Lawsuits Over Alleged Sexual Assaults At KU Have Been ‘Resolved’

Nov 27, 2017

The dismissed lawsuits sought damages under Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education.
Credit Rolando Jones / Flickr — CC

Two former student athletes who sued the University of Kansas after claiming they were sexually assaulted on campus have dismissed their Title IX cases against the university.

Both lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be refiled. Typically, such dismissals mean the cases have been settled out of court.

Dan Curry, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, would say only that the cases had been “resolved.”

A spokesman for KU could not immediately be reached for comment.

The separate lawsuits by Daisy Tackett and Sarah McClure, both former varsity rowers, alleged that KU was indifferent to their reports of harassment and retaliated against them after they reported being assaulted by a football player in Jayhawker Towers, a KU residence hall.

Tackett claimed she was raped by the football player in the fall of 2014. McClure claimed she was sexually assaulted by the same player in August 2015.

Tackett and McClure both sought damages under Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education. A federal judge declined to dismiss their lawsuits after ruling that the dismissal of a separate class action lawsuit against KU over sexual assaults on campus did not preclude their individual claims.  

The class action case alleged that KU’s residence halls had for years been “home to a known, persistent and growing problem of instances of sexual assault.” KU termed those allegations “baseless.”

In her lawsuit, which was filed in March 2016, Tackett alleged that at least four other sexual assaults had been reported at Jayhawker Towers before she was allegedly raped and two others assaults after that.

The Kansas City Star reported that the university in March 2016 recommended that the football player be expelled after finding he had engaged in “non-consensual sex” with Tackett and violated KU’s sexual harassment policy in McClure’s case. The player, Jordan Goldenberg Jr., is no longer at the university.

Tackett also claimed that the rowing team coach retaliated against her after she reported what happened, telling her she couldn’t attend a training trip in December 2015 in Florida.

Tackett withdrew from KU in January 2016 and moved to Florida to be with her parents. McClure quit the rowing team and KU canceled her athletic grant the next day. Before that, McClure alleged, she and other members of the rowing team were regularly berated by the team’s coach, Rob Catloth, about their weight and, in her case, her medical condition.

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