Lynn University denies it blocked accused student from getting lawyer
“I should have never told anyone about the incident.”
That was the conclusion of a Lynn University student who told detectives that a “Dominican” male “had sex with me” in his dorm, according to a redacted report given to The College Fix by the Boca Raton Police Department.
The police report is mentioned in the Dominican student’s due-process lawsuit against the school, which alleges that Lynn let an experienced lawyer represent his accuser in a subsequent campus proceeding while he was prevented from having a lawyer.
The accuser, whose name is redacted from the police report but not the due-process suit, apparently didn’t realize that her sex partner could be charged with rape until late in the police interview.
The report suggests that she felt ambivalence about the incident and was pressured into accusing him by friends and family.
She “became very upset during the interview” and, when asked what criminal action she wanted taken against the Dominican student, said she “didn’t want anything to happen.”
From ‘bits and pieces’ of memory to remembering the sex in detail
The accusing and accused students met each other for the first time at a dorm room party on Sept. 18. By the accuser’s own telling, she had already consumed “2-3 shots of vodka and then captain Morgan rum [sic]” in her own room before going to the party in mutual acquaintance Trevor Stick’s room. She described herself as “slightly intoxicated.”
Her friends told detectives she became “belligerent and angry” in Stick’s room, at which point he told her to leave. She apparently talked to the Dominican student in the hallway and then went to his room, based on the “bits and pieces” the accuser said she could remember.
The accuser said the Dominican told her in Spanish “I’m going to fuck you,” but she did not remember anything else until she woke up “with her clothes off” in his room, with a “used condom next to her.” She got dressed, went back to Stick’s room and “passed out,” later telling the reporting officer the sex was “not consentual [sic].”
But she did not say anything about a sexual assault to her friends that night, only deciding to report the incident the next day “after talking with her roommates about what had transpired.”
Stick told police that the accuser told him that “she remembered putting on and taking off a condom” from the Dominican.
On the way to the Sexual Assault Care Center (known as “Butterfly House”) for her examination, the accuser contacted Stick and became “angered and it seemed that both argued about an unknown issue,” the report says.
She remembered more details during a “video and audio taped” interview at the care center, saying the Dominican “made her a drink” before the sex but she only “woke up” with him naked on top of her.
Her story apparently changed during the same interview, saying she remembered disrobing and laying in his bed and that “she never attempted to resist or say ‘no’” during her entire encounter with the Dominican. The report notes that she never claimed he “raped” her, just that “he had sex with me.”
For some reason the accuser also admitted to having “consensual sex” two weeks prior with Stick, who hosted the party, but said he was just a friend. She said she takes epilepsy medication and “can get drunk easily.” Her parents “wanted something done,” according to the report, but the accuser herself wanted to end the interview.
“Maybe I said ‘yes,’ I don’t know. I was extremely intoxicated,” she concluded. (The due-process lawsuit notes that the report casts doubt on her level of intoxication, citing surveillance video that shows her “walking and … smiling,” balancing on one foot and “laughing” as she returned to her dorm that night.)
The Dominican told detectives that he and his accuser shared a small drink in his room while talking, and that she “smiled” when he asked if he could kiss her.
They continued in his bed, even as the Dominican “repositioned” himself during sex: She “held on to him, pulled him closer to her, and continued to kiss him.” He claims she told him explicitly she was just going to “lay there.”
But the Dominican added that he noticed she “appeared more intoxicated” after they finished, so he walked her back to Stick’s room.
He disagreed that he told her in Spanish that he would “fuck” her that night, saying that though “his parents speak Spanish, he was born in the United States and only speaks limited Spanish.”
The report concludes that there was “no evidence that a sexual battery occurred” because there was no evidence of “force, coercion, or resistance,” just mutual intoxication.
‘Lynn strives to be fair’
Lynn University responded to a request for comment after the Fix report on the due-process lawsuit.
“Like universities throughout the country, Lynn has policies and procedures for handling allegations of sexual misconduct,” its statement read.
Contrary to the suit’s claim that Lynn rebuffed the Dominican’s mother when she asked about getting him a lawyer, the school claims that it “strives to be fair and provided an equal opportunity for both parties to obtain an adviser of their choice, including attorneys, suggest witnesses and present their evidence.”
This “matter was handled consistently with legal obligations and University policies and procedures” and it will show that in court, Lynn said.
The Title IX coordinator who allegedly kept the Dominican from getting a lawyer, Lorna Fink, was responsible for Lynn’s decision a year ago to expand its relationship with Palm Beach County Victim Services. That organization sent a “victim advocate” to meet with the accuser.
She told the Sun Sentinel in June 2015 that the new pact, under which they “help prevent sexual assault on campus,” shows that Lynn “help[s] empower individuals to make smart decisions and take responsible actions.”