A federal district court has allowed a former University of Kansas rower to sue the school on claims it was deliberately indifferent and retaliated against her after she reported a football player raped her in a campus dorm.
The federal district court of Kansas, however, ruled against Daisy Tackett’s third claim that KU allowed a hostile environment at Jayhawker Towers, where she said she was raped in October 2014. Tackett sued the university in March 2015.
In May, KU asked the court to dismiss her lawsuit, calling the claims “baseless.”
On Friday the court ruled to allow Tackett’s Title IX lawsuit to go forward on two of her three claims. First, that KU retaliated against her in that her rowing coach, Rob Catloth, made inappropriate comments about her weight and blocked her from participating in the winter training. And second, that KU showed “deliberate indifference,” toward her by ignoring the coach’s comments.
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The court ruled in favor of the university by dismissing a third claim that KU had allow a hostile environment in the dorm.
The university won its argument that the assault was “a single tragic incident of sexual assault” that happened a year before KU was aware of it, and so there was no university “liability under Title IX.”
Title IX is the federal gender discrimination law that protects against sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Dan Curry, attorney for Tackett, said the court’s denial of the third claim “really pains me.” When the case is over he intends to appeal that decision, he said.
In her lawsuit Tackett says she was sexually assaulted at Jayhawker Towers after a Halloween party in October 2014 by a KU football player, referred to in court documents as John Doe G. The Star later learned that Jordan Goldenberg Jr., a former KU long snapper, is John Doe G.
A university investigation concluded in March that Goldenberg had “non-consensual sex,” with Tackett. University investigations use preponderance of evidence standards — which means the matter in dispute is more likely than not to be true — to determine if violations of school policy occurred. No criminal charges were filed against Goldenberg, who agreed to leave KU rather than be expelled from the university.
Tackett’s lawsuit is one of three involving Goldenberg filed against the university.
Sarah McClure, another former rower, sued in April, saying she was sexually assaulted in August 2015 by the same football player.
Tackett’s parents are also suing the university claiming that KU falsely advertised the campus and the dorms as safe.
The university has asked the court to dismiss the latter two lawsuits. No decision has been made on either of those two suits.