A series of lawsuits against the Stockton University reveal the violent environment of sexual assault that students are exposed to.
The lawsuits filed this summer on behalf of a student alleged assaults by current and former students on as well as off campus.
The latest lawsuit, the fifth one, filed by victim, who was identified only as M. H., alleged that she went to Karen Matsinger, who is the university’s assistant director of counseling services, after she attempted to suicide.
In April 2016, the victim attempted to kill herself after she was sexually assaulted at the university by a resident.
The suspect “illegally provided her alcohol while she was underage to the point of incapacitation due to consuming both alcohol and cough syrup.”
After the incident, she sought help from Karen. The incident left her shaken and she sought help from the school’s suicide hot line and the counselor’s son Jesse Matsinger, 21, – who was also her friend.
The lawsuit continued that eventually Jesse raped and bit her at an off-campus house in 2017 after a party. M. H. is now demanding compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be set by a jury.
Matsinger, who was aware of the assault, invited M. H. to a party so she could have a drink with his friends. The woman agreed and showed up at the party where she fell asleep after having a few drinks. When she woke up, she found Matsinger next to her in a bed.
The two then began having oral sex, however, Matsinger reportedly became violent and bit her arm. The action revived previous assaults and M. H. told the 21-year-old that she wanted him to stop while crying.
However, Matsinger didn’t stop and he “raped her by penetrating her violently” and M.H. said she “found herself frozen and unable to speak or resist.”
The victim once again reported the rape and university investigation later revealed that Matsinger was responsible for “off-campus behaviors,” however; he was not guilty of sexual misconduct or harm.
Therefore, he was not charged with a crime.
She also alleged the university didn’t take her allegations seriously the first time it happened.
Similar lawsuits were recently filed where in one case the victim said she was drugged and repeatedly raped a party which was hosted by fraternity Pi Kappa Phi – which is unauthorized. In another lawsuit, a young woman said she was drugged and raped by three men at a party by the same fraternity.
University spokeswoman Diane D’Amico said the incidents happened at a private house therefore they have nothing to do with the university.
President Harvey Kesselman released a statement the said, “That any student on our campus should have to fear for their safety is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
“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. For any student who has been victimized, or knows of someone who has, please do not remain silent. No student should fear coming forward. We will stand with you,” the statement added.
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