Cherelle Locklear 21 committed suicide at William Paterson University in 2015 Facebook

Cherelle Locklear, 21, committed suicide at William Paterson University in 2015.

Mother of rape victim who committed suicide sues New Jersey university

Lawsuit says William Paterson University failed to fully investigate Cherelle Locklear's assault allegations.

A lawsuit filed against William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.. contends that a student committed suicide last year after school failed to fully investigate the student's allegations that she was raped. reports that Cherelle Jovanna Locklear, 21, was found on Nov. 22, 2015, hanging by a necktie in a residence hall bathroom.

A federal suit filed by the student's mother contends that Locklear reported to the university's victim service office in October 2015 that she had been raped, but the office did not report the assault to campus police until November 2015.

"Even after receiving the report of the sexual assault, the university police department utterly failed to perform an appropriate and thorough investigation," the lawsuit states.

The suit says Locklear had been raped at the Sigma Pi Fraternity house on or about Sept. 25, 2015. She did not report the assault right away, and in October, she tried to kill herself by overdosing on pills and was hospitalized for five days. After being released, she reported the assault to the campus victim services office.

The victim services office and campus police "collectively failed to act as required by law to investigate the assault and protect Cherelle's safety," the lawsuit alleges.

The complaint also states the university had been aware of other instances of sexual assault and sex-based violence against female students and its failure to address those problems "created a climate in which such misconduct against women was tolerated."

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