- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah State University and a fraternity have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former student accusing the school and organization of failing to act on reports of sexual assault against a fraternity brother before he raped her.

The student, who filed the lawsuit in November, said officials knew about allegations of assault and heavy alcohol use at the fraternity parties but didn’t step in before she was she was raped by a fraternity brother who had been accused several times before.

The Logan-based university and Illinois-based Sigma Chi filed documents in court last week denying the woman’s allegations. A judge has not yet ruled on the request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Utah State said in court documents that it received an anonymous allegation of assault. But if the school learned any allegations against the fraternity brother were true, he could have been expelled, the university said.

The fraternity brother, 28-year-old Jason Relopez, is serving a year in prison after pleading guilty to reduced charges of attempted rape and attempted forcible sexual abuse in the attack on the plaintiff in 2015, and another woman. Police last year said they investigated a third allegation, though charges weren’t filed in that case.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman who filed the lawsuit because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

In her lawsuit, the woman said other women previously reported to the school being sexually assaulted by Relopez and that university officials spoke with him in 2014, warning him he was “on USU’s radar” and would be disciplined if the allegations were proven.

She also said the fraternity knew he was a risk to others, especially women, when intoxicated.

Utah State said it had an anonymous allegation of assault, but if it had learned of “any of the allegations being true, Relopez would have been potentially subjected to the penalty of expulsion from school.”

The school also denied the woman’s claim that the university failed to provide her with services to overcome the trauma of the assault so she could continue studying at the school, as required by federal Title IX. The woman has since transferred to another university.

In its response to the lawsuit, Utah State’s Sigma Chi chapter denied that a dangerous environment existed at its fraternity house or that women were assaulted in the house or during the fraternity’s social events.

An initial court hearing for the lawsuit is expected to be scheduled soon.

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