A one-time member of the women’s lacrosse team at Northwestern is the latest ex-athlete to sue the university, claiming NU negligently admitted a baseball player knowing that he had a history of sexual violence, and that the baseball player later sexually assaulted her.
As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, the “Jane Doe” litigation alleges that before the baseball player was admitted in 2021, NU was warned by “at least seven [of his] current and former classmates” that he “had a documented history as a serial, sexual abuser towards his female classmates throughout middle school and high school.”
In addition, the suit says that “these communications ‘warned Northwestern that [his] unchecked conduct would result in additional harm to female students at Northwestern.'”
The complainant also says that the baseball player sexually assaulted her in July 2022, even as she repeatedly told him to stop, an assault which, the complaint alleges, “was … severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.”
The woman says she reported the alleged assault to Athletics Director Derrick Gragg in January 2023, and also told NU’s Title IX office a few weeks later, but, the lawsuit says, “‘Northwestern did absolutely nothing.'”
The suit also says she filed a formal complaint with the university in May.
Crain’s also quotes Tamara Holder, an attorney for the plaintiff, as saying “We are determined to end the cycle of institutional abuse. Northwestern can no longer hide from their public-facing elitism and secret coverups.”
In a statement provided to Evanston Now, NU spokesperson Jon Yates said, “After receiving Jane Doe’s email in January, 2023, an Athletics official reported her allegations to Northwestern University’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance (OCR).
“On the same day, OCR contacted Jane Doe and provided information about resources, supportive measures and resolution options. Jane Doe’s allegations are currently under investigation by OCR, and OCR remains in contact with her.”
The lawsuit states the lacrosse player left the team in May. That’s the same month when NU won the national lacrosse championship. It’s unclear if she left the team before or after the NCAA tournament.
More than a dozen former football players have also filed suit against the university, alleging emotionally and physically degrading hazing, often sexual in nature.
The scandal cost legendary football coach Pat Fitzgerald his job. Fitzgerald has denied being aware of the hazing.
A former volleyball player has also sued NU, alleging that she was singled out for abusive disciplinary measures.
Northwestern has hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to look into the culture of NU athletics.
The NU sports suits
|Filed||Plaintiff(s)||Among the claims||Attorneys||Team||Years|
|Aug.10||Jane Doe||sexual assault||Tamara Holder||Lacrosse/|
|Aug. 3||Tom Carnifax||degrading sexual contact||Crump, Levin||Football||2016-2019|
|Aug. 3||John Doe #3||groomed to believe conduct was normal||Crump, Levin||Football||2014-2018|
|Aug. 2||John Doe #2||toxic culture, sexual abuse, racial discrimination||Hart, Romanucci||Football||2004-2008|
|Aug. 2||John Doe #1||toxic culture, sexual abuse, racial discrimination||Hart, Romanucci||Football||2004-2008|
|Aug. 2||Ramon Diaz||forced to rub against other nude bodies in the shower||Salvi, Stinar||Football||2005-2008|
|July 31||Warren Miles-Long||fought off players trying to dry hump him||Crump, Levin||Football||2013-2018|
|July 31||John Doe #2||Crump, Levin||Football||2015-2019|
|July 28||John Doe #1||a minor at time of abuse||Crump, Levin||Football||2015-2018|
|July 27||Simba Short||sexually and mentally abused||Crump, Levin||Football||2015|
|July 24||Lloyd Yates||sexual violence and assault||Crump, Levin||Football||2015-2017|
|July 24||Jane Doe #1||toxic culture||Salvi, Stinar||Volleyball|
|July ??||John Doe #3||Salvi, Stinar||Football|
|July 19||John Doe #2||hazing, racial discrimination||Salvi, Stinar||Football|||
|July 18||John Doe #1||sexualized hazing and physical abuse||Salvi, Stinar||Football|||