Ex-SAU student settles, withdraws lawsuit against university

A former Southern Arkansas University student has settled a lawsuit with the university in Magnolia alleging SAU acted with “deliberate indifference” when she reported being sexually assaulted in 2015.

The woman’s filed a Title IX lawsuit in 2018 that said SAU began “reinvestigating” her allegations only after she transferred to another school in 2016 and hired an attorney.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the woman will receive $55,000 and up to an additional $5,000 for legal expenses fees from SAU’s insurance company, according to a document provided to the newspaper by the university under Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act.

The woman and SAU filed a motion Thursday in federal court in Texarkana to dismiss her lawsuit.

SAU spokeswoman Caleigh Moyer said the university “admits no fault in this case and believes the incident was handled in a very fair and caring manner … and in compliance with Title IX.”

Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal money. Schools under Title IX are also expected to respond to reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

“The plaintiff is happy that we resolved the issues,” said George Rozzell, the woman’s attorney.