A Haskell Indian Nations University counselor is suing the university, the United States and the secretary of the interior for allegedly retaliating against her after she helped a student who had allegedly been raped on the Haskell campus.
Angelina Adams filed the lawsuit in Douglas County District Court in Lawrence on Monday, claiming she was demoted from her position as a student counselor after she questioned the way school administrators treated an alleged rape victim, referred to as Jane Doe in the suit.
Jane Doe reported she had been raped in a Haskell dormitory by two male Haskell students, one a football player, on Nov., 15, 2014. Adams, the suit says, as part of her duties as a counselor, assisted Jane Doe and advised her of her student rights and her rights under Title IX, the federal law that protects against gender discrimination including sexual assault.
Title IX also prohibits retaliation against an employee of a federally funded institution, who files a complaint, or participates in a Title IX investigation or advocates for another person’s Title IX rights.
Lawrence-based Haskell is a fully federally funded, four-year college operated by the Bureau of Indian Education under the Department of Interior for members of federally recognized Native American tribes.
Haskell officials said they would comment later on the lawsuit.
In the suit, Adams maintains that Haskell officials wrongly expelled Jane Doe after she was involved in an altercation with a male student on March 31, 2016.
When Haskell officials said they were expelling Jane Doe, Adams protested that decision because she said the female student had not been given due process. Adams said she was later stripped of her duties as a counselor and demoted, causing her financial loss.
Haskell, “exhibited deliberate indifference,” to Adams’ rights under Title IX to be protected from retaliation, the suit says.
The two male students accused of rape were expelled by Haskell. Both were arrested on rape charges and released on bond. Their court cases ended in mistrials and are to be rescheduled.