WPI, Facing Suit, Accused of Blaming Rape Victim

June 7, 2016

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is being sued by a student who was raped by a security guard at a building where she and other WPI students lived in Puerto Rico while on a research program. The suit questions whether WPI took appropriate steps to be sure that security guards were in fact reliable and not dangerous.

As part of its defense, WPI is raising issues about the woman having engaged in drinking before the incident and having gone to the roof of the building with the security guard (something she says she thought was safe since he was a guard), The Boston Globe reported. For example, in a deposition with the woman, WPI lawyers asked about her drinking and asked her whether her parents had taught her “don’t take candy from strangers.”

“When you are saying a victim of rape caused her own rape, it is so offensive,” Colby Bruno, senior legal counsel at the Victim Rights Law Center in Boston and a consultant for the woman’s lawyers, told the Globe.

WPI said it offered support to the woman and her family after the rape.

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