Rape Victim Sues University of Chicago

Woman claims student center didn't collect necessary evidence to prosecute

When a 25-year-old University of Chicago woman was date-raped in Hyde Park several years ago, she turned to the university's Student Care Center for help.

What she received, she claims in a lawsuit filed recently against the UofC and her rapist, was nothing short of a violation of her rights and of a state law requiring a rape kit be used in collecting evidence for prosecution.

The victims says she was baffled by the treatment she received from the campus facility and that her efforts to bring the man who forced her to have sex and left her bleeding and pained were thwarted by the staff's lack of professionalism.

"What is frequently more devastating than discovering that individual humans are capable of criminal cruelty is discovering the systems that are in place . . . do not function,'' the woman's attorney, Kaethe Morris Hoffer, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The case has been dismissed twice, but the woman perseveres.

The woman argues she suffered emotional damage from the lack of prosecution, including shame, fear, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I look back on it and I don't think about the guy who raped me that much in terms of what's wrong with the world,'' the woman said. " . . . Things will always be wrong with certain individuals. It is the fact the [center] didn't do anything.''

University officials refused to comment on the case.

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