Virginia Tech Student Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit

In a case that has often been pointed to as an example of university campus court systems gone awry, Virginia Tech agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement to a former student who accused the school of mishandling her case after she accused two football players of raping her in a dormitory room.

Christy Brzonkala had accused Virginia Tech football players Antonio Morrison and James Crawford of sexual assault. She later sued the school for $4.3 million claiming that Virginia Tech had created a hostile environment toward her and discriminated against her by favoring the football players in campus judicial proceedings.

Neither of the players faced criminal charges. Morrison admitted having had sex with Brzonkala but said it was consensual. Crawford denied having had sexual contact with her.

Brzonkala also sued the Morrison and Crawford under the federal Violence Against Women Act. An appellate court ruled against Brzonkala. In January, the Supreme Court heard an appeal in the case. The settlement does not affect that case and a decision by the Supreme Court is expected later this spring.