Former student sues Pacific University after alleged rape follow - KPTV - FOX 12

Former student sues Pacific University after alleged rape following party at coach's house

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FOREST GROVE, OR (KPTV) -

A former Pacific University student is suing the school for negligence, after she says she was raped by a football player she met at a party at the home of a basketball coach.

The suit seeks $3 million for negligence, saying the university failed to minimize the risk of sexual assault and failed to prevent gatherings like the party where she met the alleged rapist.

“We go to the lawsuit in order to teach the university that they need to reform their practices,” said Greg Kafoury, the attorney representing the young woman. “They had a coach hosting a party at his home with football players, 18-year-old girls, new to school, encouraging over-drinking.”

Kafoury said the girl left Pacific University due to the stress from the attack.

“She has panic attacks. She has high level of anxiety. She has difficulty functioning,” he said. “And of course, she has a sense of betrayal from the college and by police.”

According to the lawsuit, the young woman went to a party in November 2013 at the home of Dustin Bowser, a former Pacific University basketball player, who was coaching at the school at the time. It is not clear if Bowser is still assisting with the team.

The young woman, then a freshman, met a Pacific University football player who helped her leave the party when the police showed up.

The male student “sexually battered, abused and raped" her shortly after escorting her from the party, the lawsuit states.

“Her level of intoxication was obvious,” according to the lawsuit.

The assaults occurred in a park near campus and in the player’s dorm room at Walter Hall, according to a copy of the university investigation provided to FOX 12 by Kafoury.

The next morning, she took photos of large bruises on her legs and breasts.

The student reported the assault to the school and Forest Grove police a few months later.

The male student is not currently facing any criminal charges.

“After its own investigation, the university recommended that the guy who admitted to rape be suspended from school for a year,” Kafoury said.

He said the school eventually expelled the male student, but only after his client threatened to go the press.

He said that shows the university is not doing enough to protect its students.

The university investigation also includes Facebook messages exchanged between the girl and the other student months after the sexual assault.

Kafoury said Forest Grove police encouraged his client to start a conversation with the other student.

In one message, she wrote, “don't tell me you didn't know you were raping me."

He responded, “Okay, well I'm truly sorry for what I did. I know what happened and I instantly regretted it."

A Pacific University spokesman said they do not believe the lawsuit’s allegations are supported by facts.

“Although the university is not able to share confidential information about students because of applicable privacy laws, the university has resources available to support survivors of sexual misconduct and policies and procedures to review and take appropriate action when issues are brought to our attention,” spokesman Joe Lang said in a written statement. “Additionally, the university does not support or authorize any of its employees to provide alcohol to minors or host events where alcohol is provided to minors, as was alleged in the lawsuit.”

When reached by FOX 12, Bowser said he was advised not to comment at this time.

Kafoury also expressed concern about the length of the police investigation.

The young woman went to police a few months after the assault took place.

Forest Grove police completed their investigation and sent it to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges on November 12.

Kafoury said police wrapped up their investigation after he called them.

Police spokesman Capt. Mike Herb said the investigation took so long because detectives were waiting to hear from a witness. He also said the case was transferred to another detective after the original investigators were promoted.

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