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Former Haskell Student Who Says She Was Raped Settles Privacy Claim Against School

Jeremy Bernfeld
KCUR 89.3

A former Haskell Indian Nations University student who says she was raped by two Haskell football players has settled her privacy claim against the school.

The settlement comes just days after two former KU varsity athletes settled their lawsuits alleging they were sexual assaulted by a KU football player.

Most of the former Haskell student’s claims were thrown out in July by a federal judge, who ruled that the school was immune from damages on sovereign immunity grounds. Haskell, a four-year college based in Lawrence, Kansas, is one of two institutions of higher education managed by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.

But the judge, J. Thomas Marten, did allow the one-time student, Hannah Lewis, to pursue her claim for violations of the Privacy Act, which regulates the collection and use of personal information by federal agencies.

Lewis claimed Haskell administrators unlawfully released her private records to outside parties during criminal cases against the men she accused of raping her.

Lewis’ attorney, Dan Curry, said the privacy claim was settled recently and the case was dismissed.

“My client would like to keep the amount confidential,” Curry said. “She wants to get her education back on track, and this resolution will help her do that.”

Curry also represented the KU students, who, like Lewis, settled their cases on confidential terms.

Haskell officials could not be reached for comment.

Lewis alleged that after she was raped in a dorm in November 2014 by the two football players, she got into a fight with a third male student in March 2016. She said that university officers pressured the male student, who claimed she assaulted him, to file Title IX charges against her and then effectively expelled her from the university.

Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education programs.  

The students accused of raping Lewis were charged with felonies. The trial of Jared Wheeler ended with a hung jury in June 2016. He later pleaded no contest to aggravated battery and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years’ probation. The other student, Galen Satoe, was tried twice. Both trials ended with a hung jury.

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

Dan Margolies has been a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star, and KCUR Public Radio. He retired as a reporter in December 2022 after a 37-year journalism career.
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