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USC Sued by Law School Grad for Sexual Misconduct

Courtney Whittier, a former University of Southern California law student, alleges that the school is “replete with sexual misconduct” and that the school was indifferent to that misconduct. Whittier filed a lawsuit alleging violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments.

According to Whittier, a fellow student raped her after a school-sanctioned event at a bar in December 2017. She had been drinking alcohol and was incapacitated when the rape occurred. Whittier reported the incident to the Title IX office. During the investigation, USC allegedly allowed the perpetrator to review her evidence before submitting his response. Whittier stated that USC’s policies prohibited this disclosure. USC purportedly failed to make additional evidence submitted by the accused available to Whittier. She also accuses the university of pre-determining the outcome of the investigation before its completion. The Title IX coordinator allegedly stated that a finding for Whittier would be “over [her] dead body.” In the lawsuit, Whitter claims that the accused was represented by counsel who had a history of representing other individuals accused of misconduct at USC. Whittier believes the presence of this particular attorney encouraged USC to violate its policies.

The investigator assigned to Whittier’s case filed her own lawsuit against USC. In her lawsuit, Investigator Doe claimed USC failed to provide Title IX training, a violation of USC’s consent decree with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Whitter used the information revealed in Investigator Doe’s lawsuit to support some of the allegations in her complaint.

USC had not responded to Whitter’s lawsuit at the time of writing this article.