Former Emory law school student sues university for gender discrimination

Emory University ignored federal guidance when a female law school student came forward with multiple rape allegations against a male classmate that resulted in her completing her education at another school, the student claims in a recent lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Atlanta, seeks unspecified damages against the university.

Emory University declined comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

The student says the school provided accommodations to her alleged rapist not given to her, such as allowing him to take exams off campus. At a hearing, he was allowed to submit a written opening statement, but she wasn’t, according to the lawsuit.

Emory didn’t issue a resolution in the hearing, said Lisa Anderson, the student’s attorney.

“Emory selectively enforced its policies and reached erroneous outcomes in disciplinary proceedings ... due to the University’s gender bias against Ms. Doe as a woman,” Anderson, executive director of Atlanta Women for Equality, a nonprofit legal aid organization that focuses on campus sexual violence and gender discrimination on college campuses, wrote in the complaint.

Neither student is named in the 125-page lawsuit complaint.

According to the lawsuit, the female student began her law school studies at Emory in August 2018. The suit says the male classmate sexually assaulted her one evening in her apartment and the following morning.

The complaint says the male student flew back to his home country in March 2019 and never returned shortly after an unidentified law enforcement agency began investigating the female student’s claims. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was unable to find out how the investigation concluded.

The female student eventually left Emory and received her degree in May at another law school. Anderson said the student’s complaints reflect a pattern of gender discrimination at Emory, the state’s largest private university.

Emory investigated 10 reported rapes on its campuses last year, according to its annual public safety report.