Alleged sexual assault victim files lawsuit against University of Tulsa

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Tulsa, OK, United States (4E Sports) – A sophomore student has filed a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday against University of Tulsa for failing to protect her from a basketball player who has a history of sexual assault allegations.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Abigail Ross, a sophomore at Tulsa, states that basketball player Patrick Swilling Jr. raped her in January.

According to the lawsuit, Swilling had three prior alleged rape incidents, including a woman who reported in 2012 that he raped her while the two were students at the College of Southern Idaho.

A woman at Tulsa also reported a sexual assault to campus security and a woman who said Swilling tried to sexually assault her before friends intervened.

“Despite its knowledge of at least one, and as many as three prior allegations of sexual assault and misconduct perpetrated by Swilling, TU undertook zero investigation of his conduct and permitted Swilling to continue to attend TU,” the lawsuit said.

“TU was deliberately indifferent to the substantial risk that Swilling would sexually harass other female students at TU. As a result of TU’s deliberate indifference, Plaintiff was subjected to extreme sexual harassment in the form of rape by Swilling,” it added.

Ross’ lawsuit comes amid growing national focus on Title IX issues. Title IX is a federal gender equity law that, among other requirements, sets the rules for how schools must investigate incidents of sexual assault or violence.

The law provides protection for women and men and covers how schools must provide support for the students involved.

Swilling was suspended from the team by Manning on Feb. 12, 2014, because of the Ross investigation. Six weeks later, Tulsa dean of students Yolanda Taylor cleared Swilling.

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