Over the past few weeks, four women have sued New Jersey’s Stockton University, alleging rape at an off-campus, underground fraternity. In the most recent case, the plaintiff claims multiple men assaulted her several times while she was incapacitated and unable to consent.
The attorney representing these women says he has already received calls from several other women, suggested a potentially widespread problem at the Atlantic County school. A Stockton spokesperson says the university warns students on its website and at orientation from participating with unrecognized organizations.
In addition to the university, the men accused of the assaults, and their fraternity, have been named as defendants in the lawsuits. The national fraternal organization in question is not officially affiliated with Stockton, but still operates an underground chapter in a house close to campus.
The lawsuit alleges that although Stockton is aware of the unauthorized fraternity and the problematic activities that take place there, the school refrains from shutting it down or penalizing the members. One lawsuit claims the fraternity was blatantly recruiting new members at freshmen events held on campus.
Disturbing Allegations of Rape
The first lawsuit began in early July 2018, after a student claimed a university graduate and unrecognized fraternity member raped her in her dorm twice after having met her at a fraternity party. A week later, a second woman came forward, claiming the same man raped her at his fraternity house. In the third lawsuit, another woman alleges she was drugged at the same frat house and raped on campus by multiple men.
All of the lawsuits claim the women were intentionally incapacitated with spiked drinks. They claim the fraternity knowingly made two separate colored drinks, giving members one drink and giving women the other. The assumption is the drink given to the females was either spiked with a drug or made to be much stronger.
At the crux of all the combined lawsuits is the claim that Stockton violated the women’s right to a safe learning environment.
Stockton University Responds
After the third lawsuit, the president of the university issued a statement insisting the school takes all claims of sexual assault seriously and is working with authorities. He went on to encourage all students to come forth if they believe they have been assaulted and to report any concerning incidents to campus authorities. He added that Stockton employs specialized staff members to support students in times of crisis, while also educating incoming students about the risks of sexual violence on and around campus.
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