Lawsuit: Video of rape posted on SnapChat

Lawsuit: Video of rape posted on SnapChat

13 Temmuz 2018 - 02:00

A Stockton University student was incapacitated when a man raped her in her dormitory in 2017 and only realized it when she came across videos of the assault on SnapChat in the morning, a federal lawsuit claims.

The young woman from Brick filed suit in Camden this past Friday, seeking damages from the now-25-year-old man, Stockton University, Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, and other unnamed individuals.

While the alleged assaults occurred in February of 2017 and the student immediately reported them to police, it wasn't until April of 2018 that Stockton police filed any charge against the man.

Authorities charged him with invasion of privacy by recording a sex act without consent. That case, in Atlantic County, is pending. NJ Advance Media is not naming the suspect because he has not been charged with sexual assault.

The woman's attorney, Robert Fuggi, said both he and his client, who is under 21, were surprised that the man was not charged with committing sexual assault.

"I'm hoping they reconsider," Fuggi said. He said his client underwent a sexual assault examination - commonly called a rape kit - and provided DNA evidence. "And the testimony of the victim is very clear... It's a fairly straightforward case," he said.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office did not return a request for comment on the charges Tuesday.

Stockton University did not address the criminal case but said in a statement that it has "referred the matter to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office for representation and investigation of the underlying claims."

The lawsuit claims the young woman met the man, a 2015 graduate and former fraternity member, at a party off campus at the Egg Harbor City home that houses an illegitimate chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

The national fraternity said it has not had a fraternity at Stockton since 2010 and no one should be operating under their name.

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The woman said she met the man at a Feb. 9, 2017 frat party that featured heavy drinking, and the alleged attacker and another man came back to her freshman dorm that night.

When she woke up, she was sore and ordered the men to leave, she alleges in the suit.

She said she later heard from a friend that the defendant has sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated by alcohol.

Five days later, she and the man texted each other on Valentine's Day and he came to her dorm with bottles of vodka. He mixed drinks and repeatedly offered her vodka, her suit said, but she refused and drank two or three glasses of wine instead.

"Plaintiff told the defendant that she 'wanted to remember this time' because it was Valentine's Day. The defendant replied, 'we'll see,'" the lawsuit claims.

The suit said that the woman believes the man spiked her drink with a date rape drug when she was in the bathroom. Later that night, after she changed into comfortable clothes to sleep, the man pulled her in to kiss her, she alleged. The suit said she remembers kissing him and then "blacked out."

The woman's suit said she woke up in her bed, naked and covered with vomit. She saw that he had posted three SnapChat videos of him sexually assaulting her while she was incapacitated, the suit said.

She then contacted her friends asking what to do.

Later that morning she contacted the dorm's resident advisor, who alerted other staff including the school's Title IX coordinator, complex director of residential life, and Stockton police, the suit said. She went to the hospital and underwent the rape kit, the suit said.

The woman texted the man and asked him to take down the videos, but he only removed two of the three, she said. She made a sexual assault report to the police, but the suit claims her notification to Stockton University of what happened never resulted in a full investigation.

The lawsuit said the complex director of residential life proposed that she leave for the rest of the semester, and after her grades plummeted, she left the school and did not return.

The lawsuit also claims that in addition to not properly investigating the incident, Stockton had failed to protect her from sexual violence because a residential advisor never checked on her despite the loud music and underage drinking going on in her room.

The victim is seeking damages for psychological and emotional distress, depression, and damage to her reputation, the suit said.

Fuggi said Stockton needs to do a better job dealing with the "rogue" fraternity and to make current and future students safe.

"My client is hopeful that this lawsuit will bring exposure to the lack of security and the systemic problem of sexual assault on this campus," he said.

He said his client has not re-enrolled in college, though she dreamed of studying criminal justice and becoming a detective.

"She's emotionally traumatized," he said. "It's going to take time for her to reclaim her life."

Rebecca Everett may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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