ST. LOUIS — A former student is suing a university over an alleged sexual assault, racial discrimination and retaliation.

The unnamed student filed a complaint on Jan. 1 in the St. Louis Circuit Court against Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) and Morris Lewis alleging that the defendants violated the Missouri Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that in August 2015 while enrolled at HSSU he was subjected to severe and unwelcome conduct based on his African American race, including but not limited to sexual assault and subsequent sexual harassment allegedly made by Lewis, who was employed by HSSU as a campus police officer. The plaintiff also claims HSSU did not take prompt and effective remedial action, but instead condoned, ratified, and/or authorized the discrimination and harassment. 

As a result, the plaintiff claims he experienced severe emotional distress in the form of anxiety and major depression. 

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because Lewis allegedly assaulted and subsequently harassed him while HSSU failed to take prompt and effective remedial action over the harassment and discrimination, and showed complete indifference to and/or conscious disregard for the rights of others.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury; and seeks judgment for compensatory, nominal and punitive damages in such an amount in excess of $25,000 as is fair and reasonable for costs, interest and for such other, and further relief deemed just and proper. He is represented by Taylor A. Pike and Thomas J. SanFilippo of Thomas SanFilippo & Associates in St. Louis, and Jeremy D. Hollingshead and Katie M. Rhoten of Hollingshead & Dudley in St. Louis.

St. Louis Circuit Court case number 1822-CC00003




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