A teenager and her family are suing a fraternity from the University of South Florida and its national body, accusing that one of the fraternity members sexually assaulted the girl while she was unconscious at a party the fraternity hosted.
The girl was just 16 at the time of the alleged sexual assault. Identified only as Jane Doe No.72, she was joined by her parents and attorney Herman Law in filing a suit in Hillsborough County last week. They are seeking $5 million in damages, plus the court costs and a jury trial.
The Pinellas County resident teenager says Pi Kappa Phi member Dillon LaGamma, 19, raped her after she was egged on to drink more than she could handle to the point of losing consciousness. She became unresponsive and only woke up the next morning to find herself in the hospital.
In their lawsuit, the girl says she visited the University of South Florida campus last October with her two older sisters. Pi Kappa Phi was then throwing a party. Fraternity members appeared to be checking IDs outside of the house in Greek Village, but they said to the sisters that they were just “making it look like they were checking IDs so they didn’t get in trouble.”
The lawsuit further states that once inside, the teenager was handed a pre-poured mixed drink that became one too many. No one among the fraternity members who were of majority age bothered to ask for the teenager’s age and also her level of inebriation. Instead, they exerted pressure on her to drink a “slap bag” filled with alcohol. The lawsuit says the girl became too drunk, incoherent and barely able to stand.
At that point, it is alleged that LaGamma then took the teenager into a room. There was no way she would have given her consent considering her state and her age. The lawsuit accuses LaGamma of having sex with the teenager’s “unconscious body.”
Another fraternity member took the girl to the hospital. The teenager says the next thing she remembers is waking up at the hospital with her clothes soaked in blood.
The following day, an assault charge was reported to the police. LaGamma was arrested, and the University of South Florida’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter was suspended.
La Gamma is no longer enrolled at the same university. He was also released on bail after his booking. He faces sexual battery charge of a victim older than 12 but younger than 18.
Pi Kappa Phi at the University of South Florida, however, managed to lighten their suspension to probation after it re-examined its procedure for managing risk. It is prevented from hosting any social events that will involve alcohol until 2017. All its activities have to be cleared first by university officials.