Updated: Student suing Northwestern files suit against Ludlow

Ciara McCarthy and Ally Mutnick

The Medill junior who filed a lawsuit against Northwestern saying the University failed to address her claims of sexual assault has filed a civil suit against philosophy Prof. Peter Ludlow.

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning, the student claims Ludlow violated the Illinois Gender Violence Act, a 2004 law which allows victims of gender-based violence to sue their attackers for damages or injunctive relief. The student says in the suit that “Ludlow’s sexual assault was committed, at least in part, on account of Plaintiff’s sex.”

The student is seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages.

In the latest lawsuit, the student repeats her allegations that Ludlow sexually assaulted her in February 2012 after the two attended an art show together in downtown Chicago. According to the lawsuit, Ludlow bought the student alcohol and refused multiple requests to take her back to Evanston.

(Student sues Northwestern, claiming University ignored sexual assault findings)

The lawsuit alleges Ludlow’s “physical contact with Plaintiff was sexual in nature, was harmful and offensive, was done intentionally and knowingly, and was done without Plaintiff’s consent.”

The student told The Daily last week she initially tried to press criminal charges against Ludlow through the Chicago Police Department about a year after the incident but a detective told her there was not enough evidence to pursue her case.

(Student: Northwestern’s failures spurred Title IX lawsuit)

The student says she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of the incident. In addition, the incident has impacted her academic performance, requiring her to take medical leave, drop multiple classes and refrain from participating in a study-abroad program.

“Plaintiff’s medical conditions were and continue to be so severe and pervasive that they interfere with her ability to be successful academically,” the lawsuit said.

Ludlow has denied all allegations of sexual assault and harassment. His attorney, Kristin Case released a statement, Feb. 13 alleging it was the student who had “propositioned” Ludlow and that he had refused the student’s requests.

“Mr. Ludlow is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit or any lawsuit by (the student),”  Case said at the time. “That, alone, speaks volumes about this case.”

Case did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

In the lawsuit filed Feb. 10, the student says the University handled her allegations of sexual assault with “deliberate indifference and retaliation.”

The University denied Friday it had violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, saying it had appropriately punished Ludlow after conducting an internal investigation.

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