Ex-KU rowers’ Title IX lawsuits against university dismissed
LAWRENCE, Kan. — A federal judge has dismissed two lawsuits filed by former female rowers who claimed the University of Kansas did not properly respond to their complaints that a football player had sexually assaulted them on campus.
The lawsuits filed in 2016 by Daisy Tackett and Sarah McClure were dismissed last week at the request of the two women and the university. The lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice, which means the claims can’t be refiled, The Lawrence Journal-World reported .
Tackett says a University of Kansas football player raped her in 2014 at Jayhawk Towers. A year later, McClure alleged the same man fondled her breasts in her apartment in the same building.
The two allege in their lawsuits that the university should have known there was an increased risk of sexual assault at the Jayhawk Towers apartments, where football players live with less supervision than in residence halls. They also alleged the university required female rowers to go to football games and encouraged them to attend off-campus parties with football recruits.
They said rowing coaches retaliated against them after they reported the assaults.
The lawsuits cited Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education, including in allegations of sexual violence.
After the assaults were reported, the university’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access banned the man from campus in spring 2016. The office determined it was more likely than not that the events had happened as the women described. The former player was never charged with a crime.
In February, Judge Marten dismissed the women’s claims that Kansas was institutionally liable for the sexual assaults. He said the “alleged policies” of encouraging female rowers to interact with football players were not a factor in the reported assaults, and there was no allegation the women were assaulted at sanctioned events or that the university somehow encouraged misconduct by the football player.
Tackett withdrew from Kansas in early 2016, and McClure finished the spring 2016 semester but did not return in the fall.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Tackett and McClure said they wanted their names used.