and an investigation being opened.

All three players have since been removed from the basketball team, suspended from the university and prohibited from coming to the Oregon campus for a minimum of four years. The ban from the campus may be extended and remain in effect until the student accuser, who is still enrolled in courses, has finished her education at the university.

The University of Oregon interim president, Scott Coltrane, sent out a letter on the school’s website after the complaint was filed. In his open letter he wrote:

“The university would prefer not to be in litigation with any student. We have been respectful and supportive as possible of the student, including immediately implementing support services and appropriately honoring her choice of process, once hearing of her experience. The university disagrees with the allegations against it and believes that it acted in accordance with the law, including Title IX. This litigation in no way undermines the university’s on-going commitment to support the student inside and outside of the classroom.”

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