Tulane University has settled a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims the school failed to protect her from being raped by two football players in 2014.
The case, reports The Advocate, has been ‘cloaked in secrecy’ since the unnamed plaintiff filed a police report in April 2014. Even with the university reporting a settlement, its terms will remain confidential and closed to public perusal.
Court filings pulled by The Advocate indicate only that “all matters have been settled and resolved” to the satisfaction of both parties. Any other details are wrapped up and sealed in by the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
Initially filed in 2015, the case originates from a high school senior’s report of rape.
Details of the assault were anything but transparent. The plaintiff attended an on-campus recruitment session at Tulane, accompanied by a college-aged chaperone from the women’s basketball team. Some time during the night, the high schooler fell asleep in a dorm room after a night of heavy drinking.
When she woke up, she was being assaulted.
The woman claims to have been raped by Tulane wide receiver Teddy Veal and Green Wave center Raul Diaz. Neither player was charged, although both eventually transferred from Tulane to other institutions.
Veal told law enforcement that the encounter between himself, Diaz and the girl had been entirely consensual. The story was confirmed by the plaintiff, who later backtracked and told authorities she’d been too drunk to engage in coitus with the two football players.
The civil lawsuit brought against Tulane and the players maintains that the would-be basketball recruit was “in an impaired mental state” when she had sex with Diaz and tried to refuse further attempts at intercourse.
The suit named Veal and Diaz as defendants along with Tulane University, the women’s basketball coach, and the college-age chaperone who allegedly enabled the high schooler’s intoxication by providing her with a fake ID.
Veal, writes Deadspin, was cleared by Tulane in an internal investigation. The Advocate says Tulane’s review “essentially determined the woman’s claim of sexual assault was false.”
A great deal of the secrecy surrounding the case, writes Nola.com, stems from Tulane’s own attempts to cover up the proceedings. The university argued in 2015 that details of the litigation should be kept confidential, since the case involves sexual assault and underage drinking. Witnesses who could testify on behalf of either party, argued Tulane’s attorneys, may be reluctant to speak if their testimony incorporated elements of illegal alcohol consumption or sexual activity.
Tulane managed to ward off attempts by The Times-Picayune to make the lawsuit more transparent, asking the judge to “keep all pleadings, exhibits, affidavits and transcripts of proceedings under seal.”
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