News & Headlines

Title IX lawsuit alleges that SMU provided inadequate medical treatment for women's rowing team


Dallas News

Jan. 19, 2018

A Title IX lawsuit filed Friday alleges that SMU provided inadequate medical and training resources to its women's rowing team, leading to lifelong injuries for eight former and current student-athletes.

The plaintiffs say they suffered labral tears in one or both hips that will require multiple hip replacements throughout their lives. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas, alleges that these are rare injuries even in the rowing community and that the SMU medical staff provided substandard care that would not have been found acceptable on a men's athletic team.

"We know of at least 15 girls or more possibly just in the last eight years with the same exact injury," plaintiff Kelly McGowan said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. "I am almost positive that if there were 15 football players or 15 basketball players that had the same injury by the same coaches in eight years, I do not believe [SMU] would have let that go on."

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Female Rowers File Civil Lawsuit Against SMU


CBS News 11 Dallas

Story Excerpt - January 19, 2018

Clouse and McGowan are now part of a team of eight current and former SMU rowing team players suing the university on claims of negligence and discrimination. “I stand before you unable to walk or sit without pain. Poor coaching, training technique and inadequate supervision led us to this place,” McGowan said Friday morning.

The eight women claim SMU violated Title IX rules, requiring equal treatment for men and women in college athletic programs based on the school’s investment in coaching, training and medical oversight.

“SMU had the opportunity and ability to correct this, to provide equality to its rowers. It chose not to,” attorney Alex Zalkin said during a news conference for four of the eight women listed in the suit.

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Judge orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to release molestation files

San DiegoReader. 8/30/17

"In a June 17, 2017, email, Lopez’s attorney Devin Storey accuses the Watchtower of withholding documents that his client needs to “establish Watchtower’s practice of protecting molesters from prosecution.” The struggle for documents is not isolated to San Diego courtrooms but is playing out in several countries. Watchtower’s policies of requiring more than one eyewitness to the abuse before launching an investigation; of forcing the abused, often young children, to confront their abuser; and of prohibiting members from contacting law enforcement with complaints of sexual abuse have created what one former member and outspoken critic of the Watchtower Tract Society, William Bowen, calls a “pedophile’s paradise.”


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A Massachusetts Teen Is Suing Her School After She Was Allegedly Sexually Assaulted By Two Classmates

8/25/17  BuzzFeed News "A woman is suing a Massachusetts school district and its administrators for failing to protect her against two classmates who she said sexually assaulted her when she was a sophomore in high school.  The woman, now 19, was 15 when she said she was raped and sexually assaulted by two male classmates during a sleepover at her friend’s house.

The woman’s federal lawsuit — filed on Friday in Massachusetts and provided first to BuzzFeed News — alleges that administrators at Newburyport High School violated school policies as well as Title IX, the gender equity law, after she reported the rape and subsequent harassment she experienced.

The woman told BuzzFeed News she is filing the lawsuit now, four years later, because “all I can think about most nights before I go to sleep is that there’s another 15-year-old girl going through the same thing.” Attorney Alex Zalkin is representing this victim.

CLICK HERE to read full article.    

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Lawyer: Baylor settles with woman who said rape was ignored

AP News. 8/16/17 AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The first woman to sue Baylor University over allegations the nation’s largest Baptist school ignored or mishandled rape allegations has settled her case, her attorney said Tuesday.

Jasmin Hernandez sued Baylor in early 2016, two months before the school released the results of an internal investigation that found Baylor had mishandled rape or assault cases for years and the football program acted as if it was “above the rules.”

Read Full Story HERE  

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Ex-Baylor Student Settles Title IX Lawsuit with School

Sports Illustrated. 8/16/17

"A former Baylor student who was sexually assaulted by a football player settled her Title iX lawsuit against the school, reported. Jasmin Hernandez reached a financial settlement with the school last weekend, according to her attorney."

Read Full Story HERE.  

