State Asks Judge to Dismiss Lawsuit From Former ISU Student

Jan 10, 2018

The State of Iowa asked a Polk County judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a former Iowa State University student alleging ISU did not properly investigate her sexual assault complaint.

Iowa Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson says the lawsuit should be dismissed because the events described fall outside the two-year statute of limitations. The alleged sexual misconduct occurred in 2013.

Roxanne Conlin, attorney for the plaintiff, says the claims are valid because her client thought her assault was being investigated until November 2015, when she learned ISU had declined to reopen the case. 

The state and Conlin also disagree about whether a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling supports the former student’s equal protection claim. That ruling--which Conlin argued for before the state's highest court--allows citizens to file lawsuits against government officials who violate individual rights protected by the Iowa Constitution. 

Meanwhile, Robinette Kelley, the former ISU Title IX coordinator named in this case, is suing the university over claims of discrimination and retaliation. Her lawsuit claims ISU administrators prevented her from doing her job and then fired her. 

The presiding judge said she will rule on the state's motion to dismiss "as soon as possible."