Wesleyan University, 'Rape Factory' Frat House and Victim Reach Settlement in LawsuitBy Russell Westerholm
Middletown, Conn.'s Wesleyan University and their Theta Beta Pi fraternity chapter have settled a lawsuit with a former student who was raped at the frat house, the Huffington Post reported.
The former student, known only as Jane Doe, as rape victim's identities are not disclosed, was raped at the frat house during an Oct. 2010 Halloween party by John O'Neill, who was not a fraternity member, or even a student at the school.
U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford granted a motion to dismiss the case as the two sides reached a settlement, but the terms were not disclosed.
O'Neill, a friend of a Theta Beta Pi member, pleaded guilty in 2012 to lesser charges and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
The Hartford Courant reported last Oct. Doe filed the lawsuit against Wesleyan for failing "to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action" against a frat house known on campus as "the rape factory."
Doe said she became a target for anyone who opposed a recommendation made by Wesleyan for students to avoid the fraternity. According to the suit, people followed her around campus and chanted "free Beta" outside her dorm room.
"Wesleyan did nothing to prevent, and was deliberately indifferent to the harm caused to Jane Doe by the rape and outrageous sexual harassment and intimidation that followed her everywhere on campus," the lawsuit says.
In March, 2010, Wesleyan sent a warning to its students regarding the safety of the frat house and that the school "could not ensure students' safety on the premises."
Doe said she was not aware of this warning when she attended the party in Oct. that year. In the lawsuit, she said she reported the incident to her resident assistant, who then did not alert the police. She alleged the school only did the bare minimum to assist her after the incident.
"Wesleyan advised that she could go to the hospital, but offered neither transportation or accompaniment," the lawsuit said. "Wesleyan did not contact its rape counselor ... offer any other services or other academic help" to Jane Doe.