Lawsuit: UNM did nothing to protect student after rape allegation

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The University of New Mexico is facing a new lawsuit after a woman claims UNM did nothing to protect her after she reported she had been raped by another student. 

It’s been more than two years since Levi Monagle’s client was a student at UNM.

“This has changed the entire early trajectory of her life,” Monagle said.

In February 2016, the woman claims she was raped at Lobo Village by UNM football player Nias Martin. She underwent a sexual assault exam the same day and reported the alleged rape to the UNM Police Department.

According to court documents, when police spoke with Martin he admitted the woman repeatedly told him “no” and to “stop” while he was having sex with her.    

“They had a confession to the elements of the crime. They had DNA evidence and so we were dismayed that criminal charges against him were not pursued,” Monagle said.

UNM also never disciplined Martin and the incident never impacted his football season. The Bernalillo County DA’s office said it didn’t pursue charges because the woman declined to take part in the case after she withdrew from the university and moved out of state.

“We’re trying to figure out whether or not if that was something that was not communicated by our client, or if that was just something that was taken for granted,” Monagle said. “I would not be surprised if she felt she had not been heard and just withdrew as a result.”

That’s because, according to Monagle, it was months before UNM’s Office of Equal Opportunity began looking into the claims. And during that time Monagle said his client was harassed.

“We’ve alleged at the direction of the head of the football program,” Monagle said. “That was a finding that was made or at least investigated by UNM on a couple different occasions now, so it’s not something we’re pulling out of thin air.”

In a civil lawsuit filed this week, Monagle claims when Head Football Coach Bob Davie found out about the alleged rape he held a team meeting. There, Monagle said Davie instructed his team to protect Martin and “get some dirt” on the woman. 

The woman said, one time, she was at a party when “at least four football players” started banging on the door, threatening and demanding she come outside.

“What UNM has to do now is essentially compensate her for the losses she has incurred as a result of UNM’s violations of her civil rights,” he said. 

The woman withdrew from school after the 2016 Spring semester.

UNM said it has not been served with the lawsuit and does not comment on pending litigation.

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