Is prestigious HBCU Howard University harboring a sexual predator on its campus? New court documents show that a student says she was sexually assaulted by a serial offender who has been allowed to remain on the campus despite multiple reports filed against him.
According to a BuzzFeed report, the woman—who is identified in court documents as “Jane Doe 6”—is seeking to join a federal lawsuit filed against Howard in May by five female students who say the school mishandled their reports of sexual assault.
Doe 6 says she was raped in April 2016 by a man who had previously been accused of sexual violence and reported to university officials. A year later, university administrators informed her that the same man had allegedly attacked a third woman at the school. According to court documents, the man still attends classes on campus.
The first five women in the lawsuit accused the university of violating Title IX by delaying responses to inquiries made by the victims, neglecting to get counseling for suicidal sexual assault victims and delaying investigations in sexual misconduct cases.
In the case of Doe 6—who says she was raped on April 6, 2016—she reported the incident on April 19, 2016, and says she was told that the university could not investigate it until the fall 2016 semester. That September, she says she was told the investigation was “in full swing,” and in late October, she was told that she would be contacted once the investigation was complete. Although she was told to contact the university’s investigator with any questions pertaining to the case, calls made by both her and her mother were not answered for months.
She still has not been notified that the investigation is complete, so she does not even know if the university found that the man assaulted her.
In her filing, she accuses the school of misleading her about the accuser’s status. She says she was told by the investigator that the man was no longer on campus, but her friends said he continued to practice with the Howard University marching band, and she herself saw him using his student ID to swipe into the cafeteria. She was also told that the man had been banned from her dormitory, but learned months later that he had, in fact, not been banned at all.
There is a provision in the 2013 Violence Against Women Act that requires colleges and universities to inform students in writing about the outcome of investigations involving sexual assault accusations. Doe 6 only found out that the investigation into her case had been completed after contacting school officials in September. She was told that her assailant had been suspended for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters, but she says in her filing that she saw him on campus during both of those time periods.
I will forgo adding any commentary about how Howard’s inaction is indicative of the general rape-apologist and passive behavior toward sexual assault and abuse that is prevalent in black families past and present. The “keep it in the family” mentality that protects abusers while neglecting the abused is breaking our women down.
This shit has to stop.
Read more at BuzzFeed.