Brown Grad in Rape Allegation Sues

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A recent Brown University graduate who
accused a former classmate of rape has sued the student and his
parents for breach of contract.

The woman maintains William McCormick III raped her in September
2006, when both were Brown freshmen. McCormick said in a lawsuit
last year that he was falsely accused of rape and that the Ivy
League school allowed him to be pressured off campus, at least
partly to appease the accuser's father - a Brown alumnus, major
donor and fundraiser.

Rather than move forward with a disciplinary hearing, the two
students signed a contract in October 2006 that was intended to
resolve the case for good. McCormick agreed to immediately withdraw
from school, stay at least 1,000 feet away from the woman and seek
counseling - all while still maintaining his innocence.

McCormick and the woman agreed not to sue each other, discuss
the agreement publicly or make disparaging comments about each
other.

But McCormick, who just completed his junior year at Bucknell
University, sued the accuser, her father and Brown last fall,
alleging negligence and intentional infliction of distress, among
other claims. The suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages,
is still pending. Brown officials have declined to discuss the case
in detail, but a spokeswoman says the school acted properly.

The accuser filed a counterclaim Monday in U.S. District Court
in Providence, accusing McCormick and his parents - who had also
sued - of breach of contract by filing the lawsuit. She is seeking
unspecified damages.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say
they were sexually assaulted.

McCormick's lawyer, J. Scott Kilpatrick, said Tuesday that he
did not consider the contract valid since no rape occurred.
McCormick has also said he was pressured into signing the contract
by the accuser's family and their lawyer. A lawyer for the family,
Joseph Cavanagh, did not immediately return a call seeking comment
Tuesday.

The woman alleged during the first week of classes in 2006 that
McCormick was calling her obsessively and following her around -
accusations Kilpatrick has called "exaggerations and half-truths"
in court papers. The following week, she accused him of having
raped her while she was studying in her dorm room.

The woman made the allegations to her resident adviser, who
reported them to her superiors. The accusations were never reported
to police.

The day after the rape accusations surfaced, McCormick - a high
school champion wrestler on full scholarship from Waukesha, Wis., -
was called into a meeting with campus officials, barred from campus
and put on a plane home to Wisconsin without being given a chance
to explain himself, according to the lawsuit.

McCormick has denied having sex with the woman and has said he
was never alone in the same room with her, said Michael Burch, a
former assistant wrestling coach at Brown who acted as McCormick's
adviser.

Once home in Wisconsin, McCormick and his parents became
increasingly convinced that he would not get a fair disciplinary
hearing and that the accuser's father had the ear of the
administration. Rather than proceed and risk explusion, he agreed
to sign the contract as a way to quietly resolve the case and move
on from Brown, according to his lawsuit.

He later wrote Brown to withdraw for medical reasons. A Brown
administrator approved his withdrawal request but told him he would
be ineligible for readmission, according to documents reviewed by
the AP.


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