Virginia Wesleyan College Demands Rape Victim's Entire Sexual History

The school says these details will help establish Jane Doe's credibility.

Virginia Wesleyan College is asking a woman who reported being sexually assaulted to name every partner she has ever had, in its latest response to an ongoing lawsuit.

In a motion first filed in June in Norfolk Circuit Court, the college asked for the woman to name any individual she had sexual intercourse with "at any time" and for the names of all her boyfriends since August 2012, when she said she was raped. The woman's attorney, Jonathan Halperin, spent several weeks this summer disputing the college's request to no avail.

The woman is suing Virginia Wesleyan under the pseudonym Jane Doe because she alleges a student employed by the college as a peer adviser provided her possibly-drugged alcohol on the night she was assaulted by another male classmate. He was found responsible for sexual misconduct and expelled in 2013, but the college changed his status on his transcript from "expelled" to "voluntarily withdrawn" in order to "assist him in seeking further studies," according to a letter Doe received from a dean.

The private liberal arts school in Norfolk, Virginia, specifically wants to speak with the first sexual partner Doe had following her alleged assault, court filings say. This individual, the college insists, could provide "details of the sexual encounter" and help determine Doe's credibility about trauma she claimed to have endured after being raped.

The college also wants to know the names of her partners to verify whether she told the truth when she said she was a virgin at the time of the assault.

<p>An excerpt from a court filing by Virginia Wesleyan College asking for a rape victim's sexual history. </p>

An excerpt from a court filing by Virginia Wesleyan College asking for a rape victim's sexual history.

Norfolk Circuit Court

Halperin, Doe's attorney, has refused to provide this information in discovery and said he would only do so if the court orders it.

"This is a drug facilitated rape of a freshman woman on her third day of orientation by a stranger," Halperin told The Huffington Post Saturday. "To ask the victim in discovery to name every sexual partner and romantic interest she has ever had is irrelevant and outrageous and totally inappropriate. It is intended to harass and intimidate the victim."

Through Halperin, Doe told HuffPost on Sunday that the college's "invasive questioning about my entire sexual history only strengthens my resolve to move forward in this case so others may not have to endure this."

In the response the college filed to Halperin's objection, it said it has no intention of suggesting Doe is of "unchaste character."

"As noted in the motion, Miss Doe is seeking money damages based in part on the following claims: she is unable to have sex, does not have any interest in sex, and has experienced difficulties in romantic relationships due to her inability to have sex and lack of interest in sex," Mark C. Nanavati, an attorney hired by Virginia Wesleyan, told HuffPost on Sunday. "Given the significance of these claims in a case where $10 million is at issue, Virginia Wesleyan has to investigate these claims like any other claims Miss Doe is making in order to properly investigate and defend this suit."

Virginia Wesleyan has denied any wrongdoing in Doe's lawsuit, first filed in October. Just a couple weeks after the suit was filed, the college asked to name the ex-student Doe said raped her as a party to the lawsuit, stating in court that he should be responsible for damages. Doe is seeking $10 million from the college.


Tyler Kingkade covers higher education and sexual violence, and is based in New York. You can contact him at or on Twitter: @tylerkingkade.


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