Hallick holds town hall addressing rape lawsuit today

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A Town Hall meeting addressing the $3 million rape lawsuit against Pacific University will be held today at noon in the University Center.

The case, which was filed in Multnomah County Nov. 16, 2015, alleges that a now 20-year-old woman was raped after attending a drinking party in 2013 hosted by a student assistant basketball coach and is suing the university for negligence.

President Lesley Hallick released a statement to students, faculty and staff announcing the Town Hall and saying “[the administration] believes the university acted legally and appropriately in handling this matter, and that the facts will show this to be the case.”

Ace Board student chair senior Alexis Johnson said there will be live stream of the meeting on boxerradio.fm for anyone unable to attend.

The plaintiff is being represented by Gregory Kafoury, Mark McDougal and Jason Kafoury of Kafoury & McDougal law firm in Portland, Ore.

The suit claims the university displayed negligence on several occasions.

Kafoury explained the university was negligent by allowing an employee to hold a party where alcohol was being consumed by underaged students and by suggesting the defendant to be let off with a one year suspension after the investigation closed.

According to an article published by the Oregonian Nov.16, Kafoury said the university expelled the student after the plaintiff threatened to go to the media with the story.

The alleged host of the party and assistant basketball coach, Dustin Bowser, was an unpaid volunteer assistant coach and still a student.

Kafoury said because the party was held almost exclusively as a benefit for athletes, Bowser was acting “within the scope of his employment” and a jury could find it work related.

In her statement, Hallick said “the university does not support or authorize any of its employees or coaches to host parties in which alcohol is provided to minors, as was alleged in the lawsuit.”

Athletic Director Ken Schumann said he could not comment on a pending litigation when asked about Bowser’s employment status.

Bowser told the Oregonian he did not host the party and does not remember what he was doing that night but Kafoury said his client remembers Bowser there.

The official complaint states the Forest Grove and Cornelius police raided the party at 11:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 2013 and the intoxicated plaintiff left with a male football player to avoid contact with the police. It goes on to state “shortly after escorting plaintiff from the party, [the football player] sexually battered, abused and raped plaintiff.”

As a result of the alleged rape, the plaintiff sustained severe bruising on her breasts and thigh, which she documented with photo evidence. In February, she went to the university and Forest Grove Police Department to pursue criminal charges.

Kafoury said the football player had several complaints from other students and alleged rapes.

The police department and the plaintiff obtained written confession from a facebook conversation that was included in a university investigative file:

WOMAN: “…What I want, what I need is for your (sic) to own what you did….Don’t tell me you didn’t know you were raping me”

MAN: “Okay well (sic) I am truly sorry for what I did. I know what happened and I instantly regretted it….Please forgive me because I truly did mess up”

WOMAN: “Can you promise me you won’t rape another girl?”

MAN: “I do promise you that because I completely regret it and I feel terrible. I know for sure that I won’t”

Police Captain Mike Herb said the case is still an open criminal case but stressed that his agency “has a clearly established track record of taking sexual assault cases very seriously and using every investigative means possible in obtaining evidence.”

The initials of the plaintiff and defendant are both available on the official complaint, which is public record in the Multnomah county courts. They were also published by The News Times Nov. 20.

Moving forward with the lawsuit, Kafoury said the firm will be obtaining records of the history of complaints against the university.

“We’re going to get every incident of sexual assault and lay them out for the world to see,” Kafoury said.

Private Investigator James Pitkin was speaking with students Nov. 22 about other alleged complaints against the football player and their thoughts on the case. Pitkin was hired by Kafoury & McDougal to investigate the case.

The family of the victim requests that anyone with information contact attorneys Jason and Greg Kafoury at (503) 224-2647.


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