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Victim of Sexual Assault by Police Officer Files Lawsuit against City of Helena, MT

Former Confidential Informant Files Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit Against the City of Helena, County of Lewis & Clark And Former Police Officer Matt Thompson

Lawsuit Alleges that Authorities Were Negligent in their Oversight of Officer Matt Thompson Were Aware of Sexual Abuse of Confidential Informants

Helena, MT.   The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C. and The McKeon Doud Law Firm, P.C. announced the filing of a civil lawsuit on June 3, 2016 against the City of Helena, County of Lewis & Clark, and former Helena Police Department Officer Matt Thompson on behalf of a victim of sexual assault at the hands of Matt Thompson.  The victim, named in the lawsuit as S.H. in order to protect her identity, worked as a confidential informant for the Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF).

It was through her work as a confidential informant that she came to know Officer Thompson.  The lawsuit claims that Officer Thompson forced S.H. to engage in repeated sexual acts while he was both on and off duty.  He threatened S.H. with criminal charges and told her that her kids would be taken away if she did not comply.  He became increasingly physically abusive of S.H. as time progressed.

The lawsuit additionally alleges that the City and County knew of Officer Thompson’s dangerous and exploitive propensities and failed to use reasonable care in investigating and retaining him as an officer.  Once confronted with evidence that he could not refute, Officer Thompson admitted to having sexual relations with multiple confidential informants, including S.H.  Officer Thompson was allowed to resign from his position.  No formal complaint was submitted to revoke Officer Thompson’s POST certificates, nor were any criminal charges pursued against him.

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Media Statement of Jasmin Hernandez re: Firing of Baylor Coach Briles

May 26, 2016

Media Statement by Jasmin Hernandez: In Response to Baylor University Actions On President Ken Starr and Coach Art Briles

Attorney Alex Zalkin and Jasmin Hernandez announcing Title IX lawsuit

“I am pleased to see that Baylor University has finally taken action to terminate head Football Coach Art Briles and demote University President Ken Starr for their failure to protect students like myself from sexual predators on the Baylor campus. I was raped by a Baylor football player in 2012 and that player is now in jail for his horrific sexual assault on me and other students.

These University leaders have known about sexual predators on the football team for years and never took actions to protect students. The University never offered me or other victims any support when we reported these sexual assaults and that lack of support led me to drop out of Baylor and suffer emotionally ever since.

I am glad that my Title IX civil lawsuit against Baylor, filed by my attorneys at the Zalkin Law Firm in March, has helped to call attention to the failure of Baylor to support the legal rights of victims of sexual assault at the university.

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Former Baylor Rape Victim, Jasmin Hernandez, Title IX Civil Lawsuit  Contributes to Demotion of President Ken Starr and Termination of Football Coach Art Briles

The Lawsuit Named Coach Art Briles and Ian McCaw, Athletic Director as Defendants In the Civil Claim

San Diego, CA – The recently filed Title IX civil lawsuit against the Baylor University Board, Briles and McCaw on behalf of Jasmin Hernandez, a former Baylor University student who was raped by Tevin Elliott, a Baylor football player, has served as fuel for the Baylor Board of Regents action today to demote UniversityPresident Ken Starr and terminate head Football Coach Art Briles.  The lawsuit claims that Baylor failed to comply with Title IX requirements to investigate and support students who are victims of campus sexual assault.  The complaint was filed in March in the United States District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division.   The lawsuit alleges that Football Coach, Art Briles, was well aware of prior sexual assaults by Elliot and failed to take any action to protect other students from this predator.

This week, as news of the Board of Regents actions to possibly terminate or demote President Starr came out, Jasmin has stepped forward to offer her comments to the news media about her case and what she endured as a sexual assault victim at Baylor.

“Jasmin Hernandez showed incredible courage by publicly stepping forward and filing this high profile complaint against the University,” said Irwin Zalkin, attorney for Hernandez.  “As one of several victims of sexual assault by Baylor football players, her lawsuit added to the growing pressure on the University to take action.  Ken Starr, of all people, should have taken action sooner to prevent sexual harassment and assault against female students, and Art Briles should have been terminated long ago.”

The civil complaint outlines the details of alleged sexual assault and rape suffered by the Plaintiff, Jasmin Hernandez, while she was a student at Baylor University.  Ms. Hernandez was a Baylor freshman at the time she was raped by Tevin Elliott, at an off campus location in 2012.   Elliott was eventually charged and convicted of the rape and is presently serving 20 years in prison.  Ms. Hernandez was one of six women who reported that they were either raped or assaulted -- in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012 -- by Elliott, who was convicted on two counts of sexual assault in January 2014 for the incident involving Ms. Hernandez.

