FGCU student goes after her rapist when police, SAO say they can’t help

A young woman used the pain from the worst night of her life as energy to hold accountable the person she claims is responsible. She did so after the police and the state attorney said they couldn’t help her.

Police told her there wasn’t enough evidence, the State Attorney’s Office told her they wouldn’t prosecute, and for 14 months, she was told next to nothing by her school, Florida Gulf Coast University.

“Now I feel like the only way to grab someone’s attention is to look them right in the face and say I was raped and no one is helping me.”

She wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. WINK News reporter Dannielle Garcia first met this woman we’ll call “Kay” in September 2020. She was obviously angry, and direct, but not yet ready to show her face.

Fast forward to today: “I have nothing to be ashamed about.”

“Kay” claims a fellow student raped her in September 2019. Three months later, she started to push police and the university under Title IX to hold accountable the man she claimed raped her.

Title IX is a federal law that demands universities take steps to end sexual violence.

FGCU’s Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance investigated and in January of this year, sent “Kay” a letter saying it “found sufficient evidence that the respondent subjected the complainant to nonconsensual sex as well as sexual exploitation.”

“I just wanted to scream ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops,” “Kay” said.

Who knew a piece of paper could carry so much weight?

The investigation concluded the man “Kay” claimed raped her lied during questioning and, as stated in the letter, “was very good at the lie, and therefore, his credibility is questionable.”

For months, he ignored multiple requests asking him to participate in the investigation. When asked why, “he stated it was because he was afraid,” the letter says.

“And you know, I just find that so ironic because I was afraid that morning. I’ve been afraid this whole time,” “Kay” said.

She knows what happened to her sounds familiar. She met a guy at a party, they had sex, and the next morning, things got violent.

“Kay” told WINK News last September that the guy choked her, then raped her. Afterward, he took out his phone, took a video of her and shared it on Snapchat.

“I was embarrassed, I had said nothing through the whole act. I was terrified,” she said.

“He panned over and he lifted my leg and he said, ‘Clean up on aisle nine.'”

“Kay” immediately told her roommates. The next day, she went to FGCU’s Title IX office. Not to file charges, she said, but to get the guy to delete the video.

He did.

Then, “Kay” got a rape kit done.

During the next three months, she kept seeing her rapist on campus. That made her angry, so in late December of 2019, she went to the police.

“They ask me who was there? How much were you drinking? How much was he drinking? How late did the party go? Was it consensual? The next day, what about this wasn’t consensual? Did you say no?”

It took more than a year, but the FGCU investigation found she “consistently told the same story about the events of the night in question.”

She feels vindicated by that.

What does she want now?

“When it comes to the dean, I just hope it’s not a slap on the wrist.”

But in her opinion, that’s what happened.

FGCU suspended the man who the university said attacked “Kay,” until August 2024. He must then perform 75 hours of community services before being allowed back on campus.

WINK News tried to talk to him many times through the course of its investigation for this story, but he never returned any of our calls.

Police and the SAO both said there’s no chance they’ll pursue criminal charges even after seeing the FGCU report. They’re sticking to their “insufficient evidence” reasoning.

We asked “Kay” if this was all worth it, going after the guy who assaulted her on her own.

She said it was hard but absolutely worth it.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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