NY Times: Women in the World
6.7.16 | WITW Staff
A Massachusetts college is blaming a student who was raped during a study abroad trip for engaging in “risky behavior” that led to the crime, including drinking and following a security guard at her university-leased apartment onto a dark rooftop. The allegations were made in court documents filed by attorneys for Worcester Polytechnic University, which the victim is suing for failing to provide a safe environment for students. The student was completing a research project in Puerto Rico in 2012, staying in apartments leased by WPI in San Juan, when she went with the building’s security guard onto the roof and was raped by him. The suit accused WPI of failing to complete background checks on security guards at the building.
College says rape victim is partly to blame
The Boston Globe
6.6.16 | Laura Krantz
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is alleging that a student who was raped during a study abroad program in Puerto Rico in 2012 is partially responsible because she had been drinking that night and chose to follow a stranger onto a dark rooftop, according to recently filed court documents.
The college made the arguments in response to a civil suit filed last year in Worcester Superior Court on behalf of the victim. The woman’s suit alleges the college failed to provide a safe environment for students.
In the documents, WPI’s attorneys argue the victim engaged in risky behavior, including excessive drinking, on the night that a security guard at her university-leased apartment building lured her to the roof and attacked her. The school also said the woman disregarded instructions and training about how to protect herself from harm.
In the court documents, the college said it is not seeking to blame the woman for being raped but challenged her claim that school officials were negligent in their protection of students.