Howard University is at the center of a federal lawsuit after it allegedly failed to handle sexual assault cases properly, leading to a rape suspect allegedly assaulting another victim. On top of this, suicidal rape victims allege that the college did not give them help when needed, and two of the five plaintiffs left the school for fear of their safety, according to Afro.
The lawsuit also alleges that the college allowed an accused rapist to become a resident advisor and have access to his purported victim’s dorm.
The five plaintiffs, named Jane Does 1 through 5 in the lawsuit, are all current or former students of Howard University. All of their alleged sexual assaults took place in 2014, 2015, and 2016 by university students or employees. One of the alleged rapists is accused of assaulting two of the plaintiffs.
The suit says that Jane Doe 1 posted on social media about how the school handled her report of sexual assault prompting the other Jane Does to come forward with their stories. Jane Doe 2 alleges that the school did not properly investigate her rape case, allowing the suspect to assault Jane Doe 1.
“Howard’s failure to investigate and effectively resolve Doe 2’s complaint meant the assailant remained on campus as an RA and raped Doe 1 over five months later.”
The Jane Does allege that the school retaliated by firing Jane Doe 1 as a resident assistant and rescinding Jane Doe 2’s financial aid and threatening to refer her debt to a collection agency.
Jane Doe 3 alleges that her boyfriend, a Howard University campus police officer, raped and assaulted her. She claims that she requested counseling services from the school, but was not given them.
Jane Doe 4 says the school did not provide her with proper academic accommodations after her rape, then failed to change her dorm quickly enough for her safety.
Jane Doe 5 was unable to graduate on time after she reported her rape in April 2015. She made plans to finish out her credits at another school for her safety and claims that when she tried to transfer back the school was unclear about whether it would accept her credits for graduation.
She said it took the school seven months to investigate her rape.
Howard has not make a statement regarding the lawsuit, as it is school policy to avoid commenting on pending litigation.