When a victim is sexually assaulted or raped on a college campus a lot of times they’ll go to the law enforcement, work with law enforcement’s investigators and possibly the District Attorney. Sometimes the outcome is that there won’t be a case criminally. So the question becomes, “What else can I do?” A lot of victims don’t realize that they can go after the perpetrator civilly. We get a lot of calls from victims and we help them work through the process of determining whether or not they do have a civil case.
A civil case may involve several different defendants. One, the perpetrator himself or the university if they knew that the perpetrator had a propensity to commit sexual assault or rape. Maybe he had a history, there may be some records with the university that he has done this before and if the university knew about it and they didn’t do what they should have done by removing this individual from campus then the university could be liable.
Additionally, if the assault happened at a fraternity or sorority that fraternity or sorority could also be held liable for either providing alcohol, drugs or even knowledge that it was going on on their property and they didn’t do anything to stop it.