Court upholds rape case’s dismissals

Thursday, September 4, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:49 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the 2000 dismissal of MU and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity from a lawsuit by a former MU student who said she was raped in the fraternity’s annex.

In its ruling Wednesday, the Eighth Circuit Court wrote that neither MU nor the fraternity “owned, possessed or controlled” the premises where the alleged assault took place. Further, the court found no fault with MU’s handling of the situation and that Emilie Ostrander failed to show that university officials had displayed “deliberate indifference” to her claims that she had been raped.

Ostrander claimed that on April 6, 1998, she was invited to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity’s annex at 507 E. Rollins St. Ostrander said she was drugged and sexually assaulted there by member Brad Duggan.

Ostrander filed suit in federal court in 2000 against Duggan, local and national chapters of Delta Tau Delta, the MU curators and three MU officials. The jury ruled in Ostrander’s favor in her case against Duggan, awarding her $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. However, the jury dismissed claims against Delta Tau Delta and MU at that time.

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