A Wesleyan University student who says she was raped during a fraternity house party has filed a federal lawsuit against the organization, the alleged perpetrator and 11 other fraternity members.
The lawsuit says the student, a freshman, was raped in the common room of the Psi Upsilon fraternity house at 242 High Street while surrounded by other students during a wild house party last May.
According to the lawsuit, the female student went to Middlesex Hospital after the party. She was evaluated with a rape kit that confirmed she had been sexually assaulted.
The suit holds both the national fraternity and local organization accountable.
"Despite demanding self-governance, the Fraternity Defendants fail to adequately and reasonably train themselves and abide by such responsibilities, particularly with respect to safety/risk management issues involving fraternity events, events inside the fraternity house, security, sexual abuse prevention, hazing, and the use and misuse of alcohol," the suit reads.
Psi Upsilon Fraternity Executive Director Tom Fox said the national organization was notified of the lawsuit on Wednesday.
“Psi Upsilon Fraternity takes all reports of risk management violations, especially those with regard to sexual assault, very seriously,” said Fox, in a statement. “We are currently investigating the incident and gathering further information.”
Fox added that all members of the organization are required to complete an online program encompassing alcohol, hazing and sexual assault education.
Wesleyan University has not been named in this lawsuit and the alleged assailant was expelled after disciplinary proceedings.
Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth provided The Hartford Courant with a written statement that says there have been sanctions against the university.
"On behalf of the university community, I want to express our horror at this shameful assault," said Roth said in the statement. "Sexual violence on college campuses is a national problem, and it's important to raise awareness about this issue."
The female student has taken a leave of absence from the university and is seeking to $1 million in damages for medical and psychological treatment, according to the lawsuit.