A former student is suing Western Kentucky University for taking inadequate measures to address his complaints about sexual harassment by a university staff member.
On Thursday, the student, identified only as John Doe, filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Frankfort against former Director of Admissions Justin Mathis alleging him of making inappropriate sexual advances and harassment.
The lawsuit alleges Mathis of online stalking and forcing Doe to stay with him in a Washington D.C. hotel room during a student recruitment trip in September last year, according to a Wave 3 report.
In February, Doe’s mother approached university president M. Christopher Brown II to seek his intervention, but no steps were taken to conduct one.
The lawsuit is seeking damages for “emotional suffering” and “mental anguish” as a result of the harassment, including, “Reimbursement and prepayment for Plaintiff’s tuition or related expenses; payment of Plaintiff’s expenses incurred as a consequence of the sexual harassment; damages for deprivation of equal access to educational benefits and opportunities provided by KSU; damages for past, present and future emotional pain and suffering; ongoing and severe mental anguish; and loss of past, present and future enjoyment of life.”
The university, meanwhile, has also initiated an internal inquiry to probe the allegations.
“The safety and care of our students is a top priority at Kentucky State University. All allegations from students, faculty, and staff are taken seriously from their initial report,” the university statement reads.
“In the pending litigation, the University moved swiftly to investigate upon initial notification, resulting inappropriate actions.”
The latest lawsuit comes two months after a former student body president filed a suit alleging university of not protecting her from threats and sexual harassment by Phi Delta Theta fraternity members and fellow students.