GALLOWAY — A ninth woman has filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Stockton University.

In the latest complaint filed in U.S. District Court of New Jersey, the woman says she was assaulted as a sophomore in the school's LGBT-friendly dorm, Live Lavender, which she had believed was one of the safest places on campus.

The suit names Stockton University, its Board of Trustees, President Harvey Kesselman and the two students accused of assaulting her as defendants, although neither of them were charged with any crime. The lawsuit faults the school for dragging its feet on the investigation.

The woman says she was "dry humped" by a drunk resident assistant during a birthday party on Friday, Oct. 19, according to a copy of the lawsuit provided by attorney Robert Fuggi, who is representing plaintiffs in the other eight lawsuits against the school.

The woman, who has since transferred to Rowan University, is identified only by her initials in the lawsuit. New Jersey 101.5 does not name victims of sexual abuse who wish to remain anonymous.

The lawsuit says the woman, who had a successful freshman year at Stockton with a 3.7 grade point average, moved at the start of the fall semester in September into a suite in the new dorm with three male and female friends.

According to the complaint, she went to a birthday party in October in the Live Lavender dorm room of a female friend who is also a resident assistant. The party was attended by a number of underage people, the lawsuit says.

According to the complaint, Resident Assistant Dylan Bell, a defendant in the case, was drunk and he "forcibly" grabbed the woman's breasts and yelled "equal rights!" She was shaken up by the incident but remained at the party, the lawsuit says.

During the party, the sophomore said, she witnessed defendant Dylan Bell and Ryan Green in another dorm room going through her friend's closet. She tried to get Bell and Green, both of whom were drunk, to stop, the lawsuit says. As the woman began to clean up the mess, she said, she was pushed into the closet and the door was wedged shut. Despite her screams to be let out, the woman was trapped in the closet for 10 minutes as Bell and Green taunted her and laughed, the lawsuit says.

When the woman was let out, Bell pushed her against the wall and "dry humped" her through their clothes, according to the complaint. She immediately left the party, took a shower at her dorm, packed a bag and went to her parents home, she says in the lawsuit. The woman was so upset by the incident, it took a day for her to tell her parents what had happened, the lawsuit says.

During a previous get-together at a friend's campus apartment, Bell flashed his penis at the group when the sophomore suggested they all go out for ice cream, the lawsuit says.

Despite being offended by his behavior she did not report the incident as not to get him in trouble because of his position as an RA, the lawsuit says. The suit did not specify the date of the first incident.

She said she reported the October incident to Stockton University Women's Center director Lauren Dutton the Tuesday after the birthday party. A spokeswoman for the school said Thursday that the center advocates for students but does not conduct the investigations. She said the center connected the student to the schools' Title IX office.

The sophomore said in the lawsuit that after an initial interview with outside investigator Sheila Vance in November, she did not get responses to her repeated questions about the investigation during the rest of the fall semester. The woman became chronically depressed, worried, guilt ridden and ashamed, which led her to become depressed and in January be diagnosed with PTSD, the lawsuit says.

In January, Dutton explained that witnesses were not signing off their official written statements, which delayed the investigation, the lawsuit says, The suit did not disclose why the witnesses were reluctant to sign. According to the complaint, Dutton suggested the woman encourage the witnesses to come to the center and sign.

She seeks compensatory damages for psychological and emotional distress and damages, reimbursement for her family's out-of-pocket damages, costs and attorneys fees.

Stockton officials did not immediately return a request for comment about the lawsuit on Wednesday.

After the initial suits were filed against Stockton last July, university President Harvey Kesselman said the school was proud of the students who spoke about cases of sexual abuse.

"As a university, we will continue, from orientation to graduation, to build a culture where we respect and care for each other. We will continue to work with law enforcement to hold predators accountable," Kesselman said at the time.

Stockton spokeswoman Diane D'Amico said the school has taken several steps to help students report sexual assault, including resources for a 24-hour sexual assault hotline for students and developing an app informs students how to report sexual violence on campus and obtain related resources.

The school has also provided enhanced education for students about sexual violence education and support resources through a program called Culture of Respect, which includes programs focused on sexual assault, domestic violence awareness and healthy masculinities.

D'Amico said in an email early Wednesday afternoon the school had not yet officially been served with the complaint and referred questions about the previous suits to the state Attorney General's Office, which is representing the public school.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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