Federal jury: Purdue ‘maliciously’ retaliated against student who made sexual assault report
Verdict Friday says Purdue acted ‘maliciously’ when it suspended a student after concluding she’d lied when she made a sexual assault report in 2017
Note: Purdue responded Saturday morning with comments about the verdict. That statement is included in this updated version.
HAMMOND – Purdue University officials acted “maliciously” and retaliated against a former student when they concluded that a sexual assault claim she filed in 2017 wasn’t valid and then suspended her for two years, a federal jury decided Friday after a weeklong civil trial in U.S. District Court.
The jury – six women and three men – deliberated for four hours, returning with a verdict that Purdue had unfairly turned the student’s report of sexual assault in her Harrison Hall dorm room into a finding that she lied and should be suspended.
The jury awarded her $10,000 in compensatory damages, which is roughly the equivalent of two semesters of in-state tuition at Purdue. The jury offer no punitive damages against the university or the administrations who were named in the lawsuit.
The student – listed in court documents as Nancy Roe – wiped her tears and smiled as she left the courtroom, following five days of testimony of intimate details, including a nine-minute recording a fraternity member secretly made in her dorm room to protect himself against rape allegations.
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