Lawsuit claims Prairie View A&M mishandled sexual assault investigation

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PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – A former Prairie View A&M student athlete filed a federal lawsuit against Prairie View A&M, saying that her Title IX rights were violated when she reported being sexually assaulted by another student athlete and the university did not do enough to investigate the situation.

Title IX states no student will be discriminated against based on sex or excluded from education programs or activities receiving federal funding.

The plaintiff, called “Mary Doe” in court documents, was a student athlete at Prairie View A&M.

Court documents allege that Mary Doe was sexually assaulted by a male student athlete at her on-campus apartment on Feb. 18, 2015.

She reported the alleged assault to the Prairie View A&M University police and was sent to Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

According to court documents:

“Plaintiff’s coach, a Prairie View A&M employee, met Plaintiff at the hospital and repeatedly told her that she did not need to tell her parents that she was sexually assaulted.”

When the student and her parents met the her coach to discuss the sexual assault and to ask where the male student was, the coach responded he did not know where the student was.

In March or April of 2015 the plaintiff’s coach resigned or was terminated. Court documents suggest the coach told the team that Mary Doe was behind his leaving and her teammates retaliated against her.

The accused student was found in Florida in May 2015 and indicted on sexual assault charges.  

Court documents state:

“On February 11, 2016, Plaintiff attended her assailant’s bond hearing. During this hearing, Plaintiff learned for the first time that her Prairie View A&M coach had purchased her assailant an airplane ticket in the immediate aftermath of the sexual assault to assist him with fleeting the State of Texas in an attempt to avoid disciplinary action with Prairie View A&M officials and evade arrest.” 

Prairie View A&M spokesperson Maurice Perkins released the following statement:

"Prairie View A&M University takes seriously all allegations of sexual assault. It is our policy to not comment on pending litigations."