Lawsuit: Eastern Michigan University Covered Up Sexual Assaults, Protected Fraternities

Lawsuit: Eastern Michigan University Covered Up Sexual Assaults, Protected Fraternities

The university’s Title IX director is reportedly trying to dissuade some women from reporting assaults, saying they are not being taken seriously.

Nearly a dozen women have filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University for covering up a series of sexual assaults on and near college campus by its Board of Regents.

The Detroit News reports that the complaint was filed by eleven women, all anonymously referred to as “Jane Doe.”

The lawsuit names Eastern Michigan University, its board of directors, campus police department, and several fraternities including Alpha Sigma Phi and Delta Tau Delta as defendants.

According to the 166-page lawsuit, the Brotherhood members themselves revealed details of numerous sexual assaults and tried to cover them up. At an Alpha Sigma Phi meeting, known as the “Mystical Circle,” the members allegedly sat in a circle in an unlit room. There a woman publicly accused a brother of the Brotherhood of raping her.

The university suggests that the Detroit News¸ failed to take reasonable steps to address this woman’s registered complaint.

Five other plaintiffs, the Detroit Free Press added, had charged a single man – 24-year-old Dustyn Durbin of the Frenchtown Ward – with sexual assault.

Gavel and law books; Image by Succo via

Together they told the press they believe Durbin was a serial robber who should be caught and punished by their school.

“I think there should have been a lot of logs for this not to happen, and they weren’t,” a woman told the Detroit Free Press on condition of anonymity.

One of the WWU officials named as plaintiff is Melody Werner.

Werner, according to the press, was Title IX director of Eastern Michigan University before joining Michigan State University in 2019. While at EMU, Werner allegedly failed to report allegations to law enforcement, allowing one alleged rapist to “continue his series of sexual assaults. “

Despite her position, which brought her close to survivors of sexual assault, Werner was “neither an investigator nor trained in conducting forensic interviews with victims of sexual assault”.

However, the lawsuit states: “The defendant Werner was the porter of the claims for sexual assault at the EMU.”

One victim said Werner went so far as to tell her there was no point in reporting her attack as her attacker’s brothers would not support the claim.

“There is no point in reporting about it,” said Werner. “You are in a brotherhood. [The] The Greek community will support them. “

Werner allegedly prevented other women from reporting their assaults – some of which took place off campus – and said law enforcement would not believe them.

In a statement, Attorney Todd Flood said the lawsuit was intended to both hold eastern Michigan accountable and ensure cultural change.

“This case is about fighting for the rights of these victims and changing today’s culture to see the difference between right and wrong,” Flood said.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment of at least $ 75,000.


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