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Student Claims University of Miami ‘Did Nothing’ After Alleged Rape

The Miami New Times reported on September 20 that a University of Miami (UM) student filed a lawsuit against the university on September 15. According to the New Times, the student alleges in her lawsuit that she was raped on August 23, 2013, at an off-campus apartment complex known informally as “Red Road” that caters to UM students. 

The student claims that her assailant—who was a resident adviser (RA) at a campus dorm nearby—regularly stalked her and threatened her after the assault. The student said she first reported the assault and subsequent stalking to the RA program supervisor at her assailant’s dorm, but the supervisor “ultimately did nothing and also did not provide the student with any more advice or reference her Title IX rights in any way” after saying he would speak with the alleged rapist. 

The student claims she first reported the rape to then-Dean William A. “Tony” Lake on September 16, 2013, and reported the stalking to the Coral Gables Police Department later that same day. The New Times reported that Lake allegedly told the student that “the school wasn’t able to enforce the no-contact order and that it was on her to steer clear of the rapist” two weeks after the university issued a no-contact order and the student’s rapist began harassing her again. 

As the New Times noted, this is the second high-profile case involving Lake, who also handled Title IX and sexual harassment complaints as the school’s judicial affairs director until he was forced out in 2016 after mishandling another student rape case in which Lake punished a student in 2014 for rape claims which later turned out to be false. The New Times reported on January 5 that the student falsely accused of rape filed a lawsuit against Lake, the woman who accused him of rape, and the university’s former rape counselor and women’s and gender studies professor Dr. Katharine Westaway.

Lawyer for Restraining Orders in Miami, FL

No-contact orders (commonly known as restraining orders but formally referred to as injunctions for protection) are common in many cases involving alleged domestic violence or sexual offenses.

Alleged victims have the right to petition for injunctions be filed against persons inflicting violence or engaging in threatening behavior, and Florida state law separates injunctions for protection into five categories: 

  1. Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence; 
  2. Injunction for Protection from Stalking Violence; 
  3. Injunction for Protection from Repeat Violence; 
  4. Injunction for Protection from Sexual Violence; and
  5. Injunction for Protection from Dating Violence.

When a person petitions for a restraining order against an alleged offender, the deputy clerk will prepare a temporary injunction order for signature by a judge if the court determines that the alleged victim is in danger of being victimized. Temporary injunctions are typically valid for up to 15 days, and hearings for temporary restraining orders are conducted without the alleged offender being present. 

The person against whom an injunction for protection is being sought will be notified of the date of a court hearing to determine whether the court should issue a permanent restraining order—which remains in effect indefinitely, or until dissolved by the court. If you have been served notice of an order of protection being issued against you, it is in your best interest to make sure that you retain legal counsel before your hearing. 

Miami criminal defense attorney Evan Hoffman can fight to help you avoid the multitude of restrictions that are commonplace with no-contact orders. The Hoffman Firm represents clients who are preparing for an injunction for protection hearings as well as people arrested for allegedly violating restraining orders.

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