Federal judge tosses most misconduct cases against Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge dismissed the claims of seven women who alleged the University of Nebraska-Lincoln didn’t adequately respond to their complaints of being sexually assaulted or harassed, including four women who said they were victims of Cornhuskers athletes.
In his ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Chief Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. allowed two other women who are plaintiffs to proceed with a portion of the case.
The lawsuit filed in July 2020 alleged violations of Title IX, the federal civil rights law ensuring equal opportunities for women in education. It said university training for students on sexual misconduct policies and investigation and reporting procedures are inadequate.
Rossiter, Jr. found the university did make mistakes but was not “deliberately indifferent” in its response to the seven women’s complaints and didn’t put the students at risk of further harm or violate their civil rights.
“The opinion provides substantial affirmation for the university’s confidence in its overall Title IX process,” the university said in a statement to media outlets. “While we cannot comment on the specifics of any Title IX case, every case is difficult and investigated on the information made available. The University disagrees with the factual assertions in the remaining claims and will continue to actively defend the litigation.”
A former Nebraska volleyball player and eight other women alleged a pattern of unresponsiveness, sloppiness and indifference by university employees in charge of investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.
The volleyball player, Capri Davis, alleged she was groped at an off-campus party. She later transferred to Texas.
Two athletes named in the case and accused of wrongdoing are former football players Katerian LeGrone and Andre Hunt. They were expelled in April 2020.
Both were criminally charged. LeGrone was found not guilty of sexual assault and Hunt was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor charge of false reporting. Hunt was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault but later pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge.
The Title IX lawsuit attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice. The department’s Civil Rights Division, in a filing last summer, criticized the university’s response to the women’s claims.
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