Judge denies motion to dismiss lawsuit over alleged on-campus rape at ODU

WAVY/LaVoy Harrell

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A federal judge in Norfolk denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Old Dominion University.

A woman claims the school failed to prevent or reasonably respond to a sexual assault committed against her when she was a freshman there.

Read: Amended lawsuit against ODU

The lawsuit alleges the woman was 18 years old in October of 2014 when a campus visitor raped her in her room at the Virginia House, a residence hall on campus.

She alleges that after she reported it, ODU police held her for eight hours and subjected her to intense questioning — despite needing medical help.

The woman was unable to get food, water, or use of a bathroom, according to the paperwork.

Rape victim files lawsuit against ODU

In court filings, the university denied it showed an indifference to the woman’s report of sexual assault, and said that it immediately conducted an investigation and gave no-contact orders to the alleged attacker.

ODU also claims the woman filed her complaint in court too late, outside of the statute of limitations.

In a prior statement, an ODU spokesperson said, “Old Dominion University takes reports of sexual assault seriously. We treat students with compassion, dignity and respect.”

The plaintiff is seeking $75,000 in damages and other measures — like requiring ODU to send timely warnings to students. She also wants ODU to fire the police chief and provide some type of security officers at dorms 24 hours.

A jury trial is set for Feb. 20, 2018.