Lawyers for WPI says raped student should have protected herself

WORCESTER (WHDH) - A Worcester Polytech student said the school did not keep her safe when she was raped while studying abroad while a lawyer for their side said she should have protected herself.

The WPI alum was studying abroad in Puerto Rico when she was raped by a security guard in her dorm back in 2012. She is now suing WPI for negligence, saying her school failed to keep her safe. A lawyer for the school’s former insurance company disagreed, saying she had some responsibility to keep herself safe.

“It’s 3 a.m., she’s intoxicated and suddently this fellow asks her to go to the roof and look at the light,” said attorney David McGough. “She disregards her training – don’t go to secluded places, don’t go to places you don’t know, don’t go with people you don’t know, don’t drink to excess because that’s going to affect your ability to make reasonable decisions.”

The woman’s attorney said her actions should not be looked at because this is about the school’s employee.

“This person was a security officer, he was controlled by the university, placed in a position of authority over and his only job was to protect her,” said attorney Audrey Poore.

WPI tweeted that it “has never and would never blame a victim for being raped.” The school’s former insurance company said when discussing negligence, it is fair to ask who was actually negligent.

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