UNA responds to Title IX lawsuit alleging sexual abuse

Published: Aug. 11, 2017 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2018 at 11:43 AM CDT
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(WAFF) - On Thursday we reported that the University of North Alabama was facing a Title IX lawsuit from a former student alleging she was sexually abused by Dr. David Dickerson, a former professor at the school.

UNA has issued the following response:

Earlier this week, a former University of North Alabama student, identified as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit accusing a former professor of sexual assault, and accusing UNA of violations under Title IX. The University vehemently disputes the allegations in Jane Doe's lawsuit. UNA will vigorously defend against those claims in litigation.

We note the lawsuit allegations date back to 2015. Despite the passage of years, UNA is aware of no criminal charges against the professor the plaintiff accuses of sexual assault in her civil lawsuit seeking money damages from UNA. One of the privileges of our legal system is that courts are open to all citizens. Our courts are even open to those who may misuse their right to initiate litigation for the purpose of extorting money with baseless allegations calculated to damage reputations and inflame public opinion. UNA is proud our American justice system also affords civil defendants an opportunity to set the record straight at the courthouse, and the University intends to take full advantage of that opportunity, in this case.

UNA rigorously enforces its policies that prohibit sex discrimination and that ensure compliance with Title IX. UNA takes great pride in its reputation as one of the safest college campuses in the Southeast. Student safety is and has always been a top priority, and campus officials are deeply offended by unfounded accusations that suggest otherwise.

Typically, UNA does not comment on details underlying pending litigation. In this matter brought by a former student, federal privacy laws further limit the University's opportunity to disclose such information. UNA respects student confidentiality and follows the law addressing educational records, even when compliance places the University at a disadvantage in responding to meritless claims that impugn the reputation of the University and the many fine people who have worked to make UNA a leading Alabama university.

The University of North Alabama looks forward to its day in court.

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