Catholic U grad sues school over rape case

A Catholic University graduate is suing the school for violating Title 9. She said the university was "deliberately indifferent" to her claims that she had been raped by a fellow student.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A Catholic University graduate is suing the school for violating Title IX.

Erin Cavalier, a 2016 graduate, said the university was "deliberately indifferent" to her claims that she had been raped by one of the school's football players in 2012 while she was severely intoxicated.

"I trusted them to protect me and do the right thing," she said.

Cavalier said Catholic University mishandled her case from the very beginning. She told WUSA9 it took the university more than 290 days to hold a formal disciplinary hearing about the matter.

"Ten months is a long time," she said.

She also felt the university blamed her for the incident. The complaint, which was filed in United States District Court, reads that Cavalier felt the campus' safety officers had implied she must have consented to sex because she was a "career alcoholic" at the age of 18.

Cavalier's father, Mark, said he is disappointed in how Catholic University has handled the matter.

"We expected there would be a process," he said "Safety measures in place."

Catholic University released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

"Out of respect for all involved, we do not believe it is appropriate to publicly discuss specific details of this situation. The Catholic University of America remains confident that the facts will show that this case was investigated carefully in coordination with local law enforcement and that the University conducted an independent, thorough hearing.  We take every allegation of sexual misconduct seriously, investigate each claim thoroughly and are committed to providing compassionate support for all students without exception. Our responsibility is and always has been to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of our community."

Cavalier is pursuing damages from Catholic University in excess of $75,000. The complaint says some of those damages are for past, present and future emotional pain that stems from the case.


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