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North Idaho College Settles With Former Student After Claim of Rape, Title IX Violation

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The former student who alleged she was gang raped near the NIC campus was 17 at the time. - BW STAFF
  • BW Staff
  • The former student who alleged she was gang raped near the NIC campus was 17 at the time.
An Idaho woman has reached a settlement with North Idaho College after accusing the school of
violating federal law by refusing to investigate what she alleged was a gang rape that occurred near campus. The settlement of the lawsuit against NIC came three years after the alleged attack, which the victim—who was then 17 years old—said took place Nov. 16, 2013 when she was raped by three male students.

Based on scores of NIC notes and emails obtained by Boise Weekly, college officials including NIC's Resident Life director, counseling specialist and vice president of Student Services were aware of the allegation. Rather than addressing the reported rape, the college instead chose to focus on the alleged victim's own worsening behavior.

Boise-based attorney Rebecca Rainey, who has been representing the former student, confirmed Thursday morning a settlement had been reached. Officials with NIC said the settlement was procured through its insurer—Idaho Counties Risk Management Program—for $75,000. According to college administrators, the settlement was reached "to limit the costs and distraction associated with lengthy litigation."

"That goes both ways," said Rainey. "When a girl has gone through what my client went through, standard operating procedure for a case like this could have seen all of her medical records of the past five years put into the public record. That's a horrifying prospect for anybody, particularly a 20-year-old girl."

Rainey said her client was "optimistic for her future," adding, "She really wanted to be heard. And yes, she feels like she was heard. She wants to live her life and get this behind her."

NIC, in its prepared statement regarding the lawsuit, used the former student's name three times. While the college was within its rights to do so, Rainey said that didn't make it proper.

"The process of litigation is victim-blaming all over again," she said. "Some will say, 'Let's dig up everything from your past and explain it to a jury that it was your fault.' That's one of the reasons why things are settled early."