“We hope that other victims of sexual assault will hear about the positive results in our case involving UConn and be inspired and encouraged to report instances of sexual violence and assault,” said the counsel of five students after having settled a lawsuit for $1.28 million with the University of Connecticut.
The lawsuit against the University of Connecticut was originally brought by four students in November 2013. They claimed that UConn had mishandled their reports of campus sexual assault.
According to The New York Times:
One of the complainants, Silvana Moccia, a former hockey player at the university, will receive $900,000. Ms. Moccia charged that she was cut from the hockey team after reporting her rape to her coach. She joined the lawsuit in December, a month after it was filed by the other four women, who will receive payments ranging from $25,000 to $125,000.
In December 2013, the four students were joined by Silvana Moccia, a former UConn hockey player, who claimed she was taken off the team after reporting her assault.
“The plaintiffs sued the university for unspecified monetary damages and changes in the university’s treatment of allegations of sexual violence and harassment,” reported The New York Times.
As a result of the lawsuit, and following settlement, UConn has agreed to implement a revised training program for upper management on how to handle instances of campus sexual assault. In addition to this they have created a special victims unit specialized in dealing with sexual assault and hired an Assistant Dean of Students for victim support services.
Despite the settlement, UCONN has not declared itself guilty of mishandling these cases, but instead made the decision because, “no good would have come from dragging this out for years as it consumed the time, attention and resources—both financial and emotional—of everyone involved,” reported The New York Times.
A joint statement by the University of Connecticut and the five students involved specify how the $1.3 million will be distributed.
The statement also details the stipulations the accusing party will have to abide by, which include retiring their separate complaints with the Department of Education. The investigation with the Office of Civil Rights will continue regardless of their withdrawal.