News / World

Lawsuit: Kansas State's inaction led to another rape

WICHITA, Kan. — A female student contends in a court filing Monday that Kansas State University's failure to investigate the rape of another woman allowed the same alleged assailant to sexually assault her.

The accusations were levied in court documents seeking to add the woman, Crystal Stroup, to a lawsuit already filed against the university by Sara Weckhorst, citing what it calls the university's "deliberate indifference" to reports of student sexual violence off campus. The policy enables potential serial rapists to freely prey on unsuspecting students, the lawsuit alleges.

The Associated Press typically does not name alleged rape victims, but their attorney said both woman wanted to be publicly identified.

"This case is precisely why a school's responsibility to investigate rape reports is so important - giving an assailant a free pass leaves other students like Crystal at risk," said Cari Simon, the attorney representing the women.

University spokesman Jeff Morris that the university is reviewing the documents to determine its response, adding that it expects "these issues will be resolved within the legal system."

Stroup alleges she was raped in October 2015, while Weckhorst said she was attacked in April 2014 when they were extremely incapacitated from consuming a large amount of alcohol. If the court agrees to add Stroup to the lawsuit, she will be the third woman to sue Kansas State University this year over allegations that the university has refused to investigate their rapes and other sexual assaults at off-campus fraternity houses.

Jared Ralph Gihring is charged with rape and sodomy in connection with the alleged sexual assault against Stroup, and with rape in the alleged assault of Weckhorst, court documents show.

His attorney Brenda Jordan declined on Monday to comment about either case while the criminal charges are pending.

Gihring posted $25,000 bond in August. His next court appearance in the criminal case is scheduled for Dec. 19 in Riley County District Court.

After Gihring's arrest, Kansas State University conducted a "threat assessment" and expelled him from the university, according to a court filing in the civil case.

___

Associated Press writer Bill Draper contributed to this report from Kansas City, Missouri.