UCLA Student’s Lawsuit Aims to Push Fraternities to do More to Prevent Sexual Assault

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The UCLA fraternity house for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the frats named in a lawsuit against the university, is shown in an undated photo (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The UCLA fraternity house for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the frats named in a lawsuit against the university, is shown in an undated photo (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

On a cool night in August 2016, two UCLA students went to a fraternity party, got drunk and hooked up.

The young woman said that the young man had sexually assaulted her, and she pushed his fraternity to take action. Six months later, she filed a Title IX complaint with UCLA. The university corroborated her claims, expelled him and in February rejected his appeal.

To the young woman, UCLA had removed an immediate campus danger. But she wanted to do something that would force campus fraternities to do much more to change what she saw as a culture of alcohol abuse and sexual transgression.

So last month, as Jane Doe, she filed a civil complaint, naming her alleged abuser. Her lawsuit sues not only Blake Lobato for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress but also three fraternity organizations for negligence. She says Zeta Beta Tau, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the UCLA Interfraternity Council, a student-led governing body for 22 social fraternities with more than 1,600 members, routinely failed to protect her against sexual assault.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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