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Judge Rules On Title IX Claims Against Nebraska

Herbie Husker celebrates a touchdown.

A Nebraska federal judge ruled against four female students who sued the University of Nebraska on allegations that they failed to properly address reports of sexual assault and harassment by male athletes.

According to ESPN's Paul Lavigne, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert F. Rossiter wrote that the school's response was not "deliberately indifferent" enough to put them in further harm. 

The judge dismissed three other cases not involving athletes, but ruled in favor of two plaintiffs. Those two lawsuits will proceed.

In July 2020, nine former female students filed a Title IX lawsuit against Nebraska. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest last June, saying the university "erroneously" misapplied Title IX sex discrimination laws in its response to the lawsuit.

One of the plaintiffs, former volleyball player Capri Davis, said football players Katerian LeGrone and Andre Hunt groped her at a party and later retaliated when she reported them. The lawsuit, as explained by Lavigne, claims the school "did not promptly or properly investigate the groping allegation or reported retaliation."

David transferred to Texas following Nebraska's handling of the situation. LeGrone and Hunt were expelled in April 2020 when Title IX investigators determined they sexually assaulted a female student, who is not a part of this lawsuit.

Rossiter wrote that Davis and the other dismissed plaintiffs didn't have a valid claim against the university because the "alleged retaliatory acts were perpetrated by other students" rather than the school.

The DOJ, on the other hand, argued in last year's statement that "retaliation by a student's peers, and not just retaliation by the school itself, can support a claim for damages under Title IX" if the school "responds with deliberate indifference."