A former student at Paine College has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the school. She says the school failed to protect her from being raped in a dormitory earlier this year. WJBF News Channel Six's Dee Griffin spoke with the student's attorney today.
Paine College has remained a pillar in this community and a strong advocate for high standards in education. But, now a former student is suing the school saying it failed to provide adequate security to protect her and fellow students.
Beyond the black fences and brick walls, a former Paine College student says her worst nightmare became a reality. Her attorney L. Chris Stewart says, "It was the middle of the night she just went to the bathroom unknowingly walked into the bathroom and he had been in there waiting."
Days later, police arrested 18 year old Jarius Dantzler for the rape. Turns out, he tried to do the same thing, in the same dorm to another student just four months prior. "The rapist got into that dorm just a few months prior and tried to rape a young lady. Luckily she fought him off and escaped. My client wasn't that lucky," says Stewart.
In the wake of the rapes, Paine College jumped into action making sure students are safe from would be predators. Just last week, the school announced the formation of a campus police department giving officers the power to actually arrest criminals. While attorney Chris Stewart applauds this effort, he says it's too little too late, especially for his client. Stewart explains, "there was a predator on the loose. Something should have been done. I salute them for the changes that they made after my client was raped but things should have been done to stop it after the first attempted assault."
He says the multi-million dollar suit is not only to help his client heal from her emotion and physical wounds. Stewart says it's to make sure no one else has to suffer the same fate behind these walls which were built to protect. "Securing the campus so students can focus on school is the whole point."
Paine College administrators have not publicly commented on the lawsuit. The school has thirty days to respond to this lawsuit. Meanwhile, Dantzler is still being held in the Richmond County jail.
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