Woman suing JSU, says she was sexually attacked by an athlete in 2017

Woman suing JSU, says she was sexually attacked by an athlete in 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - A Georgia woman filed a lawsuit against Jacksonville State University alleging she was sexually assaulted as a freshman by a member of the JSU men’s basketball team.

JSU leaders said they have not been served with a copy of the plaintiff’s complaint.

In the complaint the woman said the assault happened on campus during the summer of 2017, when she said she was a member of a transition to college program called Fast Start Academy.

The woman said she stayed in a dorm that also housed members of the men’s basketball team.

The woman said on July 21, 2017 she and some friends attended several parties on campus and ended up in a parking lot outside the dorm early the next morning.

The plaintiff said that’s when she met the basketball player who was a transfer from a school in Kentucky.

She said that player verbally assaulted her, and later tried to kiss her on the neck. She said she pushed him away and he later picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and carried her into his dorm room.

The woman said she made noise and protested while the man sexually assaulted her and then forced himself inside of her. She said friends finally made their way into the dorm room and stopped the attack.

The woman said she told leaders at JSU and “her claims were denied.”

She said she had to drop out of school and work odd jobs, putting her one year behind her peers.

The suit alleges JSU leaders did not properly supervise students on campus, and allowed males to live in the same dorms as females.

The woman’s attorney Roger Appell said the accused attacker was an athlete who was dismissed from a Kentucky school for sexual misconduct. Appell is suing the university in federal court under a title nine violation.

Appell said, “Because they had a duty under title nine to protect their students from sexual misconduct. Especially knowing that this young man had a propensity for sexual misconduct.”

The woman said her injuries were physical and emotional distress.

“This has been a tragedy to her. It’s a very traumatic experience. She lives it over and over again. Any young girl who has been sexually molested - it’s going to cause them hardship, and it has caused her hardship,” her attorney, Roger Appell, said.

Jacksonville State University emailed this statement about the lawsuit.

While JSU is aware of the filing of a lawsuit, the institution has not been served with a copy of the plaintiff’s complaint.

The matter which is made the basis of the plaintiff’s complaint was fully investigated both pursuant to Title IX federal requirements and state criminal law. As with other situations, the District Attorney’s Office was fully involved. The case was presented to a Calhoun County Grand Jury in early 2018 and the jury returned a “No Bill” (no indictment).

The university does not discuss legal claims or cases made by or against it. No further statement will be forthcoming at this time.

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