LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Over 100 victims are part of a lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday against a huge number of state and local officials for failing to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses — and in some cases, allegedly protecting abusers by allowing them to transfer other schools.
A lawsuit only tells one side of a story.
The suit is being filed by three plaintiffs only referred to by their initials, as well as “Jane Does 1-100,” according to the suit, which you can read in its entirety at the bottom of this post.
The suit names the following persons and entities as defendants:
- The Lousiana Board of Regents
- The LSU Board of Supervisors
- University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors
- Lafayette Consolidated Government
- Lafayette Police Department
- Former Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover
- UL-Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie
- LSU President William F. Tate IV
- Former LSU President F. King Alexander
- Former LSU President Tom Galligan
- Louisiana Tech President Les Guice
- Other police chiefs in the jurisdictions of Jane Does 1-100
Specifically, the lawsuit claims the officials failed to protect students from sexual abuse under a law passed in 2015 that specifically outlines sexual abuse prevention and protection policies among law enforcement and the state’s universities.
The suit also specifically refers to accused sexual abuser Victor Daniel Silva, who was first accused of rape on LSU’s campus in 2015. Silva was able to transfer between multiple Louisiana colleges — including UL-Lafayette and La. Tech — despite the accusations against him. The suit alleges none of the universities communicated that Silva was accused of multiple sexual abuses.
“Throughout his roughly six-year tenure as a student at universities across Louisiana, Victor Silva left a wake of sexual assault allegations and victims – yet never missed a semester,” states the lawsuit.
The lawsuit argues that if the defendants had followed the 2015 law, the victims would “not have been put in harm’s way.”
The suit also states there were multiple failures of communication between the universities and law enforcement as various accusations continued to be filed against Silva. The suit also accuses law enforcement of failing to treat the accusations against Silva seriously, in some instances closing cases without charges.
The suit also details specific sexual abuse allegations against Silva by at least three of the plaintiffs — specifically the ones only identified by their initials. The suit details PTSD issues among some of the victims and in one case, accuses LSU of expelling a victim for failing grades, which the suit argues were caused by the abuse. The suit alleges that LSU expelled the victim “in retaliation for reporting a sexual assault.”
It is unclear how many of the 100 Jane Does are also alleging abuse by Silva, specifically, though the suit states that some of those victims were abused by him.