Lawsuit filed in federal court regarding sexual assault on campuses

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court that states that multiple Louisiana universities did not do enough to prevent sexual assault on campus based on a law that was passed in 2015 that outlines sexual abuse prevention and policies. 

More than 100 Jane Does and three individuals only identified by their initials are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which, locally, states that Louisiana Tech allowed a male student to transfer from another university after he allegedly had engaged in sexual assault at the previous two universities he attended. 

The lawsuit specifically states, “In 2018, (Victor) Silva once again transferred, this time to (Louisiana) Tech. Upon information and belief, Silva arrived at Tech with a clean record, without even a reflection of his prior probationary status with (University of Louisiana at) Lafayette and with no mention of the issues from (Louisiana State University).” 

The lawsuit also alleges that less than two months after this individual transferred to Tech, a fellow student filed a report against him with Tech’s Title IX office, accusing him of sexual assault. A week later, Tech notified the student it would not investigate the allegations. Silva withdrew from Tech three days after the allegations and transferred to another university. 

UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson said the ULS has worked to ensure safety on college campuses based on narratives.

“The work of the last two years to prevent power based violence on college campuses in Louisiana was informed by deeply troubling narratives,” Henderson said. “A pillar of these advancements ensures effective communication between institutions and local law enforcement. Act 439 of the 2021 legislative session built on the work of Act 172, advancing our policy environment and illustrating the importance of continuous evaluation of policy and practice to protect students.”

Tech President Les Guice, along with the Louisiana Board of Regents, the LSU Board of Supervisors, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, the Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Lafayette Police Department, two former LSU presidents and the current one, the former Lafayette Police chief and ULL president are named as defendants in this lawsuit.

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