He was the President of University of Washington at this time–read on!!
Suit revived over UW response to alleged rape by athlete
The state appeals court breathed new life Monday into a lawsuit that accused the University of Washington of minimizing an allegation of…
Seattle Times staff reporters
The state appeals court breathed new life Monday into a lawsuit that accused the University of Washington of minimizing an allegation of rape against a Husky football player and treating his accuser with “deliberate indifference.”
In a 42-page opinion, a three-judge appeals panel cited “ample evidence” to argue before a jury that the UW tried to keep quiet the 2001 allegation against former Huskies player Roc Alexander by discouraging the accuser from filing a police report, opting instead for a face-to-face mediation session between her and Alexander.
The appellate opinion did not rule on the facts but found that the lawsuit — filed by a former UW student — was improperly dismissed in 2005 by King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer. The ruling sends the case back for trial.
The plaintiff, identified in the court ruling only by her initials, said in an interview Monday that she saw the appellate ruling as a welcome sign of support after seven years of seeking help.
“It’s definitely been an uphill battle to prove I was mistreated,” she said. “Finally, the courts are on my side — at least for now.”
Alexander was a freshman on the UW’s Rose Bowl-winning 2000 team. That squad was recently profiled in a Seattle Times series that examined how the UW, the courts and other community institutions responded to allegations of criminal conduct by some players.
The plaintiff sued Alexander and the UW in 2004. Alexander settled for an undisclosed sum. A second woman, also a UW student, likewise sued Alexander, accusing him of rape. Alexander settled that lawsuit as well.
Andrew Cooley, the UW’s attorney in the lawsuit, denied that the university acted improperly, saying the plaintiff had not disclosed she’d been raped. “The first time rape was even mentioned was when she sued us,” Cooley said.
The UW has not decided whether it will appeal the ruling.
The court ruling detailed the allegations of the plaintiff and her interactions with Alexander and the university. The plaintiff’s suit against the university cited a violation of Title IX, the federal law forbidding discrimination in educational programs.
In 2000, as the Huskies were in California preparing for the Rose Bowl, the plaintiff, then a freshman working for the athletic department, began a consensual relationship with Alexander. She ended the relationship in 2001, when she said Alexander physically threatened her during sex, according to the court ruling.
A few days later, the plaintiff alleged, Alexander forced his way into her dormitory room and raped her. She did not report it at first, she said, in part out of fear of losing her job, according to the ruling.