U.S. News

Two students sue Kansas State University over rape allegations

(Reuters) - Two Kansas State University students filed federal lawsuits against the school on Wednesday, saying it failed to investigate their allegations that they were raped at off-campus fraternities.

The lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas contend that the university violated the women’s rights under Title IX, the federal law that bars sexual discrimination in education.

Kansas State did not investigate their reports of being raped because the fraternities were off campus, the lawsuits allege.

In a statement, Kansas State said it would not comment on litigation or individual reports of discrimination, including sexual violence.

“The university has a strong policy prohibiting discrimination, including sexual violence, and provides a multitude of resources and assistance to students and employees,” it said.

One woman contended that she was raped by two Kansas State students in April 2014 during a fraternity event and again later at a fraternity house.

About 15 students witnessed one of the attacks. Some of them posted a video and photos of it on social media, the lawsuits said.

The second woman alleged she was raped in March 2015 at a fraternity house. Both the purported incidents occurred after the women had passed out from drinking.

The fraternity or fraternities were not named. Reuters’ policy is not to name the victims of sexual crimes.

Kansas State is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education over its refusal to investigate the alleged attacks on the two women and on other fraternity rape victims, the lawsuits said.

The lawsuits were filed by Washington attorney Cari Simon of the Fierberg National Law Group and seek compensatory damages. They also ask for a Kansas State investigation into the allegations and a court order that the school revise its policies to comply with Title IX.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bernard Orr