Education

Alleged victim in sex-assault case against former University of Kentucky football player files federal lawsuit

The University of Kentucky campus
The University of Kentucky campus

A woman who filed a federal civil rights complaint against the University of Kentucky over her high-profile sexual assault case has now sued the university in federal court.

The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, is a former community college student who lived in UK housing. She is asking for monetary damages for lost tuition, deprivation of educational access and emotional pain; attorney fees; and injunctive relief from a campus disciplinary process that she says is causing her further injury.

Last fall, campus police arrested former UK football player Lloyd Tubman on first-degree rape charges. Doe and Tubman had dated previously. A grand jury declined to indict Tubman, but three separate UK panels found him responsible for sexual misconduct. Tubman, who has been suspended from campus, has appealed each decision.

Doe is asking a federal judge for an injunction to stop a fourth hearing, which has not been scheduled.

The lawsuit and civil rights complaint don't name Tubman, but Jane Doe's lawyer, Elizabeth Howell, confirmed he is the alleged assailant. The Herald-Leader does not generally identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

Doe's complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights says UK has prevented the education she is guaranteed under federal Title IX rules and caused more pain and suffering by again granting Tubman's request for an appeal despite three identical decisions by three different sets of people.

UK officials have said they are required to act on any alleged sexual assaults and provide due process to the accused.

"The university's pursuit of prosecution in this matter cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered deliberate indifference as the suit alleges," general counsel William Thro said Monday. "Title IX does not usurp the Constitution, nor does it allow the university to deny anyone due process. As such, we expect to prevail in this matter on the merits."

Tubman is now playing football at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. He has not been on the UK campus since fall 2014.

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