Former Paine College student files lawsuit against school after rape

News 12 First at Five/ Monday July 22, 2013

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A former student at Paine College is suing the school four months after she was raped in her dormitory bathroom on campus.

Her attorneys accuse the college of not doing enough to keep students safe because that attack on a student was not the first.

It's a ten page lawsuit full of accusations against Paine College for 'failing to provide adequate security for its students.'

James Powell is a student at Paine College. He said, "The girls are just kind of outraged, they can't really believe it happened."

The buzz on campus hasn't really changed much in the past four months. Students say there's still a lot of concern that someone from off campus could come into a dorm and do something like this.

Chris Stewart is the attorney representing the victim of this crime. He explained, "The civil suit was filed because this never should have happened."

Deputies have charged Jarius Dantzler with rape, attempted rape, armed robbery, and burglary. The rape and attempted rape charges both stem from separate incidents in Paine College dormitories. The suit claims Paine College didn't warn students after the first attack four months earlier.

"Nothing was done after that to prevent this from happening," said Stewart.

But now, students say they are definitely noticing tighter security.

According to Powell, "They do patrol more, they are more aware, they don't really allow people to, males can't go in females dorms and females can't go in males dorms."

The school also hired a new security chief and made the move from campus safety to campus police, meaning officers now carry weapons and can make arrests.

The school has also added several security cameras, but the victim's attorney argues all of the changes are too late to help his client.

Stewart explained, "It's fine that they're doing a full security overhaul after my client has been raped. But something should have been done that first time."

Now, it will be up to a court to decide if Paine College was negligent, a lawsuit that could end up costing them millions of dollars.

The lawsuit has officially been filed with Richmond County, and now they're just waiting for Paine College to respond to it.

News 12 reached out to Paine College, and they do not wish to comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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