Former Duke student files Title IX lawsuit against school over alleged rape

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Duke University is facing a lawsuit that claims school officials mishandled a sexual assault investigation.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit said she was raped by two male students and school officials didn’t give the accused a tough enough punishment.

The former student filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school this month. According to the lawsuit, the woman said she was drugged and raped by two male students, including one whose stepfather was the University’s then-provost, Peter Lange.

The stepson of the provost was put on probation for violating the school’s sexual misconduct policy. The victim felt that wasn’t harsh enough and told school officials that if there wasn’t a tougher punishment, the school would be in violation of Title IX.

The school does not comment on pending cases, but Duke’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Governmental Relations Michael Schoenfeld said, “We follow a careful process when a sexual misconduct allegation is made, one that ensures we are responsive, thorough and fair as federal law and our own policies require.”

Because the two parties couldn’t agree on how the investigation should have been handled, the plaintiff said she was unable to participate in extracurricular activities, suffered a decline in her ability to learn and was forced to transfer schools.

The woman said she wants compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a statement from Duke saying that the school violated her rights.

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