WASHINGTON - In May, five women filed a lawsuit against Howard University claiming the school has been slow to take action to resolve their claims of sexual assault. Now, a sixth woman has come forward to join the lawsuit claiming she was raped by a repeat offender.
The latest victim says after she was raped, she lived on campus in fear and her pleas were ignored by the university, which are detailed in the lawsuit.
This latest complaint was filed on Nov. 27 and says the student was raped by her assailant in his dorm in April 2016. The victim says she then went to school officials and was told the investigation would take three months, which is contrary to the university’s policy of 60 days.
The coordinator handling her case told her, “I wish you wouldn’t have waited a week to report because we only have a few days left of school to investigate.”
Throughout the process, the victim says she was mentally impacted, saw her accuser on campus and was not given time to make up assignments during the ordeal.
When classes resumed in the fall, the accused was assigned to her dormitory despite being told he would not be.
Last April, she was told by a dean that the same alleged rapist had “raped another student and the school was ‘reopening’ her case.”
According the lawsuit, the dean said, “don’t worry, we are going to get on it … we are going to move fast … we are going to nip this in the bud." Now, more than 360 days later, her case remains unresolved.
Howard University said in a statement reading in part:
"The University has been, and remains, committed to diligently investigating any such allegations to ensure a safe and healthy community for our faculty, staff and students … as a matter of practice, we do not comment on Title IX cases, allegations or pending litigation."
FOX 5 spoke with the attorney for all six of the women in the lawsuit and she said the handling of all of these cases is indicative of a system that just doesn't work. The attorney also said the accused remains on campus.
The university filed to have the complaints dismissed back in July, but the court has not yet made a decision.