The University of Kansas is calling for a court to toss out a lawsuit by a former KU rower who said she was raped by a football player in the Jayhawker Towers dormitory on the Lawrence campus.
In a motion filed Friday in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., the university said the alleged rape of Daisy Tackett was not its fault and the case should be dismissed.
“The incident is tragic, but it is not one for which Title IX makes the university liable,” the university said in the motion.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Tackett’s lawsuit, which does not name the football player, charges that the university was “deliberately indifferent to the sexual harassment of a student by another student.”
The motion for dismissal, filed by KU attorney Michael C. Leitch, said that “KU may be liable for peer-on-peer harassment only where it has actual knowledge of ongoing sexual harassment and remains deliberately indifferent to it.” The motion says KU did not know about any prior sexual assaults by the person Tackett accused.
It also says that when KU found out about the rape, a year after it occurred, “KU investigated the matter,” provided Tackett an escort on campus and eventually expelled her accused rapist.
KU also denied claims, made by Tackett, that the university knew that other unrelated sexual assaults had occurred on the campus from 2012 to 2015, that she was later stalked by her attacker and that after reporting the alleged rape her head rowing coach created a hostile educational environment for her.
Tackett’s lawsuit was filed in March in Douglas County, Kan., claiming that KU violated Title IX, the federal law that protects against gender discrimination, including sexual assault and harassment.
In the suit, Tackett says the alleged rape occurred shortly after she arrived on campus in the fall of 2014. She was an 18-year-old freshman. She did not report the rape until a year later, when another KU student said she was raped by the same person.
Her lawsuit asks KU to pay actual damages in excess of $75,000, including Tackett’s tuition and housing costs. She has left KU and returned home to Florida.
Tackett’s lawsuit followed one filed also in March by her parents, James and Amanda Tackett. It essentially accused the university of false advertising and violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act by promising them and their daughter that the campus was safe when they recruited her to join the KU rowing team.