Tuesday, September 25

Berkeley women file sexual assault-related lawsuit against UC Regents


News, UC


Three women filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the University of California Board of Regents alleging UC Berkeley officials did not adequately address complaints of sexual assault while they were students. (Creative Commons photo by John Morgan via Flickr)

Three women filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the University of California Board of Regents alleging UC Berkeley officials did not adequately address complaints of sexual assault while they were students. (Creative Commons photo by John Morgan via Flickr)


Three women filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the University of California Board of Regents alleging UC Berkeley officials did not adequately address complaints of sexual assault while they were students.

Sofia Karasek, Aryle Butler and Nicoletta Commins also alleged in the lawsuit they were not adequately informed of their rights under Title IX, according to a press release.

The women are hoping to change sexual assault policies at UC Berkeley and the UC and receive monetary compensation for the psychological harm they faced, said Alex Zalkin, one of the lawyers representing the women.

According to the lawsuit, the women filed complaints to the university and to the Title IX office about their assaults, but officials were slow to respond to the complaints or took no action against them.

This is the second sexual assault-related lawsuit filed against the UC Board of Regents this month.

On June 11, two UCLA graduate students alleged in a federal lawsuit history professor Gabriel Piterberg had sexually harassed them. The students reached out to then-Title IX coordinator Pamela Thomason, who allegedly discouraged them from filing a formal complaint against the professor and did not tell them their rights under Title IX.

UC Berkeley spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said in an email statement that the California state auditor conducted a thorough review of UC Berkeley’s handling of sexual assault and harassment cases in 2013-2014, which found that case outcomes were reasonable and that sanctions were appropriate given the severity of the incidents.

UC Berkeley officials will decline to comment on the case until a complaint has been filed against them, Gilmore added.

Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.

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