Woman sues KU, Lawrence police a year after prosecutors drop false rape report case

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By Luke Nozicka

A woman who was charged with filing a false report of rape before prosecutors dropped the case has sued the University of Kansas, the City of Lawrence and three police officers.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court of Kansas, alleges that the city knew the Lawrence Police Department had problems with sexual assault investigations, but “repeatedly failed” to make reforms.

It also claims police officers arrested the woman maliciously without probable cause, violating her rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Investigations by detectives and KU’s Title IX office treated her like a suspect, the lawsuit said.

In a statement, the woman’s attorneys, Cheryl Pilate and Sarah Brown, said Lawrence police and KU, “separately and together,” deprived the woman of her federal rights. Without facts, she was presumed to not be telling the truth and instead, “was further injured by the institutions charged with protecting her,” they said in a statement.

“Our client seeks redress for her injuries, and she hopes that seeking justice will help lead to greater security for young women at the University of Kansas and in the City of Lawrence,” the statement said.

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a KU spokesperson, said the university does not comment on pending litigation, but that it looked forward to resolving the matter through the legal process.

“We are confident in our Title IX investigations and our student conduct processes,” Barcomb-Peterson said in an email. A Lawrence spokesperson said the city did not have a comment.

The Star generally does not name sex crime victims without their permission. The newspaper also generally does not name suspects unless they have been charged.

The woman was accused of making a false report of rape and charged in January 2019 after officers decided in 90 minutes that she lied in September 2018 when she reported she was raped by an acquaintance while too drunk to consent.

Read more at: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article246731801.html

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