Assault Victims File Discrimination Complaint Against UConn

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Junior Rose Richi said she initially didn't feel comfortable reporting her sexual assault because her attacker was a male athlete and there is an "overwhelming privilege of athletes on this campus." She said when she did report the crime, the investigating officer told her he did not believe her.

Allred said the school is required to investigate, potentially hold hearings, listen to witnesses and notify both sides of their findings. She would not say if she plans to file lawsuits on the women's behalf, but said she is working with a Connecticut lawyer on their cases.

The civil rights complaint, if upheld, could lead to sanctions including the loss of federal funds.

Carolyn Luby, the lead complainant, said they want much more than that.

"Federal sanctions would be the tip of the iceberg of what we would want," she said. "We would want cultural change, policy change, administrative change."

Luby said the school still has not responded to the death and rape threats she received after writing an open letter to President Susan Herbst in April about the culture on campus. The letter, which in part criticized the school's new logo as menacing, was held up to ridicule on the Internet and on conservative talk radio.

Luby said police told her to deal with the threats by wearing a hat on campus so she would not be recognized.

Speaking to reporters on campus Monday, UConn President Susan Herbst said she had not seen the complaint, but pointed out that both she and the school's police chief are women.

"I feel like this campus is very safe for women," she said.

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