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Marquesa C. Jackson-Locklear, the mother of a young woman who killed herself after her university failed to properly investigate her rape claim, has filed a lawsuit against the school, NJ.com reports.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed on September 8, Cherelle Jovanna Locklear was found hanging by a neck tie in a dorm room. Cherelle had allegedly been raped at the William Paterson University Sigma Pi Fraternity house around September 25, 2015, but did not report it immediately.

Cherelle previously attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. She was hospitalized for five days. Marquesa claims Cherelle then reported the rape to Theresa A. Bivaletz, coordinator of William Paterson’s Victim Services.

“Cherelle described the circumstances of the rape and identified the perpetrator and directed Bivaletz to report the rape to the university police department,” the suit states. “Even after receiving the report of the sexual assault, the university police department utterly failed to perform an appropriate and thorough investigation.”

The lawsuit also alleges school security was aware of the rape, however, they “collectively failed to act as required by law to investigate the assault and protect Cherelle’s safety.”

A spokesperson for the university released this statement:

“We are, of course, saddened by the loss of a student under any circumstances, and particularly when the loss comes about by suicide. We are aware of the lawsuit filed by the student’s mother and are unable to comment on any such legal matters. The university will continue to focus on the safety and well-being of all of its members and offers a variety of counseling resources for students who seek help with personal challenges.”

Cherelle’s fellow students held a silent protest to demand justice.

SOURCE: NJ.com | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter, Facebook


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