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Transgender Woman Claims She Was Booted From Harvard After Reporting Sexual Assault

Transgender Woman Claims She Was Rejected From Harvard After Reporting Sexual Assault
Source: William B. Plowman/Getty Images; Getty Images

Mar. 7 2019, Published 9:49 p.m. ET

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A transgender woman is suing Harvard University, claiming that not only was she sexually assaulted by an admissions officer, but that reporting the incident caused her to get rejected from the famed school.

The woman, addressed only as Jane Doe in court documents obtained by, alleges that while she attended an LGBT Open House event at the Harvard Business School in 2017, a male admissions officer forcibly kissed her.

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“Plaintiff was shocked, confused, scared, and overwhelmed by the advance,” the lawsuit states. “She felt vulnerable as an applicant to the university having been so brazenly assaulted by an admission officer at a sanctioned admissions event.”

The woman reported the incident, but the school apparently decided not to investigate. Just days later, the woman received the official word that her application to the school had been denied.

In February 2018, she sent an email expressing her concern that she was discriminated against because of her transgender status. But Harvard admission officers said that had nothing to do with her rejection.

“Harvard alleged Plaintiff was not a competitive applicant based on her academic record, test scores, work history, and personal statements,” according to court documents. “However, Harvard’s position statement did not substantively address or respond to (the) October 2017 assault. Harvard additionally provided no response or information as to why those incidents were not investigated other than to blatantly deny they occurred.”

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The lawsuit states Harvard’s refusal to investigate was a violation of Title IX, a nationwide policy that “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the University’s programs or activities.”

The suit also alleges that the woman was “retaliated against by Defendants” for reporting the attack, which Harvard employees vehemently deny.

She’s asking a jury for a “permanent injunction requiring Harvard to conduct all admissions in a manner that does not discriminate against transgender students and individuals,” and an unknown amount of money for her troubles.

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