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Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Baltimore County mishandled sexual assault cases

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 19:25:27-04

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by five women who allege that Baltimore County mishandled their sexual assault or rape investigations.

In court documents, U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow granted the defendants motion to dismiss the case stating the plaintiffs "fail directly to address some of the central issues in this case."

Documents show that the judge also said the plaintiffs "at best, have masked meritorious allegations by the overambitious pleading, and, at worst, have simply failed to state any viable claim."

She gave them 21 days to file a more focused complaint.

Rignal Baldwin V is the attorney who filed this class action suit in September of 2018.

He alleged a massive systematic concealing and dismissiveness of hundreds of sexual assault cases, many of which involve college aged women in nearly all Baltimore County institutions of higher learning.

The suit said through reclassifying and underreporting, even rapes and sexual assaults are going unfounded or are tucked away in much lesser categories of crime.

Defendants in the case included the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, Baltimore County State's attorney Scott Shellenberger and the Baltimore County Police Department.

In February, in response to this lawsuit, Baltimore County started a sexual assault investigation task force to examine current practices, policies, and training related to sexual assault complaints.