Two lawsuits that accused the University of Kansas of failing to protect former rowers who said they were sexually assaulted by a football player in campus housing have been dismissed.
According to court documents, the suits were dismissed last week at the request of the two women and the university, with both sides agreeing to “pay their own costs and attorney’s fees.” Under the terms of the dismissal, the claims made by the two women cannot be raised in court again.
Details of the agreement that resulted in the dismissal of the suits were not available.
General counsel for KU did not return calls to The Star on Monday. The attorney for the two women, Dan Curry, also did not return phone calls. The women are no longer students at KU.
Former KU rowers Daisy Tackett and Sarah McClure claimed in separate lawsuits that they were each sexually assaulted at different times by the same KU football player.
The Tackett lawsuit was filed in Douglas County in March 2016. The McClure lawsuit was filed in April 2016. Both suits accused the university of violating Title IX, the federal law that protects against gender discrimination, including sexual assault and harassment.
Tackett said in her lawsuit that she was raped in the fall of 2014, shortly after she arrived on the Lawrence campus. She was then an 18-year-old freshman living in Naismith Hall. Tackett said she was raped by the football player in his dorm room in KU’s Jayhawker Towers after the two left a party earlier that evening.
McClure said in her lawsuit that in August 2015, less than a week into the fall semester of her freshman year, the same football player fondled her breasts in her apartment at Jayhawker Towers, where he also lived.
McClure reported the incident to police. Tackett did not. No criminal charges were ever filed in either case. Later, separately, the women reported the incidents to university officials.
Both lawsuits alleged that KU had been “deliberately indifferent” to the sexual harassment of a student by another student. They also contend that after the women reported the alleged attacks, they were not protected from retaliation by the accused student.
In February, a federal judge ruled against a third claim in the Tackett suit — that KU allowed a hostile environment at Jayhawker Towers.
The university Title IX investigation done by KU’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access concluded in February 2016.
It found that Tackett, more likely than not, had been assaulted by the football player as she described. In McClure’s case, it found that the football player had violated the school’s sexual harassment policy.
The KU office, in its Title IX investigations, uses a preponderance of evidence standard; legal cases use an evidence standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.
The football player, Jordan Goldenberg Jr., was expelled after the investigation.