Kendall Ware, the former University of Vermont swimmer who claimed a men's basketball player raped her in 2019, is part of a joint civil lawsuit accusing the school of mishandling their sexual assault investigations, court records show.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Tuesday, also names Ware's alleged aggressor: Anthony Lamb, who graduated from UVM in 2020 and now plays for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.
In previous coverage of Ware's case, Lamb's name had not been reported in news stories publicly until this week.
The Free Press on Thursday reached out to Lamb, who had yet to respond to a text message to address the allegations. Lamb and the Warriors were on the road late Wednesday night, falling to the Utah Jazz.
Lamb, who is not listed as a defendant in the complaint, submitted a statement Thursday evening through the Warriors to sfgate.com, a news website based in San Francisco.
"The allegations made against me in 2019 that have recently resurfaced are patently false," Lamb said in the statement. "I have always been fully cooperative regarding the alleged incident, and have welcomed any investigation into the matter. Simply put, I have never committed sexual assault."
The weekly newspaper Seven Days first reported the lawsuit on its website Wednesday evening.
Two other plaintiffs join Ware in suing the school, claiming they were sexually assaulted in separate incidents during their time as students at UVM. According to the complaint, the lawsuit accuses UVM of sex discrimination, violations of Title IX and denial of equal protection, among other claims.
The Free Press typically does not name people who say they are victims of sex assaults without their permission. Ware has previously spoken to the Free Press on her case.
Title IX is a civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in federally-aided education programs. It also forms the basis for school investigations into students' claims of sexual violence.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and a trial by jury.
Free Press coverage of UVM Title IX cases
Is UVM athletics influencing sexual assault cases?
After reporting rape, Kendall Ware claims UVM mishandled her investigation
What it's like to report sexual assault at UVM? The experience of one student
UVM students protest school's response to sexual assaults on campus
Response from UVM, Warriors
UVM athletic director Jeff Schulman and the Board of Trustees are among the defendants in the lawsuit. Other listed defendants who are UVM employees include: Krista Balogh, an associate athletic director; Nicholas Stanton, director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO); Title IX investigator Katherine Spence; and Title IX coordinator Taryn Moran.
When asked to respond to the lawsuit Thursday morning, a UVM spokesperson emailed a statement to the Free Press.
"We were sorry to learn of the individual situations that each of these plaintiffs recounted and we want all survivors to know that they are heard, supported, and respected," the spokesperson wrote. "We stand behind our strong procedures and protocols, and the support provided by the dedicated individuals who perform this work with the highest degree of professionalism, integrity, and care."
Protests in recent years over how UVM has responded to sexual misconduct cases on campus forced the school to address the student body outcry. An outside firm last year conducted an audit of UVM's Title IX policies and procedures.
"Even though an independent review last year found that UVM met or exceeded all benchmarks around sexual misconduct response, we have implemented numerous changes to our protocols," the UVM spokesperson said. "Meeting Title IX requirements is a given, but we strive to provide more for UVM students as part of our unwavering commitment to a safe and healthy campus."
In a statement to SFGATE, the Warriors reiterated that Lamb is not a defendant in the lawsuit, and to their knowledge, "has never been charged with any wrongdoing in any legal case."
"Prior to signing Anthony in September, we did our due diligence with the NBA and his prior teams, as we do with all players. If any new information comes to light, we will certainly evaluate it and act accordingly," the statement said.
In Ware's case, she said she believes UVM misrepresented her options for holding Lamb accountable and provided misleading statements, largely due to the involvement of the athletic department, to resolve the complaint in a way she regrets and to shield Lamb from responsibility.
In an interview with USA TODAY Network reporter last year, when the pending lawsuit had yet to be filed, Ware said the complaint represents her ongoing efforts to "hold the university accountable."
"I guess in a way, part of this filing for me is kind of a reminder to them that, 'Yep, I'm still here,'" she said. "I'm not going to let you get away with the trauma and pain that you caused me on top of the other trauma I experienced."
Revisiting Ware's Title IX case
Ware said she was raped by Lamb, a former boyfriend, at an off-campus house party on Sept. 7, 2019. Thirty days later, Ware took initial steps in reporting the alleged sexual assault to UVM.
Ware, who did not want to pursue criminal charges, said she struggled to understand the avenues at her disposal due to misinformation and interference after a series of meetings with AAEO, which investigates UVM's cases of sexual misconduct, and athletic department leaders.
The two major pathways for students in Ware's situation was a formal investigation or informal resolution.
A formal resolution is a four-step process that includes an investigation, and if the person is found responsible, concludes with disciplinary action and possible appeals.
The informal resolution, into which both parties must voluntarily agree to enter, is an attempt by AAEO to resolve the matter without a formal investigation. A disciplinary process is not part of the informal resolution, according to UVM policy.
In the lawsuit, Ware said she believes UVM athletics and AAEO employees communicated behind her back and pressured her into choosing the informal resolution option.
In a USA TODAY Network story published earlier this year on the role athletic departments play in Title IX cases, Schulman defended his university's policies and his department's structure.
"The nature of the relationships that we develop with student athletes - the coach-student athlete relationship, and in some cases even the administrator-student athlete relationship - can be very tight," Schulman said. "But that's not about trying to insert ourselves or sort of unduly influence the process in any way."
New information in lawsuit
According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Ware also reported two other separate incidents, accusing Lamb of sexual misconduct, to the Title IX office in the fall of 2019.
Ware alleged Lamb removed his condom, non-consensually, during sex. The other episode, according to court records, Ware said Lamb filmed her during sex without her consent at Lamb's family home.
Previously, Ware did not mention the two other incidents in interviews with the Free Press in 2020. They were also not among the details in a separate lawsuit Ware had joined in April 2020 with seven other women in suing the NCAA over a failure to protect them from sexual assault.
That lawsuit, filed in a Michigan court system, has since been withdrawn.
This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Kendall Ware sues UVM over handling of Title IX case against Lamb