unity college

A lawyer for Unity College in Maine says the school denies allegations laid out in a suit by a North Attleboro woman, who says she was sexually assaulted.

NORTH ATTLEBORO — A local woman is suing a Maine college, contending it failed to investigate her complaint that she was sexually assaulted.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine, on Wednesday and contends Unity College violated her Title IX rights by failing to adequately look into her complaint.

She is also suing the college’s public safety department for not getting her medical care or investigating why she was naked when she fell out a window.

Her attorney, Caleb Gannon, declined comment. According to the suit, the woman is from North Attleboro and the alleged incident took place while she was a student at Unity in 2015.

She is asking for unspecified damages from the college, including reimbursement for medical expenses and a tuition refund.

Former dean of students Gary Zane and public safety officer Kristopher Miville are also named in the suit, along with the college.

The suit contends the woman went to a dorm room with a male student while “incapacitated” in September of 2015 and he sexually assaulted her. After the alleged assault, she fell out of a second-floor window, the suit states.

The public safety officer helped her to her feet and brought her in the dorm to sleep on a sofa, but did not try to find out why she was naked or offer her medical help, according the suit.

Later, the suit states, a friend took her to the hospital where it was discovered she had two fractures to the lower spine.

Several days later she reported the assault to Zane, who was also the school’s Title IX officer. The suit claims he did not investigate.

“Zane informed the plaintiff that no further action would be taken with respect to the plaintiff’s complaint, describing it as a ‘he-said-she-said’ situation,” the lawsuit states.

The suit states that while at the college, she was never given any protective measures and routinely had to encounter her alleged assailant, causing her emotional troubles.

“Because no accommodations were made for the plaintiff’s physical and emotional safety upon her return to Unity College, she was unable to complete her degree. She dropped out and moved back in to her parents’ home in Massachusetts,” the suit states.

Tim Woodcock, an attorney for the college, could not be reached for comment, but told the Bangor News, “Unity College takes its responsibilities for the safety and security of its students very seriously. When Unity College became aware that an incident involving (the plaintiff) had occurred, Unity promptly investigated the matter.

“Unity College is familiar with and has evaluated (the) allegations. Unity denies (her) claims and will defend against them.”

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com.

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(1) comment


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