Lawyers: Suit hasn't shown rights violation

Updated: May 6, 2004, 12:19 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- The lawsuit that triggered a scandal at the University of Colorado should be dismissed because it hasn't shown the school violated the rights of an alleged rape victim, university lawyers said Wednesday.

In a court filing, university lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn for a summary judgment against Lisa Simpson, who filed the suit.

Simpson claims she was raped by football players and recruits at an off-campus party in 2001. Her lawsuit alleges the school violated federal Title IX requirements by fostering an environment hostile to women in its football program.

Two other women have filed similar suits.

In Wednesday's motion, university lawyers claimed Simpson has not met a requirement to prove that university officials knew about sexual harassment and were indifferent to it.

Kimberly Hult, one of Simpson's attorneys, said she remains confident in the Title IX claim.

Simpson has agreed to have her name used in news accounts.

The university scandal erupted after Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan gave a deposition for Simpson's suit in which she accused the football program of using used sex and alcohol to recruit athletes. The deposition was made public in January.

At least seven other women have said they were raped by players or recruits since 1997, and head football coach Gary Barnett was suspended in February for comments made about at least one of the women.

An independent commission and Attorney General Ken Salazar are investigating.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press