Yale Student: School Didn't Keep Me Safe

A junior at the presitgious school claims that Yale didn't protect her.

ByABC News
May 7, 2007, 10:01 AM

May 9, 2006 — -- It's one of the top-rated universities in the world, but all is not well on the leafy campus of Yale University.

A Yale junior has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the school and a male student whom she accused of sexually assaulting her in 2005.

In August 2005, the female student and fellow Yale freshman Gregory Korb both attended an on-campus event the school throws to welcome freshmen to the campus.

After a day of partying and drinking, Korb accompanied the girl to her dorm room and, according to court papers filed by the alleged victim's lawyer in New York State Supreme Court, "subjected her to physical and sexual assault, biting her about the face and breasts, causing several physical injuries, pain and suffering. He physically restrained her and prevented her from leaving until he was done."

Korb was arrested early on the morning of Aug. 27, 2005, and charged with first-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint in the first degree. Last November, he pleaded no contest to third-degree assault and second-degree threatening and was sentenced to 18 months' probation and prohibited from making contact with the victim or being on the Yale campus during his probation. At the time, Korb did not make a statement but through his lawyer maintained his innocence.

The victim and her mother claim that Yale was negligent in its failure to provide security at campus events, to prevent underage drinking and to change its policies since the incident.

Further, the plaintiffs claim the university allowed Korb back on campus in December 2006 to sign up for his study abroad program but failed to then escort him off campus, which they say violated the terms of his probation.

The alleged victim is suing Korb for physical damages and for compensation her for the psychiatric care she receives for "mental and emotional damage and suffering, which services she will likely need for the rest of her life," according to the complaint.

"Yale has zero tolerance for sexual assault or misconduct on the part of any member of its community," replied Helaine S. Klasky, Yale's director of public affairs, in a written statement. "The undergraduate regulations clearly define and prohibit sexual misconduct and warn that any student who engages in sexual misconduct may be subject to criminal prosecution and University disciplinary action."

Klasky also emphasizes that "it was the Yale police who responded and made the arrest that led to the serious criminal charges that were lodged" related to the the August 2005 incident. According to the statement, the university provides "round-the-clock assistance to any victim of sexual assualt or misconduct, including medical care, counseling and help with deciding what remedy to seek, including notifying the police and pressing charges."

Klasky went on to say that no alcohol was provided by the University as the mother and daughter claim, "Yale does not provide alcohol under any circumstances to students under the age of 21."

An attorney for Korb, William Dow, was not reachable for comment. An attorney for Yale, Brock Thomas Dubin, said that he had received the complaint but would not comment on its claims.

This is not the first time Yale has been accused of not responding adequately to students' complaints of assault. Several years ago, a student at the Yale Divinity School, Kathryn Kelly, sued the university, claiming that Yale dissuaded her "from pursuing disciplinary action" against a male student who she accused of sexually assaulting her in 1999. And she claimed that the school ignored her requests to remove him from a class in which they were both enrolled. Kelly's case was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2003. Neither Dubin, who defended Yale in that case, nor lawyer William Palmieri, who represented Kelly, would comment on the suit or the terms of the settlement.

In its claim that Yale failed to provide a safe and secure environment for its students, the new lawsuit resurrected claims that the school underreported the number of sexual assaults on campus.