THE BRONX (PIX11) — A former Fordham University student is suing the school, claiming they failed to protect him from a violent roommate.
“Everyone talks about how great college can be. My sophomore year was the worst of my life,” Francis Austin said Monday.
Austin said he lived in constant fear as his roommate threatened to rape or kill him, and “his behavior grew increasingly aggressive, erratic and violent.”
After requesting a room change and complaining about his roommate, Austin claims the ROTC program even stepped in, asking the university to move him to a new dorm room.
“They turned a deaf ear to my warnings and left me to defend myself,” Austin said.
In February of 2011, Austin alleges that his roommate “carried out his repeated threats and raped me in my dorm room on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.”
Now 32 years old, Austin is suing Fordham University for negligence and seeking financial damages. At the time, Austin did not file a report with the police, but he claims he did report the rape to two university staff members and “absolutely nothing happened.”
“He’s hoping that no student has to go through ever again what he went through,” Austin’s Attorney Mark Peters said.
Fordham University said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Austin was able to file a civil lawsuit against the university after the passage last spring of the Adult Survivors Act, the legislation included a one-year look-back window for adult survivors to sue their abusers and the institutions that may have protected them, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
“Every survivor of sexual abuse deserves their chance at justice,” State Senator Brad Hoylman said on Monday.