YU Sued for Covering Up Student's Alleged Rape
The student allegedly raped by a Yeshiva University men’s basketball player sued the university Monday, claiming a “purposeful and orchestrated” cover-up of her assault, according to a press release by the student’s attorney.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court, accuses the university of purposefully disregarding Title IX rules and crucial evidence to exonerate the alleged rapist and prevent disruption to YU’s Rise Up campaign. The suit also claims that YU has fostered a “rape cover-up culture” in the university for decades and failed to protect students.
“Plaintiff is eager to make sure that Yeshiva University leadership finally understands that it simply is no longer acceptable for school administrators, officials, and/or directors to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the rapes and/or sexual assaults of its students,” Kevin Mulhearn, the student's attorney, said in a statement. (Mulhearn also represents the former Yeshiva Univesity High School for Boys students in their ongoing sex abuse lawsuit.)
The alleged assault occurred in January 2021, and a complaint was filed with YU’s Title IX office the following month. That August, the student, identified as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuit, went public with her assault in an anonymous opinion article and discussed it in further detail in an interview on Jeff Lax Live this January.
“The allegations against the university asserted in this complaint are categorically false,” a university spokesperson told The Commentator. “We are fully confident that this matter was appropriately and thoroughly investigated. Our professionals … work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and they have taken extensive steps to provide assistance in this matter specifically.
“We at Yeshiva University take seriously our duty to do all we can to prevent and address sexual assault within our campus atmosphere and surrounding areas.”
The 137-page complaint accuses YU of failing to apply Title IX as mandated by law and treating the assault as an internal disciplinary affair. The complaint also stated that Seyfarth Shaw, the firm YU hired to conduct the investigation, has a conflict of interest because they received millions from YU defending it against claims of sexual assault by former YUHSB students.
The complaint further alleges that the investigation did not request access to a “rape kit,” ignored photographs of bruises sustained during the assault, failed to interview key witnesses and did not provide the student with security measures despite her repeated requests.
The university pushed back on these claims in its statement to The Commentator. “The firm hired by Yeshiva University, including the female lead investigator who is a former Title IX coordinator at a top five national university, conducted a thorough investigation and submitted a conclusive report supported by all the evidence. We also engaged an additional investigative firm to review this matter led by a former Manhattan Sex Crimes prosecutor, who validated the earlier process and agreed with the conclusion.”
The lawsuit names the university; Andrew Lauer, YU’s general counsel; Chaim Nissel, vice provost of student affairs and former Title IX Coordinator; Seyfarth Shaw; and Dov Kesselman and Emily Miller, the attorneys who conducted the investigation, as defendants.
Based on recommendations by an internal committee on addressing campus sexual assault, YU has since restructured its Title IX office, hired a new Title IX coordinator and improved sexual assault and harassment resources throughout the university.
The student has not specified what damages she is seeking.
Photo Caption: Yeshiva University has been sued over its alleged cover-up of a sexual assault
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University