A former Wesleyan University student who was sexually assaulted in 2010 at a fraternity house, nicknamed by students the “rape factory,” has settled a $10 million lawsuit against the university and the fraternity chapter. An order for dismissal was filed on August 30 by District Court Judge Robert N. Chatigny, stating the parties had settled the lawsuit. The woman was locked in a room and raped at a Halloween party at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, known as Beta House, when she was a freshman.
The lawsuit, filed in October 2012, alleged that Wesleyan officials were aware of numerous student injuries and sexual assaults that took place at the house, but failed to sufficiently warn or protect students. The victim did not know about the house’s history.
The lawsuit also alleged that Wesleyan violated Title IX by not protecting the woman against harassment and discrimination. After the victim reported her assault, Wesleyan banned students from using the house, which sparked campus-wide protests. She could hear protesters outside of her dorm, so she was traumatized, forced to hide in her room, and missed classes. She eventually took a medical leave and transferred to another school, in part because she claims Wesleyan officials did little to help her after she was raped.
The rapist plead no contest to charges of third-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint in June 2012, and he is now serving a 15-month prison sentence. He was a friend of a fraternity member, not a member himself, and he did not attend Wesleyan.
Media Resources: Boston.com 9/10/2013; The Courant 9/10/2013