Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lawsuit: Prairie View coach aided student accused of sexual assault

Feb. 13, 2018 at 11:33 p.m.

PRAIRIE VIEW (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges a Prairie View A&M University coach helped a male student accused of sexual assault flee Texas to avoid arrest.

An unidentified female athlete filed the lawsuit Friday in Houston. It accuses the university of creating a hostile educational environment and violating the federal law pro-hibiting gender discrimination in educational institutions, the Houston Chronicle reported.

According to the lawsuit, the woman reported the assault incident to university police the day after the Feb. 18, 2015, assault. She alleged she confided to her coach, who isn't named, and identified her attacker.

The coach responded by telling her not to alert her parents, and then bought the accused student a plane ticket to leave town, according to the suit.

The coach left his position several months later and told the woman's teammates she was the reason for his departure, the lawsuit stated. The suit didn't mention which sport the woman played.

The unidentified accused student was found in Florida and charged with sexual assault in May 2015, according to the lawsuit. The woman alleged she learned the coach paid for the student's plane ticket while she attended a bail hearing on the case.

"If the people responding to survivors are acting more like gatekeepers keeping the case from going forward, that's not justice — that's abetting a rapist," said Christopher Kaiser, director of public policy for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.



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