The civil complaint details how the Plaintiff reported the rape and sexual assault to university authorities who refused to investigate, and never offered any support or assistance to Jasmin. She also reported the sexual assault to Baylor Campus Police.  She contacted the Baylor Student Health Center to seek counseling and was told there was no one who could help her.

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Irwin Zalkin CNN Interview On Baylor Scandal

The Baylor University campus sexual assault scandal is finally getting the attention of the Baylor Board who is considering the fate of President Ken Star.  Irwin Zalkin and our client Jasmin Hernandez were featured in the CNN News story.

CLICK HERE to see CNN story.

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Alex Zalkin Announces Lawsuit Against Baylor University

Zalkin Law Firm Attorney, Alex Zalkin and his client Jasmine Hernandez discuss the Title IX  campus sexual assault civil lawsuit against Baylor University in this YouTube video presentation.

CLICK HERE to watch video.

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Baylor rape victim sues university over sex assaults

(KCEN) WACO -- A rape victim has filed a Title IX and negligence lawsuit against Baylor University.  The civil suit claims Baylor officials were intentionally “indifferent” to complaints made by women sexually assaulted by former football player, and convicted rapist, Tevin Elliot.

The plaintiff, Jasmin Hernandez, has hired the Zalkin Law Firm out of San Diego, California, which specializes in representing victims of sexual violence.

CLICK HERE it read article.

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Allegations of indifference at Baylor University

ESPN. March 31, 2016.

Watch the ESPN interview with Zalkin Law firm client, Jasmine Hernandez, who was raped by a Baylor University football player while she was a student at the school.

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Baylor Sexual Assault Victim Files Title IX Suit Against School

ESPN, March 31, 2016

"A former Baylor University student who reported to campus officials that she had been raped by former Bears football player Tevin Elliott filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university Wednesday, claiming the school knew Elliott had a history of assaults, failed to protect her and other women, and ignored her when she sought help after her assault.

The Zalkin Law Firm filed this campus sexual assault lawsuit on behalf of our client Jasmine Hernandez.

CLICK to read full story.

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San Diego Union Tribune, March 29, 2016

Here is an excellent profile of the Zalkin Law Firm and the work done by Alex Zalkin and Irwin Zalkin and the firm's attorneys to represent victims of childhood sexual abuse and campus sexual assault.

While Zalkin has represented victims of clergy abuse for more than a decade, Alex Zalkin, his 31-year-old son, who joined the firm about five years ago, has focused on university cases. "I think there is an institutional problem with how they view sexual assault," the younger Zalkin said.

"I think historically it's been marginalized and ignored. There is a mind-set that needs to be addressed, that needs to be changed, about how women are treated on campus."

CLICK HERE to read full article.

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Harvard Grad Sues School Over Handling of Campus Sexual Assault Claim

Boston Globe. February 17, 2016

Alyssa Leader, who graduated in 2015, called for a culture change at Harvard so others in her situation will have their cases taken more seriously. “Harvard has an institutional culture of ignoring and silencing people like me,” Leader said Wednesday at a press conference in the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Harvard Square.

CLICK HERE to read story.  

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Lawsuit Accuses Harvard Of Mishandling Sex Assault Complaint

CBS Boston. February 17, 2016

Coverage of Zalkin Law Firm announcement of civil lawsuit against Harvard University on behalf of victim of campus sexual assault. 

Click Here to See Story.

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ABC7 News.

 The Zalkin Law Firm announced the filing of a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a rape victim whose rape kit was never tested by the San Francisco police.  

CLICK HERE for full coverage.

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ABC7 News. January 12,2016Zalkin Law Firm client, Heather Marlowe explains  how SFPD failed to investigate her rape case and test her rape kit.CLICK HERE to read full story and see video coverage.
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Former Student Sues UCSB Over Sexual Assault Case

Santa Barbara Independent December 18, 2015

"Accompanied by her lawyer and father, a former UCSB student announced Thursday at a press conference that she has filed a federal complaint against the UC Regents. Hayley Moore claims UCSB failed to investigate her sexual assault by a fellow UCSB student, even after Moore reported the incident to multiple campus officials. She is suing for damages, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees, among other costs."


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