Federal Judge Seals Case Over Alleged CA Student Rape


In 2008, a distraught female student at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Ca., told two friends that after a night of partying, she had been raped in campus housing by three male basketball players. The truth of what happened that night remains a source of dispute and is, says a university official, a tale of “multiple truths,” reports the Sacramento Bee. The woman, then a 19-year-old freshman and full scholarship player on the women’s basketball team, declined to pursue criminal charges. The university expelled its star point guard and suspended the other two players.

The woman from Colorado filed a damage suit in federal court against the school, accusing it of indifference and retaliation under gender equality law. For the past 20 months, the case has been litigated virtually in secret. Judge Frank Damrell has tossed the suit out; the woman is appealing. Damrell has agreed with the university to seal almost every substantive document filed with the court–some 33 key documents. Damrell even sealed his order that ended the case – at his own suggestion. “That’s astonishing,” said Jane Kirtley, professor of ethics and law at the University of Minnesota. “That’s really not the way we do justice here in the United States.”

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