Bethune-Cookman University Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Gang Rape on Campus

MIAMI, FL—October 6, 2011 – A former Bethune-Cookman University (BC-U) woman’s basketball player filed a lawsuit against the private Daytona Beach university, claiming the student, a freshman at the time, was raped by several members of the men’s basketball team. Pending litigation accuses the school of having insufficient campus security and failing to avert “the distribution of alcohol to minors,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

According to information provided, the 18-year-old plaintiff, who remained unidentified, reported being gang-raped in a vehicle owned by former Bethune-Cookman University basketball player C.J. Reed. The suit contends that on Dec. 5, 2010, Reed plied the underage woman with alcoholic beverages “in his white Mercedes-Benz while on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University.”
The plaintiff alleges that upon taking a couple sips of the drink, she “became incapacitated” and proceed to pass “in and out of consciousness in the back seat of his car.” She further claimed that Reed went on to pick up three unidentified BC-U basketball players, who raped her that night. It was not clear if the plaintiff underwent a medical examination to determine whether she’d been given the date rape drug prior to the alleged sex attack.

Although the lawsuit claims Reed was involved in the sexual attack, he has not faced any criminal charges, nor is he currently under investigation for the alleged gang rape. According to Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) Chief Mike Chitwood, although the alleged rape victim reported the attack, the accuser’s lack of a desire to take part in the investigation spurred police to suspend the probe.

While Bethune-Cookman University spokeswoman Meredith Rodriguez told reporters that the private university is indeed aware of the lawsuit, she would not comment on the pending litigation.

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When accidents and crimes take place on someone else’s property, that someone needs to take responsibility. Too often, property owners and managers deny their responsibility. At shopping centers, hotels, apartments and condominiums, and all public events, people have a legal right to be reasonably safe from foreseeable harm and criminal victimization.

Working closely with advocacy groups such as the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), the Miami premises liability attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz have extensive and successful experience representing clients in all areas of security negligence and premises liability law. Having already spent more than three decades litigating a variety of complex injury and assault claims, including sexual assault and rape claims, the South Florida injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. will fight to help crime victims obtain the justice a compensation they deserve.

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