Lawsuit against TCU tied to rape allegation will go forward
01/20/2011 11:35 PM
06/30/2011 8:53 AM
FORT WORTH -- A judge decided Thursday that a lawsuit filed against Texas Christian University by a woman who says she was gang-raped on campus can go to trial.
State District Judge John Chupp did grant a request by TCU's attorneys for more time to prepare their case. The parties in the case will meet Wednesday to discuss a new date for the trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday.
The case stems from a 2006 allegation by a student that she was drugged and raped by three athletes while visiting a dormitory room in Moncrief Hall. The three men were arrested and permanently separated from the university.
After talking to the woman and her parents, the district attorney's office decided not to pursue criminal charges against former defensive tackle Lorenzo Jones and former basketball players Shannon Behling and Virgil Allen Taylor.
The consequences of the gang rape have devastated the woman, who is identified as K.S. in the lawsuit, said Susan Hutchison, one of her attorneys. K.S. was a talented artist and was at TCU on an art scholarship, Hutchison said.
"Since the rape, she has dropped out of school and has given up her art," Hutchison said. "She has struggled every day with what happened -- and how it could have been prevented. K.S. will never get over what happened and why, but validation from a jury will help her be able to move on with her life."
The lawsuit alleges that TCU officials should have known that two of the athletes had criminal histories and posed a threat and that the school acted fraudulently by depicting the campus as safe.
George Haratsis, an attorney for TCU, said in a statement that the court's standard for granting summary judgment is high but that he had hoped this last remaining claim would be dismissed, just as others in this case have been dismissed.
"We strongly disagree with the plaintiff's position that TCU acted fraudulently in any communication with the plaintiff and expect to establish that point in court," the statement says. "It also is important to note that none of the former students in question had ever been convicted of a crime before or while a student at TCU."
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