Female student says administrators conducted a “sham” investigation after she filed complaint.
By World Israel News Staff
A female student at Yeshiva University filed a lawsuit against the school this week, alleging that administrators covered up the rape she claims she suffered last year.
The lawsuit filed on Monday accused the school of conducting a “shame investigation” after the plaintiff filed a complaint with the school, claiming she had been raped by a member of the school’s basketball team. No damages were specified in the papers filed for the suit.
In January 2021, the plaintiff, identified in the suit only as “Jane Doe”, told school officials she had been raped in the Washington Heights apartment of a member of the YU basketball team during the 2020-2021 school year.
Yeshiva University launched an investigation of the incident, but found that the accused player was not guilty of rape.
Following the end of the probe, in August 2021, the alleged victim penned an anonymous opinion piece in the student newspaper The Commentator, accusing the school of fostering a “rape culture” on campus by trying to cover up the incident.
“I am not sure why YU has chosen to ignore me and try to silence me, but I think it has to do with the reputation of the basketball team,” she wrote.
“After this happened, I started to realize that there is indeed a rape culture at Yeshiva University, and it enables rapists to rape without fear of getting in trouble.”
In a statement Monday, the plaintiff’s attorney, Kevin Mulhearn, said his client “is eager to make sure that Yeshiva University leadership finally understands that it simply is no longer acceptable for school administrators, officials, and/or directors to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the rapes and/or sexual assaults of its students.”
Mulhearn alleged that the school sought to cover up the incident over its “values based ‘Rise Up’ fundraising campaign, through which YU has stated it expects to raise $613 million by the end of 2026.”
The lawsuit alleges that the school failed to carry out the kind of inquiry mandated by Title IX rules, “instead improperly treating the matter as a mere non-Title IX disciplinary matter,” and “determining at the outset” to find the basketball player “not responsible”.
Furthermore, the suit claimed a conflict of interest in YU’s appointment of the school’s long-time counsels, Seyfarth Shaw, Dov Kesselman, and Emily Miller to conduct the investigation.
Yeshiva University pushed back on the accusations Monday, telling The Commentator: “The allegations against the university asserted in this complaint are categorically false.”
“We are fully confident that this matter was appropriately and thoroughly investigated.”
“The firm hired by Yeshiva University, including the female lead investigator who is a former Title IX coordinator at a top five national university, conducted a thorough investigation and submitted a conclusive report supported by all the evidence. We also engaged an additional investigative firm to review this matter led by a former Manhattan Sex Crimes prosecutor, who validated the earlier process and agreed with the conclusion.”