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Lawsuit Claims Fordham Covered Up Alleged Rape

August 6, 2021

A former naval training student at Fordham University in New York filed a federal lawsuit accusing the institution of covering up an alleged rape in 2011, The New York Post reported.

Francis Austin, 30, alleges that his “closeted homosexual” roommate anally raped him when he participated in a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in February 2011. The lawsuit says the roommate’s father was a “highly influential attorney in the U.S. Military” and a Fordham alumnus.

The lawsuit claims that faculty members and administrators “mocked and scorned” Austin when he reported the alleged assault, called him “a liar,” and did not properly investigate.

The suit also claims officials falsified documents to show Austin had a learning disability to get him kicked out of the program.

A Fordham spokesman declined to comment, citing policies of not commenting on student records and ongoing litigation.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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