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Report: KU Reached $200,000 Settlement Over Student's Sexual Assault Claims

Tristan Bowersox
Creative Commons-Flickr
A public records request reveals the University of Kansas reached a settlement with a student who had filed a federal lawsuit.

The University of Kansas last year reached a $200,000 settlement with a former student who alleged he was sexually assaulted by a theater professor. 

The details of the settlement came to light after The Lawrence Journal-World made an open-records request from KU. Records released by the university show the student agreed to drop a federal lawsuit as part of the settlement. 

The student — named as John Doe 58 in court documents — filed a lawsuit against the university in March 2017 claiming he was sexually assaulted in 2015 by the professor, who is also not identified fully in the lawsuit. The professor no longer works at KU, according to the Journal-World. 

The settlement was signed in August,  2017.

KU admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, and the student agreed to drop his lawsuit. The settlement barred both parties from discussing terms of the settlement, but some of the terms were revealed in the open-records request.

The student may not seek re-admission to KU, and one of the university’s departments must go through Title IX training. The name of the specific department is redacted.

This isn’t the first time KU has dealt with sexual assault allegations and subsquent lawsuits. Two lawsuits brought against the university by former varsity rowers were dismissed in November 2017. The Journal-World reported the next month they had been settled for almost $400,000 combined.

The parents of one of those students filed a separate lawsuit against the University using an unusual legal tactic. The suit claimed KU violated Kansas’ consumer protection law by claiming its dormitories are safe despite an alleged growing sexual assault problem. 

Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. 

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