University of Oregon, alleged rape victim settle lawsuit for $80 - KPTV - FOX 12

University of Oregon, alleged rape victim settle lawsuit for $800k, free tuition

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The University of Oregon will pay a female student who said she was sexually assaulted by three former basketball players $800,000 and waive tuition and fees to settle a lawsuit brought forth by the woman.

According to a document filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, both parties agreed to "the dismissal of all claims against defendant University of Oregon with prejudice and without fees or costs to any party."

That dismissal was contingent upon the university agreeing to pay the cash settlement and waive all costs for tuition, housing and other fees for four years.

The lawsuit stemmed from a student's claim in March 2014 that she was sexually assaulted by Ducks basketball players Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin.

The unnamed student filed the lawsuit in January 2015, saying the university and head coach Dana Altman prioritized the performance of the basketball team over taking action on the alleged assault by the athletes and that Altman continued to recruit Austin from Providence College despite his being suspended amid accusations of sexual assault there.

Earlier this week, coach Dana Altman was dropped from the suit.

University President Michael Shill issued a statement in response to the settlement, saying he doesn't think anyone at the university is guilty of any wrongdoing, but the school will work harder to prevent sexual violence on campus.

"In approving this settlement, it is my hope that we focus our attention and considerable expertise on making our campus one on which all students will feel secure in the knowledge that they will be free from sexual violence. The underlying incident that gave rise to the litigation is an affront to each and every one of us. As president I will not tolerate the victimization of any member of our community. Period."

Shill said the university plans to hire more staff to help prevent and investigate any potential sexual assault and harassment. The school has already taken a number of other steps to improve support systems for students, including creating a 24-hour crisis line and website offering support, information and resources for victims of sexual assault.

In addition to financial terms, the settlement includes a pledge by the university to pursue a policy change requiring potential transfer students to disclose any disciplinary action at prior schools and allow the University of Oregon to access their disciplinary records.

The student, who was only identified as 'Jane Doe' in court documents, issued the following statement through her lawyer:

I am so glad to have this case behind me today and to be able to focus on my studies. I am very grateful for the outpouring of support that I have received from students, faculty, and other organizations. The response from the UO community has been remarkable and I know that the increased awareness around these issues on our campus can only serve to help us. I would be remiss to not specifically thank the Dean of Students Office and my therapist from the UCTC and other UCTC personnel for their continued assistance throughout this experience. Without those services, it would have been very difficult to stay in school here during these events and for that I am very grateful."

The Lane County district attorney found there wasn't enough evidence to file criminal charges against Dotson, Artis and Austin.

All three players were booted from the team and suspended from the University of Oregon campus following the police investigation.

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