Posted by Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. in News
Oct 13 2022
Caila French and Jazmin Johnson, who recently filed a Title IX lawsuit against Trinity College in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, were brimming with enthusiasm as they approached their freshman year at Trinity. They anticipated a rewarding year of new firsts, both academically and socially. Instead, by the conclusion of that first year, Jazmin had been sexually assaulted by a student athlete and Caila had been raped by that same student. The allegations in the complaint do not focus on the sexual assaults themselves, although they were horrific. Instead, they focus on conduct these two young women found even more traumatizing which came from the most unexpected source possible: their own college.
The complaint alleges that after they reported the sexual violence of this student-athlete, Trinity subjected these women to a three-ring circus over the course of years, complete with a revolving door of Title IX Coordinators (at least five) who along the way lost both of their files and insisted that they isolate themselves from everyone (even their parents) during the investigation with the exception of a single support person.
According to the complaint, Trinity did not act against the student athlete for his conduct against Jazmin until 17 months and an entire school year had passed after she first reported the assault. As a result, he remained on campus and raped Caila. Even after finding him responsible for sexually assaulting Jazmin, Trinity suspended him for a year – less time that it took to even conduct and complete its investigation. As for Caila, the complaint reports that she did not receive a final decision on her complaint, which concluded that the student athlete raped her, until two years after her report to Title IX, and just before she had concluded her senior year at the college.
During this time, an Instagram page called TrinSurvivors surfaced to address a perception of rampant sexual violence left unaddressed by Trinity and its Title IX office. TrinSurvivors received over 300 submissions its first year. Most of these focused on allegations that Trinity failed to act appropriately in supporting survivors of sexual assault and investigating their allegations.
The complaint quotes from In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, authored by a Trinity College faculty member. The author’s observation reinforces Trinity’s alleged deliberate indifference to the plights of Caila, Jazmin and countless other female students:
A senior admissions officer acknowledged that in order to capture more full payers, Trinity lowers its academic standards for acceptance. This officer told  that Trinity even welcomed rich students with poor disciplinary records, including those with sexual-assault and rape charges.
Caila and Jazmin are determined to use their voices to effect change and ensure that current and future generations of students are protected. They are represented in their lawsuit by Nina Pirrotti, Joshua Goodbaum and Jordan Sala of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C., in New Haven, Connecticut.
The complaint may be found under Docket No.3:22-cv-01199. For additional information please contact Nina Pirrotti, Esq. at NPirrotti@garrisonlaw.com, (203) 777-4425.