Alleged rapist at UofM raises questions on Title IX, protest occurs

by: Greg Coy Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A University of Memphis student claims she was raped by two different students in less than a month’s time. 

Students at the UofM took to campus to protest what has happened to this victim. Students told FOX13 this is a violation of Title IX. 

PHOTOS: UofM students protesting the alleged rapists on campus

"That is a Title IX violation. That is insane to me and they are trying to cover it up,” said Gypsee McManus, who took part in a protest demanding that 20-year-old fellow University of Memphis student Nicholas Wayman be suspended.

Wayman is accused and indicted on charges of raping a student in April off campus. Protestors told FOX13 Wayman has continued to attend class at the main campus, which allows him to have contact with his alleged victim. They believe such interaction could lead to harassment.  

RELATED: UofM student says she was raped twice in 20 days

A federal law called Title IX is designed to protect students from discrimination, including sexual harassment as well as sexual misconduct. 

"Currently he should be suspended so he wouldn't have contact with the victim because from what I have read she is traumatized” said UofM student Ramo Fari. 

FOX13 emailed the director of the Title IX office at the University of Memphis who told us the law does protect a student from sexual harassment. FOX 13 contacted The US Department of Education in Washington, DC. 

A spokesman replied with a link that included this phrase, "schools must address sexual misconduct that is severe, persistent or pervasive."

In this case, has University of Memphis addressed the issue? Leslie Hennings told us she believes it has.

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"I think we need to let the school handle this. They have known about it for some time,” said Hennings. 

The crime that was reported to the law enforcement was after a party back in April. Some students FOX13 talked with, but are not connected with the protest, said they are divided about how the university is handling the situation.  

"If he violates campus policy and he is a danger to other students, you should not be allowed on campus,” said one student.

On Tuesday, University President M. David Rudd held a virtual town hall meeting with students to address the incident. FOX13 asked for an on-camera interview, but our request was declined.  

The university public relations department did send FOX13 this statement from the president Rudd. It reads, “When reports of potential criminal behavior emerge, the University of Memphis follows a deliberate series of steps to ensure safety, guard confidentiality of all involved, and allow for due process. In all reports of potential criminal behavior, we encourage and support the reporting party to pursue criminal charges, related potential investigation and potential prosecution. In cases where criminal charges are filed and an investigation is initiated by the local police for incidents that occur off campus, the UofM is dependent on the findings of that investigation in order to take action if one of our students is involved.” 

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