Seven current and former UConn students who allege they were the victims of sexual assault on campus have filed a Title IX complaint against the university.
High-profile attorney Gloria Allred announced Monday she is representing the students and filed the complaint on their behalf.
"They are simply tired of seeing women being raped and sexually assaulted at the university while the administration chose deliberate indifference," Allred said in a news conference in Hartford on Monday.
She said UConn failed to keep the women safe and the complainants feel betrayed by the school's administration.
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"The Title IX complaint sets forth details of rapes, sexual assaults and sexual batteries that have occurred at UConn," Allred said. "And details the manner in which UConn has failed to abide by the federal law, which guarantees students the right to an education free from the violation of their human and civil rights," Allred said.
Four of the women who are part of the complaint joined Allred during Monday's news conference, including Carolyn Luby, the lead complainant.
Luby wrote an open letter to UConn president Susan Herbst in April, detailing her concerns over what she felt was the university's failure to address the issue of sexual violence on campus. The letter when viral, and within 24 hours, Luby said she was receiving death threats and threats that she would be raped.
She said when she went to UConn police, her concerns were dismissed.
"The UConn Police Department did not take me seriously and sent me away with no sense of protection, except advice to 'wear a hat' so that people would not recognize me," Luby said.
She met with school administrators about the threats five months ago, but said she has not received any update on the investigation into those who threatened her.
Kylie Angell, a recent UConn graduate, went to police after her alleged attacker returned to campus and sat next to her in a cafeteria.
"I fled the scene to the UConn Police Department. The officer told me 'women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter, or rape is going to keep on happening until the cows come home,'" Angell said.
Angell said she felt unsafe on campus after her attacker returned and was constantly in fear.
UConn released a statement after the complaint was filed on Monday.
"The University of Connecticut takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously, as the health and well-being of our students is a top priority. Our response protocol for these and other alleged incidents of sexual assault is in line with or exceeds best practices. We always must be mindful of the rights of the accused and the accuser while upholding our commitment to protecting the safety of our campus community," the statement read.
NBC Connecticut asked UConn President Susan Herbst about the complaint and she said has not seen it.
“I feel like this campus is very safe for women. We have a wonderful police force. We have one of the only large university police chief's in the country who is a woman. She is extremely knowledgeable in these matters. We have an excellent Title IX officer,” Herbst said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy also said he had not seen the complaint.
“I think we need to do everything in our power to make our students safe on all of our campuses and in our state,” Malloy said. “The reality is that we are safer in Connecticut since I became governor.”
Two women told state police that two men took them into the woods during an off-campus party on Hunting Lodge Road and sexually assaulted them. State police are investigating and said the victims did not know their attackers.