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University of Michigan Fraternity Hit with Lawsuit Over Rape Allegations

— October 5, 2020

A Psi Upsilon chapter at the University of Michigan was recently hit with a lawsuit over allegations one of the fraternity’s members drugged and raped a girl.

According to a lawsuit filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court earlier this month, a student at the University of Michigan was allegedly “drugged and raped while attending a fraternity party in August 2019.” The suit was filed on behalf of Jane Doe. According to her, she was “18-years-old at the time of the incident…and was starting freshman orientation at UM when she and some of her friends attended a party at the Psi Upsilon fraternity.” Before entering the chapter building, she and her friends were never “asked to provide identification or proof of age.” The suit further claims that “Doe became so visibly intoxicated at the party that she could not have given consent for sexual intercourse.”

Glass of clear water; image by Stephan Müller, via, CC0.
Glass of clear water; image by Stephan Müller, via, CC0.

The suit further argued that orientation week “was known as ‘Freshman F— Week,’ and Psi Upsilon fraternity brothers would keep a scorecard of how many women they would have sexual intercourse with.” A friend of Doe allegedly told one of the fraternity brothers at the party that Doe “was not that kind of girl.” However, “after talking for a while, a fraternity member coaxed Doe to an upstairs room where no one else was present, and when Doe asked to leave, the man told her she could not,” according to the suit.

Instead of letting Doe leave, the man gave her a cup of water. After drinking it, Doe noted it tasted funny and soon began to feel off. In the suit, she said she believes the water she drank was drugged, and that she became vulnerable, “helpless, and was raped by the man.

As a result of the incident, Doe suffered “severe and permanent physical and emotional damages as a result of the man’s negligence, gross negligence, and intentional misconduct,” the suit claims. At the moment, the lawsuit is seeking monetary damages from the fraternity’s national office and the local chapter, “as well as the fraternity member” who allegedly raped Doe.

When commenting on the suit, Ven Johnson, Doe’s attorney said:

“(The defendant) knowingly coerced my client to a private room, where he had a spiked drink waiting for her and then attacked her. Intentionally taking advantage of, and raping women who are so intoxicated they are incapable of giving consent is a disgusting and reprehensible practice. These defendants must be held accountable for their despicable behavior.”

Thomas Fox, executive director of Psi Upsilon’s national office, also chimed in with the following statement:

“Psi Upsilon fraternity takes all reports of risk management violations, especially those with regard to sexual assault, very seriously. We are currently investigating the incident and gathering further information as we received no notice of allegations prior to this complaint being filed.”


Student was drugged, raped at University of Michigan frat party, lawsuit says

University of Michigan fraternity Psi Upsilon sued by woman saying she was drugged and raped at party

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