A former College of Charleston student is suing the university after she was allegedly drugged and raped at a fraternity party when she was 17 years old. The incident happened in August, according to the lawsuit filed on Friday, while at an Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity party. She is suing the school, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and its Chi Omicron chapter for failing to “take proper precautions” or “develop adequate policies and procedures” that would have assured her safety.
The student claims that she was at the fraternity for Bid Day when two of the brothers, Timothy Seppi and James West III, “forcibly led” her into a bedroom, took off her clothes, drugged her and made her perform sexual acts on West while Seppi stood back and recorded the incident on his iPhone.
According to Post and Courier, she “continued to try and get away from Seppi and West” before the boys eventually “became annoyed” with her and left her “alone and crying on the bedroom floor with no clothes.” She was taken to Medical University Hospital later that night for a rape kit.
Both Seppi and West were arrested several weeks after the incident occurred, when Charleston police found a sexually explicit photo of the victim on Seppi’s phone. The photo showed the young girl undressed and sitting on a bed alongside West, who was also nude in the picture. He was charged with engaging a child for sexual performance, while Seppi was charged with first and third degree sexual exploitation of a minor. However, both men are out on bail as police continue to investigate.
“They allowed this environment to occur,” the girl’s attorney Nathan Hughey said, referring to C of C and Alpha Epsilon Pi. “A responsible national chapter would never allow a chapter to exist that was that far off base from what was safe and healthy and what a fraternity should be about.”
Three days after the assault occurred, Alpha Epsilon Pi’s headquarters revoked the chapter’s charter. That same day, the school’s president, Glenn McConnell, announced a ban on alcohol at all Greek functions following “a series of dangerous behaviors,” including “disruptive parties” and “medical transports related to extreme intoxication.”
The girl is seeking unspecified damages for her “serious personal injuries” that required hospitalization and other treatment. She has since dropped out of the school and returned home to California to seek counseling.
[H/T: The Cut]