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Former Student Claims In Lawsuit Stony Brook University Mishandled Sexual Assault Case

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Stony Brook University discouraged a woman claiming to have been sexually assaulted from reporting the alleged crime to Suffolk County police and then had her cross-examine her alleged attacker at a university disciplinary hearing, the former student claims in a lawsuit.

The 22-year-old woman says she was sexually assaulted in a dorm room in January 2014 and left with numerous bruises, including on her neck, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

According to the lawsuit, the woman reported the incident to the university two days later. But instead of advising her to file a report with Suffolk police, school officials had her question the male student at disciplinary board meeting, the woman's lawyer, Amy Attias, said.

Former Student Claims In Lawsuit Stony Brook University Discouraged Her From Reporting Alleged Sexual Assault To Suffolk Police

The board found that the accused was not responsible.

"In her senior year, as she was studying for final exams, she was preparing a sexual assault case against her own attacker," Attias said.

"They didn't give her the correct guidance," the lawyer added. "They didn't give her respect. They didn't give her emotional support. And ultimately, they made her cross-examine her own attacker and allowed him to question her."

The woman is suing the university and the alleged attacker. The lawsuit, filed last month, seeks monetary damages and a court order abolishing the practice of having sexual-assault victims "prosecute their own cases and to cross-examine and be cross-examined by their assailants," The Journal News reported.

The school said it complies with federal policy, which enables a complainant to choose to confront the accused assailant or have the university present the case on the complainant's behalf.

"Stony Brook University takes all claimed violations of Title IX very seriously and is committed to the prevention of sexual assault and violence on campus. Maintaining an environment that is free from discrimination and sexual violence is essential to creating and fostering a learning and working environment in which all members of our community can thrive," the school's statement said.

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