Federal suit against Purdue hinges on texts, recordings, credible claims in sexual assault case
Day 2: Purdue contends she lied and kicked her out of school. Former student says the university unfairly retaliated when she accused a fraternity member of sexually assaulting her. Trial continues
In the second day of testimony in a former student’s federal lawsuit against Purdue – Crux of the case: Did Purdue retaliate against her when it suspended her for two years after investigating her sexual assault claim, while having the person she accused write a 10-page term paper on consent as punishment for recording their dorm room encounter? – the word of the day was “incapacitated.”
Things hinged on Purdue’s determination that Nancy Roe – as the then-19-year-old student is identified in court documents – might have been intoxicated, but she wasn’t incapacitated when a fraternity member walked her to her residence hall on the Monday night of Grand Prix week in 2017 and wound up having sex with her.
On Tuesday, Purdue Dean of Students Katie Sermersheim said on the witness stand in a federal courtroom in Hammond that she stood by determination that the student lied about the incident, dragging another student into an investigation over something consensual.
“Just because you don’t remember something, it isn’t necessarily rape,” Sermersheim said.
Here are some of the takeaways from the second day of a trial expected to last through Friday in U.S. District Court.