Girl sues Pi Kappa Phi fraternity over alleged sexual assault

By Miki Shine, Editor in Chief
On July 12, 2017

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is facing a lawsuit after an alleged sexual assault at one of its parties in October. 
ORACLE PHOTO/MIKI SHINE

A 16-year-old girl who was visiting campus with her two sisters claims to have been sexually assaulted during an October party at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house.

Her family filed a lawsuit against the USF chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and its national body. They, along with attorney Jeff Herman, are seeking $5 million in damages as well as court costs and a jury trial.

The national body declined to comment and chapter representatives could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, the victim – Jane Doe No. 72 – was encouraged to drink alcohol until she was nonresponsive before being raped by fraternity member Dillon LaGamma, 19, in another room.

The three girls, according to the lawsuit, were visiting campus and found out that Pi Kappa Phi was hosting a party. Fraternity members were outside the house in Greek Village to check IDs. The lawsuit states that the members gave Jane Doe No. 72 a wristband saying she was over 21 even though she was not.

Once inside, the victim was handed a number of pre-mixed drinks “without anyone questioning her age or level of inebriation,” according to the lawsuit. Additionally, she was pressured to drink a “slap bag” of alcohol – a bag containing a large quantity of alcohol – the suit states.

When she was drunk, incoherent and barely able to stand, LaGamma took her to another room, according to the lawsuit. The suit states that she was “intoxicated to the level in which she was incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.”

According to LaGamma’s criminal report affidavit from October, he confirmed under oath that he “had vaginal and oral intercourse” with Jane Doe No. 72.

Later that night, another member of the fraternity found her and had her sent to the hospital, according to the suit. The alleged victim called the police from her hospital room the next day. 

LaGamma was arrested under “probable cause” and was later charged with sexual battery on a child over 12 but younger than 18. He posted $7,500 bail the next day. He is no longer a USF student.

The USF chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was suspended after the incident for reckless injurious behavior, misuse of alcohol and violation of system policy. A Title IX investigation found the fraternity not responsible for her claimed assault, but did find that it had violated parts of the Student Code of Conduct.

The chapter is still on probation after it re-examined its procedures for managing risks. It still can’t host any social events with alcohol until late 2017 and all of its current social events have to be cleared by USF officials. It will remain on probation through spring 2018, according to university spokesman Adam Freeman.

LaGamma is scheduled to appear in court at the end of August.

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