Marquesa Jackson-Locklear, the mother of Cherelle Jovanna Locklear (pictured) has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against William Patterson University (WPU) over its handling of the September 2015 $exual assault of her daughter.
According to the Associated Press and CBS News, Jackson-Locklear’s lawsuit alleges that WPU officials knew full well that her daughter’s $exual assault occurred, but did not properly investigate the matter. Cherelle committed suicide in November 2015. She was 21-years-old at the time of her death.
Locklear said that she was $exally assaulted at WPU’s Sigma Pi fraternity house. After enduring this awful ordeal, Locklear reported the crime to WPU’s victim services coordinator, according to the lawsuit. However, the victim services coordinator did not immediately alert WPU’s campus police, which is what they are required to do.
“We are, of course, saddened by the loss of a student under any circumstances, and particularly when the loss comes about by suicide,” said WPU spokeswoman Mary Beth Zeman in a statement that was issued this past Tuesday. “We are aware of the lawsuit filed by the student’s mother and are unable to comment on any such legal matters.” Zeman continued.
The defendants listed in Jackson-Locklear’s lawsuit include WPU, the WPU campus police department, a number WPU officials, and the WPU Sigma Pi Fraternity. No criminal charges were ever filed after Locklear reported the September 2015 $exual assault.
WPU has a damning history when it comes to how the school deals with $exual assault allegations. In November 2014, a female student reported that she was $exually assaulted in a WPU dormitory. However, four of the five male students who were accused of the crime were cleared of any criminal charges after a grand jury failed to indict them.
The mother of that female student also filed a lawsuit against WPU and the case is still ongoing.