Mar 15, 2014 05:33 AM EDT
Wesleyan Student Sues Fraternity over Alleged Rape Incident
Cabri Chamberlin, a Wesleyan University student, has filed a lawsuit against Xi Chapter of Psi Upsilon following an alleged rape incident last May.
Chamberlin, who was a freshman at the time, said that she was raped by another student in presence of onlookers at a wild campus fraternity party in Middletown, Connecticut. The incident occurred at a pledge 'strip show.'
The lawsuit that also named 11 of its members and attacker as its defendants was filed Tuesday in a Connecticut federal court, according to court documents. Chamberlin is seeking $10 million in damages, the lawsuit states.
"I'm proceeding in this case with my real name instead of 'Jane Doe' because as the victim of a heinous violent crime I've done nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of," Chamberlin said. "I can't even describe the pain of being raped, or how much it alters a life, and no other person should ever be forced to have that experience. I hope my experience and lawsuit will create changes that protect others," CNN reports.
The lawsuit said that during the party several extremely drunk minors danced with naked pledges and 'spilled alcohol throughout the area.' Chamberlin felt uncomfortable and attempted to leave. At the time, a male student lifted her from behind and raped her in the company of others.
Tom Fox, executive director of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, said that they have launched an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile, Michael S. Roth, the Wesleyan University President, said that they have barred the alleged perpetrator and imposed sanctions against the fraternity and members following an internal investigation.
The lawsuit said that the fraternity have always demanded autonomy from Wesleyan. They have abandoned public safety and housing services provided by the university to students. Plus, the fraternity allegedly failed to sufficiently provide its own security and train members in safety and risk management issues like sexual abuse prevention, hazing and the misuse of alcohol.
Douglas Fierberg, Chamberlin's lawyer, said that since the fraternity governs itself, the university's Department of Public Safety can intervene only in emergency situations or when being approached.
"This lawsuit seeks to hold this fraternity responsible for its gross mismanagement which it does under the guise of self-management," Fierberg said. "Fraternity self-management has historically proven itself to be flawed and dangerous. Women have been raped because of this mismanagement. People have died because of this mismanagement. And this victim will hold the fraternity responsible for its tradition of dangerous mismanagement."
Join the Conversation