NJ college can’t be sued over ‘rock, paper, scissors’ rape
NEWARK — A federal appeals court has dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by a former college student who alleges that she was raped at a fraternity party by students who played the game "rock, paper, scissors" to decide who would assault her first.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held in a ruling published Monday that Ramapo College and its officials are immune in their official capacity from being sued on the grounds of creating a dangerous environment.
The court held that a claim that individual officials displayed deliberate indifference can go forward.
Five people were charged and two sentenced to prison after the 2014 attack at the Mahwah-based school.
The unidentified woman said she was served numerous drinks and assaulted at a fraternity member's campus apartment during which two male students played "rock, paper, scissors" before one of them assaulted her.
Afterward, one of the perpetrators drove her past a campus checkpoint, used a friend's identification card to enter a freshman dorm and took her past a security desk even though neither lived there.
Prosecutors said the first man and another man sexually assaulted her while others watched or videotaped.
The appeals court's ruling rejected the lawsuit's contention that various public safety and security employees of Ramapo had the opportunity to intervene and stop her assault.
The victim "was not placed in more danger by Ramapo employees," the three-judge panel wrote. "At the moments that she may have come into contact with Ramapo's employees, she was already in the custody of her assailant. At most, Jones has alleged that Ramapo employees should have done more to protect her from a private actor, which is outside the scope of the state-created danger doctrine."
The lawsuit also names the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and several individual students and fraternity members.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)