John Clune, a sexual harassment attorney who has handled some high profile lawsuits related to campus rapes, is now representing a student who has filed a case against the University of Oregon (UO) for alleged sexual assault.
The basketball coach, Dana Altman, at the university and two other men sexually assaulted the plaintiff, according to the lawsuit filed by the student, whose name has not been revealed, but referred to as Jane Doe.
The alleged assault happened during a party that was held off the campus in March 2014, Doe said. She said that the basketball coach had a prior history of sexual assault in a college where he was earlier employed, and the University hired him despite knowing his past record.
After the lawsuit was filed by the student, the UO responded with a counter claim that denied it had any prior knowledge of the coach’s conduct in the past. Sexual harassment attorneys for the UO said that the allegations made by Doe were false and baseless, and that she should pay up the university’s legal fees.
The lawsuit filed by Doe had also accused the UO of not handling her complaint in an appropriate manner. This charge has been refuted by the UO. In its response, the university claims that such false accusations would deter other victims from coming forward and reporting such incidents.
False accusations should not be tolerated
However, many legal experts disagree with this argument. Sexual harassment attorney Colby Bruno believes that such lawsuits would in fact encourage victims to speak out against harassment and encourage reporting.
The allegations would hamper Oregon and the coach, Altman, and other sexual assault victims in the university’s campus, according to UO.
The university is the one of the richest in US, with a $627 million endowment received last year. Clune said that he had not encountered the kind of language the UO has used in its response. Commenting on the double standards of the university, Clune said that while it talked about being concerned about the low reporting, it was lashing out against its own student with a counter lawsuit.
The UO’s students are demanding that it stop suing victims of sexual abuse in a petition launched online.
Contractor Garda Accused of Gender Discrimination
Government contractor Garda is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former executive, Nicole Watson, who worked as a Vice President of security at the firm.
She said that the contractor practiced gender discrimination and promoted only men.
The company was dominated by males, according to the lawsuit. It also claims that when the headquarters was moved to Dubai from Virginia, many women who were in senior positions were fired. That does not seem ethical.
Watson was told to have an interview with a subsidiary company called Garda Cash if she wanted to retain her post. On top of this, the President of that company, Chris Jamroz, made sexual comments and kissed her forcibly during the interview, according to the lawsuit.