Former Emerson Student Sues for Mishandling of her Sexual Assault Case

Jillian Doherty, a former Emerson student filed a federal Title IX complaint against Emerson College on Friday August 8th.  Title IX is a section of the Federal Educational Amendments of 1972 that protects students from discrimination based on gender — and the Jeanne Clery Act, which requires colleges to disclose campus crime information.

According to the complaint, Doherty was raped by a male Emerson student after a consensual act in his dorm room in April 2012. Due to her “fear and concern about her privacy and how she would be treated as a rape victim,” she did not report it to the school until almost a year later in March of 2013.  She names President M. Lee Pelton; Dean of Students Ronald Ludman; Director of Housing and Residence Life David Haden; and the Director of the Office of Student Conduct and the case’s Title IX investigator Michael Arno, with mishandling her rape case.

Doherty is seeking “compensatory and punitive damages, resulting from her pain and suffering resulting from the Defendants’ deliberate indifference” in addition to legal fees. Although she has declined to comment on the recently filed complaint, her attorney, David P. Angueira of Swartz & Swartz, in an interview with the Beacon, said that Doherty Hopes the case will improve the way Emerson handles student sexual assault cases.

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