LOS ANGELES—A lawsuit was filed Dec. 21 by a woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted while intoxicated by a sober Mu Theta chapter fraternity member during a party near the University of Southern California (USC) in 2020, stripping her of her virginity.
The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit brought against Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, Mu Theta Chapter at USC; Sam National Properties LLC; USC Housing LLC; Sam Property Management LLC; Jero Enterprises Inc.—which does business as Brad Management—and Doe’s alleged assailant, Peter Hwang.
Mu Theta Chapter’s principal place of business is in the 900 block of West 28th Street, the suit states.
Doe alleges negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She seeks at least $5 million.
Representatives for the defendants could not be immediately reached.
Doe, who is five feet, three inches tall and weighs 135 pounds, and a girlfriend were both drunk when they arrived at the Mu Theta party on Jan. 25, 2020, the suit states.
“At the time that she entered the party, plaintiff was underage and a virgin for religious reasons,” the suit states.
Doe continued to consume alcohol at the party and became so drunk did not know where she was and was unable to consent to sex, the suit states.
Hwang, a Mu Theta Chapter member, was sober and had never met Doe before when he used a martial arts move to subdue her after forcing her into a gymnasium, pushed her face onto a mat on the floor, and sexually assaulted her, the suit alleges.
Doe suffered a swollen, black eye; hand and fingerprint marks on her shoulders and arms; abrasions and scratch marks on her arms; and a urinary tract infection, according to the suit. She eventually got up and left the gym, but vomited through the night, the suit states.
“Mu Theta Chapter fraternity members … directly contacted plaintiff while a police investigation was pending, attempting to dissuade her from pressing charges,” the suit alleges.
In addition, several USC students urged Doe not to seek criminal charges because the fraternity “has fun parties and her doing so would shut the fraternity down,” according to the complaint.
USC’s Title IX investigator found Hwang violated the university’s sexual violence and sexual assault harassment policy and the school’s student code of conduct, and he was dismissed from USC in July 2020, the suit states.
Doe has difficulty sleeping and experiences nightmares about the sexual assault and the subsequent teasing and bullying, according to the suit.
Doe receives counseling in order to cope with the trauma, has lost interest in her studies, and will probably transfer to another school, the suit states.