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Wesleyan University freshman suing fraternity for her alleged rape

“… on behalf of the university community, I want to express our horror at this shameful assault.”  Wesleyan University President
“… on behalf of the university community, I want to express our horror at this shameful assault.” Wesleyan University President
Flickr/CC via universityherald.com

Cabri Chamberlin was a freshman at Wesleyan University in May 2013, when according to a lawsuit she filed this week in Conn. federal court, she was raped at a campus frat party by one frat member while other frat members watched and did nothing to help.

CNN reported on March 14 that Chamberlin is suing “11 of the Xi Chapter of Psi Upsilon and is asking for $10 million in damages.”

In many rape cases, alleged victims are identified by the media only as Jane Does. But Chamberlin said she’s done nothing wrong and nothing to be ashamed of, and hopes that by revealing her identity she can help protect other future victims.

"I can't even describe the pain of being raped, or how much it alters a life, and no other person should ever be forced to have that experience. I hope my experience and lawsuit will create changes that protect others," Chamberlin said in a statement provided by her lawyer.

According to her lawsuit, the rape occurred last May at a pledge frat party billed as a “strip show.”

The lawsuit claims that many “underage and extremely intoxicated young people danced with naked pledges and spilled alcohol throughout the area."

Chamberlin said she didn’t feel comfortable at the gathering and tried to leave. But as she put on her jacket to make her exit, “a male student picked her up from behind and raped her in the presence of numerous others."

Public safety officers from Wesleyan escorted Chamberlin to an area hospital where her rape was documented.

On March 15, Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth released a statement on the university website, saying in part, “… on behalf of the university community, I want to express our horror at this shameful assault.”

Following an investigation on the part of the university, the alleged rapist was expelled and sanctions imposed on the Xi Chapter of Psi Upsilon and its members.

Chamberlin’s lawsuit is a civil suit. The alleged lone rapist, Kwame Chihombori-Quao, identified in the lawsuit by The Courthouse News Service, isn’t yet facing any criminal charges.

Middletown police confirmed that they responded to a sexual assault complaint from the Psi Upsilon Fraternity house on May 4, 2013, spokeswoman Lt. Heather Desmond said. The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed, she said.

Chamberlin is currently undergoing counseling and has taken a leave of absence from Wesleyan.

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