LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — A lawsuit filed last week against Virginia Military Institute includes a multitude of allegations, including waterboarding and sexual assault. WFXRtv.com first reported allegations on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The lawsuit also alleges false imprisonment.
“We will defend the Institute very strenuously in court. No question about that,” VMI Director of Media Relations Col. Stewart MacInnis said.
The school has extensive hazing policies that is included in training for all cadets, he added.
“VMI takes action immediately when we understand that there’s an allegation that needs to be addressed.”
In the lawsuit, a former cadet identified as John Doe claimed that after he was waterboarded by upperclass cadets on or about Jan. 31, 2018, he “was told to remove his pants and John Doe 2 was told to remove his shirt.”
After protesting because he was not wearing underwear, John Doe alleges he was instead instructed by the upperclassmen to remove his shirt and ordered to wrestle John Doe 2. Elsewhere in the lawsuit, John Doe alleges he complained to VMI’s assistant Title IX coordinator about “naked wrestling and unwanted touching” but the assistant coordinator did not process John Doe’s complaint. (WFXR News is not naming cadet defendants at this time.)
John Doe also claims he and John Doe 2 were ordered “to ‘get in their cave’ in the leg hold of a desk, where [another cadet] subsequently doused them with Febreze air freshener.”
Islamic calls to prayer were also allegedly played by an upperclassman to “ridcule his roommate,” the lawsuit contends. It is unclear if the roommate was John Doe, John Doe 2, or another unnamed individual.
After both John Doe and John Doe 2 were restrained, Defendant [name redacted by WFXR News started to play the “Adhan,” the Islamic call to prayer (referred to in the incident report as “ISIS music”), purportedly to simulate conditions in Afghanistan and to intimidate John Doe and John Doe 2 who were told they were the Defendant Cadets’ “prisoners.” Defendant [name redacted by WFXR News] regularly played the Adhan to ridicule his roommate, who was of Jewish descent.Lawsuit filed Jan. 28, 2020, against Virginia Military Institute
MacInnis told WFXRtv.com that VMI had not yet been served with the lawsuit by close of business Tuesday, Feb. 4.
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