University accused of failing to respond to assaults

DETROIT (AP) - Eastern Michigan University "turned a blind eye" to the sexual assault of students by other students, according to a lawsuit filed recently by 11 women who said they were victims.

The lawsuit in federal court targets the university, campus police and two fraternities. It states that the assaults were committed by four men between 2015 and 2020; one, Dustyn Durbin, is facing multiple criminal charges in Ypsilanti.

The lawsuit alleges that campus police deliberately failed to enter reports from victims into a computer system. The women allege that the university failed to properly train staff to investigate assaults and failed to follow federal law, which bars discrimination based on sex.

EMU in Ypsilanti is the latest school in Michigan accused of misconduct. Hundreds of women and girls said they were molested by Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar, who is in prison. The University of Michigan has acknowledged that another doctor, the late Robert Anderson, assaulted male athletes.

President James Smith posted a letter to the community on the school's website Tuesday, saying a Philadelphia law firm hired last fall still is reviewing the school's policies, procedures and actions. He said the work will be made public.

He said "there is no place for sexual violence in our campus community."

The lawsuit states police are investigating more than 30 rapes in the area from 2015 through 2020.

The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 for civil rights violations and other harms.