Wesleyan sued over "rape factory" frat

A federal lawsuit claims the school failed to protect female students from sexual assault

Published October 7, 2012 7:03PM (EDT)


A former student at Wesleyan University filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the school neglected to crack down on sexual assault at a fraternity chapter known on campus as the "Rape Factory."

The former student, referred to in the suit as "Jane Doe," says she was raped two years ago at a Halloween party.

From the Hartford Courant:

"In the lawsuit, Beta Theta Pi is depicted as a troubled place with 'a long-documented history of dangerous misconduct, student injuries and numerous sexual assaults of women.' The lawsuit says the chapter lost its recognition from Wesleyan as a student organization in 2005 and instead gained 'the reputation in the Wesleyan community as the "Rape Factory."'

"The lawsuit says that Wesleyan warned students in an email in March 2010 to stay away from the fraternity, saying that the school "could not ensure students' safety on the premises."

Jane Doe, a freshman in the fall of 2010, was unaware of that warning from seven months earlier and went to the frat house's Halloween party on Oct. 30, 2010, and was raped in a locked room, the lawsuit says."

The suit claims the school violated federal gender-equity law by neglecting "to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action" against the fraternity.


By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

MORE FROM Jillian Rayfield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

College Fraternaties Rape Sexual Assault Wesleyan