LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) -- A former William Jewell College student is suing the school, saying they didn't do anything to stop her rape at the hands of a known sexual criminal, and that the school threatened to expel her if she talked about her sexual assault.
The victim, identified in the lawsuit only as "A.P.," filed a suit in federal court in Kansas City on May 3.
Records show the school was issued a summons in the case on Monday. In the federal lawsuit, the victim alleges negligence on the part of William Jewell, saying they should have done more sooner to keep her rapist off campus and out of the school.
The woman's alleged rapist, a football player identified as "Z.P.," left Liberty and went back home to Texas the day after the school released the findings of its investigation and validated the victim's report of rape and sexual assault.
The alleged rape happened Oct. 1, 2017, in the pair's dorm room.
The victim said she had been drinking with her friends and was back at the dorm to eat and watch a movie in her room.
She said "Z.P." gave her a big unwelcomed hug, then came into her dorm room uninvited.
Despite efforts to get him to leave, the man stayed while the friends watched a movie. At some point, the victim said she fell asleep and woke up to "Z.P." raping her.
The lawsuit chronicles the incident:
At some point in the middle of the night-time hours, Plaintiff woke up on her side and realized the blanket was unrolled, she was undressed and Z.P. was forcibly having vaginal intercourse with Plaintiff. 59. Plaintiff attempted to shove Z.P. off her but was unsuccessful as she was fading in and out of consciousness and Z.P. was physically much larger and stronger than Plaintiff. 60. Plaintiff came in and out of consciousness multiple times throughout this sexual assault and every time yelled out “NO! STOP! I DON’T WANT THIS!” and during her last state of consciousness saw Z.P. using her shirt to wipe semen off himself and Plaintiff. 61. During her states of consciousness while the assault was ongoing, Plaintiff tried to push Z.P. off her and continually told him to stop. 62. Plaintiff’s roommate heard Plaintiff yelling “NO! STOP!” at various points during the night. 63. Plaintiff woke up the next morning completely nude lying on the bed. Z.P. had already left the room by the time Plaintiff woke up for the day, around 8:00 am. 64. On October 1, 2017, Plaintiff reported to Liberty Hospital and underwent a sexual assault forensic examination, otherwise known as a “rape kit”. 65. On or about October 4, 2017, Plaintiff reported the rape to the Liberty, Missouri Police Department.
The suit claims that before the rape, the man got in trouble by the college for secretly filming students having sex and disseminating the video.
Although the incident was investigated, the man was not placed on suspension and was allowed to continue taking part in school activities and remain in the dorm. The woman in the secret sex tape was interviewed by investigating William Jewell officials some 10 days after the incident, the lawsuit states.
The college's lack of action following this incident led to the man continuing to have access to the dorm where he would eventually allegedly rape "A.P.", the suit states.
From the lawsuit:
On or before September 11, 2017, Z.P. used his cell phone or other mobile device to record two students engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. This recording was taken without the knowledge, consent, or permission of either of the individuals engaged in the act of intercourse. 27. Z.P., standing outside the window of a dorm room, peered through a crack in the blinds and recorded the two individuals engaged in the act of intercourse 28. After recording these individuals engaged in sexual intercourse, Z.P. electronically sent the video to the male participant engaged in the act of sexual intercourse. The male participant thereafter informed the female victim of the recording and showed her the same. 29. Minutes after recording the two individuals having intercourse, Z.P. also sent and/or showed this recording to numerous players on the WJC football team and other students on the WJC Campus. 30. On information and belief, Z.P. further published the video on a social media platform, believed to be SnapChat, making the same accessible to and viewed by countless individuals. Case 4:19-cv-00351-SRB Document 1 Filed 05/03/19 Page 9 of 33 8 31. Shortly after recording the individuals engaged in sexual intercourse, Z.P. showed the video to at least one Resident Director (RD) or Resident Advisor (RA) at Browning Hall dormitory as well as other WJC students present. 32. Upon information and belief, each of these RAs or RDs reported this occurrence to Andrew Pratt, WJC’s Anti-Harassment Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, and/or other WJC officials or employees at or near the time they were shown the video. 33. Andrew Pratt, along with Ernie Stufflebean, investigated this report, including arranging for other WJC employees to contact and interview the two individuals depicted in the recording as well as, it is believed, interviewed Z.P. The case number assigned by WJC to this incident is 2017-008. 34. Z.P., as a result of the sexual harassment recording incident, was not removed from campus and was not limited in his access to campus facilities. He remained on campus and in Plaintiff’s dormitory where he would sexually assault and rape Plaintiff approximately three weeks later. 35. The female depicted in the non-consensual videotaping incident was not interviewed by members of WJC until approximately September 21, 2017, ten days after Z.P.’s actions
In another sex crime incident before the rape, while the alleged rapist had been a senior in high school, he had been barred from his high school campus because of an "unauthorized sexual act", according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims these are incidents which should have led to discipline, suspension or some action by the university that should have deterred the man from being able to eventually be in a position to rape the victim. It went on to state that William Jewel College "had actual knowledge of (the alleged rapist's) prior acts of sexual harassment and acted with deliberate indifference to this known harassment and inherant risk presented Plaintiff and other females on campus ... Had (William Jewell College) performed a background check on or gathered a final copy of the high school file of Z.P., this would have shown that Z.P. committed a sexual act sufficient to violate his high school’s policies resulting in his removal from his high school campus."
Following the rape, the victim said she met with William Jewell's provost, Anne Dema, and the school's anti-harassment coordinator, Andrew Pratt, in which the administrators threatened the victim with expulsion if she told anyone about the rape.
At the aforementioned meeting with Provost Dema, Andrew Pratt, and another individual, Plaintiff was also advised that she was not allowed to speak to anyone about the rape or WJC’s investigation and handling of the rape, as it would be considered retaliation, and grounds for dismissal from WJC if she spoke to anyone other than a therapist or medical professional about the rape.
The suit seeks $75,000 for the victim.
KCTV5 reached out to William Jewell for a response to the lawsuit and they sent this statement.
While Federal privacy laws limit our ability to comment on the specifics of this case, at William Jewell College the safety and security of our students is our top priority. We have a zero-tolerance policy related to sexual misconduct and have a comprehensive Title IX program in place that guides our response to any incident or allegation. As part of our commitment to our students, we also have support services and counseling available, mandatory training for faculty, staff, and students, and a strong partnership with the Liberty Police Department. William Jewell College believes we all have a responsibility to work every day to eliminate sexual misconduct from our campus and maintain a safe and healthy environment.