A former University of Evansville (UE) student who has chosen the alias Jane Doe filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the school. She alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Walter McCarty, a former men’s basketball coach, and that the university failed to provide a safe environment for her.
The lawsuit has been filed by Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, known for representing victims of sexual abuse in several high-profile cases including against the US Olympic Committee and convicted rapist and former doctor Larry Nassar, as well as Michigan State University.
Multiple Allegations of Sexual Assault
According to the Courier & Press, attorneys described Doe as a former athletic trainer at the university. She claimed McCarty sent her inappropriate messages on multiple platforms and pressured her to visit his home.
Doe added that she visited McCarty’s residence on December 9, 2019, where McCarty grabbed and sexually assaulted her, touching her breasts and buttocks, and digitally penetrating her.
The lawsuit alleges that multiple reports regarding McCarty’s inappropriate behavior with a number of women were filed after he was hired in March 2018.
“I am heartbroken that my school knew about Coach McCarty’s misconduct before what happened to me, and looked the other way,” Doe said in a news release about the lawsuit.
“I will continue to go through this difficult process of holding the university accountable, because I want to prevent other women from going through the same thing I did.”
McCarty refuted the allegations against him, stating to The Courier Press that they are “untrue” and that the evidence will “present itself that it’s a totally fabricated story.”
“I’ve never assaulted anyone in my 47 years on this earth. It’s disheartening that someone would make up a lie to gain financial rewards,” he said.
Evansville ‘Responded Appropriately’
UE also disputed Doe’s claims, saying that officials had responded to each report sufficiently.
“The University is confident it responded appropriately to all reports of misconduct regarding Mr. McCarty based on information it actually knew at the time; the University is similarly confident it responded reasonably to Jane Doe’s report,” the university said.
The Courier Press reported on a similar case in 2018. Former UE student Alexis Seay accused tenured theater professor, R Scott Lank, of racial and sexual harassment. This included unwanted touching and comments.
These alleged transgressions took place while school officials, she claimed, did nothing about her complaints.