Former BJU Student Sues

Lawsuit Against BJU, Furman, etc.

Emily Gill
August 06, 2020 - 3:28 pm

A former Bob Jones University student has filed a lawsuit against BJU, Furman University, the Furman University Police Department, John Doe, and Trevor Whitfield.

The lawsuit outlines an alleged sexual assault; the claims of negligence, recklessness, and several others came as a result of the assault and how it was handled by various university officials and authorities.

On October 6, 2019, John Doe invited Jane Roe to a party at Furman; she and her friend went to the party.

The party was smaller than expected with only seven members of the Furman football team in attendance.

Doe reportedly gave the plaintiff alcohol and marijuana.

The lawsuit states it is believed that Doe gave Roe the alcohol and drugs intentionally to impair her judgement and abilities.  

Doe invited Roe, her friend, and two of the other football players to his apartment to watch music videos; Doe reportedly continued to supply alcohol to Roe while at the apartment.

When Roe said she didn't feel well, Doe said she could rest in his room.

According to the lawsuit, "Doe then negligently and recklessly engaged in sexual intercourse with the plaintiff when a reasonable person would have known that the plaintiff was unable to consent.  FUPD officers Michael Banner and Trevor Whitfield responded to Doe’s apartment in reference to concerns that the plaintiff and Witness A had been drugged and involved in a sexual interaction that lacked consent."

It does not state who called the officers.

Roe and her friend told the officers they feared expulsion of BJU authorities found out they had consumed alcohol.

The sawsuit states Whitfield immediately contacted BJU officials and told them there were two of their students intoxicated on Furman's campus.

"Whitfield expressed disapproval that the plaintiff and Witness A had consumed alcohol and noted his disappointment in their behavior as an alumnus of Bob Jones University. Not only was it out of line for Whitfield to admonish the plaintiff or anyone else for what he perceived to be a moral flaw, but the plaintiff had just been injured by the reckless conduct of Doe and traumatized by unwelcomed sex," the lawsuit states.

It further says Whitfield was motivated by a reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s rights, well-being, and safety.

The officers then told Roe and her friend they could go to the hospital or jail.

They went to the hospital, but Roe did not receive medical treatment at that time; she returned later in the day for a sexual forensic exam.  

Bob Jones’ Dean of Women, Deneen Wilson, arranged a meeting with Roe and her mother in which she told Roe BJU was expelling her for the consumption of alcohol. 

The lawsuit says Bob Jones did not conduct any investigation and that the meeting was held hours after the alleged sexual assault.

The lawsuit also states, "Doe recorded some or all of his sexual encounter with the plaintiff and disseminated the video to others without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent."

Jane Roe's attorney wrote in the lawsuit, "As a direct and proximate result of the negligent, grossly negligent, and reckless acts and omissions of the defendants, the plaintiff sustained injuries and damages, including some or all of the following: monetary damages; loss or impairment of earning capacity; out-of-pocket expenses; medical expenses; psychological trauma; mental anguish; mental distress; anxiety; emotional injury; psychological injury;  depression; pain and suffering; loss of enjoyment of life."


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