Two rape victims sue American university over claims of security failures

Two women who were raped on an American university campus have filed lawsuits claiming that the university failed in its duty to provide adequate security.

The two victims reported that they were robbed and raped at gunpoint on 5 December 2013 in university campus housing at Savannah State University, in the American state of Georgia. A suspect has been indicted and has been remanded in custody awaiting trial.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged assailant was captured on CCTV loitering around the victims’ apartment for 15 minutes after having climbed over a fence. The lawsuit says he was not observed, investigated or reported, nor were his victims warned: “On 12/5/13 [5 December 2013], no one was monitoring those or any other security cameras.”

The central claim of the lawsuit is that the university had a bad reputation for crime – it was rated second worst in the country in a national magazine article in 2011 – and that university officials failed to take reasonable steps to secure the campus despite a string of serious crimes.

The twin suits for Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 were filed in Chatham County State Court by attorneys Abda Lee Quillian and Mark Tate. They each seek damages in excess of $2 million and punitive damages “at a minimum of $4 million”.

As required by the US Federal Government’s Clery Act, the University must file an annual, public report declaring its crime statistics and share information with students regarding current security threats in a timely manner.

Crime Statistics

Type of Crime201120122013
Criminal Homicide Murder & Non-negligent manslaughter001
Negligent manslaughter000
Forcible Sex Offenses142
Non-Forcible Sex Offenses000
Aggravated Assault353
Motor Vehicle Theft110
Simple Assault5921
Larceny Theft147176159

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