UMBC fraternity under fire in sexual assault case files to dismiss lawsuit
An Eastern Michigan University fraternity named in a federal sexual assault lawsuit has filed to have that lawsuit dismissed because none of the alleged assailants were named by survivors.
Delta Tau Delta pleaded for the dismissal on Tuesday, Oct. 12, arguing that many claims occurred outside of the three-year statute of limitations and timely claims did not establish a special relationship between the defendants and the national fraternity.
The move comes a day after another EMU fraternity involved in the sexual assault trial disassociated from EDU amid claims that the university is violating the chapters due process rights.
Read more about reading more Fraternity facing sexual assault allegations is no longer recognized at Eastern Michigan University.
More than 30 women have come forward since March 2020 to report sexual assault, and 24 claims have been filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit against the fraternities and EMUs handling of these cases. The most recent suit, filed on Sept. 8, accuses EMU of failing to protect students from a... dangerous culture of sexual assault without any meaningful oversight or intervention.
According to federal court records, some of the claims allegedly occurred inside the local Delta Tau Delta house. Lawyers argue that the national fraternity has no obligation to the accused women if they have a connection to it.
According to Tuesdays motion, the plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and the claims asserted against DTD-National should be dismissed.
The motion is misplaced, according to Todd Flood, an attorney who represents Jane Does.
We will provide the appropriate response, he added. DTD was clearly indifferent to the damage that was reasonably foreseeable, according to him. Its apparent from national studies on Greek life, which are widely accepted by fraternities both nationally and locally, that sexual assaults increased when alcohol was served to minors at Greek parties.
The federal lawsuit involves several members of the EMU, multiple ENU officials, DTD, the Alpha Sigma Phi and Theta Chi fraternities, as well as Sigma Kappy sorority. Seven female plaintiffs, all identified as Jane Doe, claim their assaults took place in the DTD house.
Instead of naming individual assailants from the fraternity, defense lawyers noted that the defendants targeted merely at the national frat organizations themselves.
Inexplicably, however, plaintiffs have not named their assailants as defendants in this lawsuit, the motion states. Instead, plaintiffs have asserted various state-law tort claims against the local fraternities to which the assailants were affiliated.
The national fraternity, according to lawyers, did not have a legal obligation to control the alleged assailants and was not negligent.
DTD-National is also not vicariously liable for the conduct of the alleged assailants, according to the motion. Plaintiffs wildly claim that the assailants were DTD-National's "agents and/or representatives" in trying to impose such an obligation.
According to EMU President James Smith, DTD filed its motion after Alpha Sigma Phis move to dissolve with ECU. In September, EMU began looking at ASP and DTD to determine their future involvement on the Ypsilanti campus.
ASP claimed the university was trying to spread the fraternities for their own negligence in student adjudication rather than be involved in the review. Smith said that the DTD is participating in the review.
According to an email from ASP national leadership, the chapter plans to continue its operation, as well as recruit new members, conduct new member education, participate in service and philanthropy events (including our national partner, RAINN), and host brotherhood gatherings, although without the benefits of university recognition, according to the email.
Smith encourages people on and near the Ypsilanti campus who have concerns about Alpha Sigma Phi to contact the fraternitys national headquarters or 911 if they observe illegal activity.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the student organization Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness will protest the ASP and DTD offices at 5 p.m. They will protest ASP for their dissolution, but will continue to recruit and operate as before.
Lynn Green, a freshman member of SARA, said, This is incredibly dangerous, as it means that the fraternity no longer has to adhere to the University's safety measures.
Green said the protest will give the student body an additional reason to express their outrage that we will never forget what they did.
Read more from The Ann Arbor News:
Recent sexual assaults on the Eastern Michigan University campus are not gang rape, according to officials.
Lawyers argue that Eastern Michigan University should not be blamed for sexual assaults it did not know about.
Under investigation is an alleged gang rape on the Eastern Michigan University campus.