CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — A former Roberts Wesleyan College student is suing the school over the way her rape investigation was handled.

The complainant, “Jane Doe,” claims the Christian college violated Title IX after she was raped on campus last fall.

In the complaint, attorneys for Doe say she was in her senior year, studying to become a teacher, when she made plans to watch TV with a male student on October 26, 2021. That student had a room to himself on campus because he was a resident assistant employed by the college.

Doe says she was raped that night by that RA.

She is suing the college, however, because of what she says happened next.

According to court documents, Doe reported the rape allegations to her resident advisor and the college’s resident director within 24 hours. She also brought her resident assistant to a meeting with the college’s Title IX coordinator, Monika Robertson, where she says she expected to learn more about the next steps she should take.

Instead, Doe and her resident advisor both told investigators the meeting was confusing and vague, saying Robertson at one point told Doe she could abandon the Title IX process and instead reach a “beautiful reconciliation,” with her alleged rapist, “where both parties agree.” Court documents say Doe’s resident assistant found that statement to be “misleading.”

According to those same court documents, Doe told Robertson not to take any action until Doe could speak with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office about her options. Despite those instructions, Robertson told Doe’s alleged rapist about the accusation the next day.

Doe’s alleged rapist then reached out to her to ask about the accusations, “further traumatizing Ms. Doe and causing her significant emotional distress.”

Court documents accuse the alleged rapist of taking this opportunity to meet with friends, who he would later identify as witnesses, and create “one, very consistent, and fabricated account of what occurred” before he was ever contacted by police.

According to the complaint, when Doe attempted to meet with Robertson soon afterward to talk about why Robertson told her alleged rapist about the accusations, Robertson would not allow Doe to bring another staff member to support her in the meeting. She also said if Doe came in for a meeting, her alleged rapist would have to be present in the meeting as well.

Doe’s attorney says it does not state anywhere in the college’s policy that an accused rapist must be present in such meetings with an alleged victim. That “threat,” she says, discouraged Doe from pursuing any more meetings with Robertson.

The complaint goes on to say Doe had to move back home for the second semester of her senior year, since Roberts Wesleyan College failed to address her fear of living near her alleged rapist.

According to the complaint, Doe was diagnosed with PTSD after the incident. She formally filed a Title IX complaint on December 13.

The accused rapist was not charged with a violation of college policy until June of 2022, after he had graduated and could no longer be held accountable by the college. He was found “not responsible,” despite “clearly articulating a lack of affirmative consent” on the night of the alleged rape in that hearing. The details of that hearing can be found on page 16 of 29 in the complaint embedded below.

In the lawsuit against Roberts Wesleyan, Doe’s attorneys accuse the college of:

  • Immediately disclosing, to her rapist, the fact of Jane Doe’s meeting with Roberts Title IX staff, providing him notice of her intent to file a report against him before police had an opportunity to interview him about the assault.
  • Failing to provide Jane Doe with an accommodation that could allow her to participate fully in the investigation process given her disabling PTSD resulting from her assault.
  • Knowingly distributing statements about Jane Doe’s prior sexual history despite the information being protected from disclosure by “Rape Shield” protections.
  • Failing to respond to her report her rapist violated the College’s no contact order.
  • Failing to complete its investigation into Jane Doe’s complaint prior to her and her rapist’s graduation from Roberts.
  • Failing to hold a hearing regarding Ms. Doe’s complaint prior to her and her rapist’s graduation from Roberts.
  • Failing to employ individuals competent and prepared for the highly sensitive task of Title IX Coordinator whilst simultaneously encouraging students to seek the Title IX Coordinator’s assistance if sexually assaulted.

Roberts Wesleyan College sent News 8 a statement in response to inquiries about the lawsuit. It reads in part: “Roberts Wesleyan College has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination. We take these matters seriously and are committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of our students and our campus community.”

Read the complaint

Full statement from Roberts Wesleyan College

Roberts Wesleyan College has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our students and our campus community.

The law requires every college to follow federal and state guidelines when responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. Roberts Wesleyan College’s policy and resources for responding to allegations of sexual misconduct can be found on the college’s Title IX website.

Out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved, and per college policy due to the restrictions imposed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the college cannot comment on the specific details of this matter. FERPA prevents schools from releasing details of student records. 

Roberts Wesleyan College is committed to providing a safe learning, living and working environment free from sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination. Roberts has a number of resources available to students, faculty and staff, including the campus wellness center, campus safety, external counselors and advocates.