Oregon rape case prompts lawsuit

College faces legal action; Vancouver man charged

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PORTLAND — A 19-year-old Southwestern Oregon Community College student accuses the school’s campus police of failing to protect her from being dragged across campus and raped by a fellow student from Vancouver.

The woman, 18 at the time of the alleged incident, filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against the college in Coos Bay. She seeks $5 million for pain and suffering and names 22-year-old Cody Dornbirer, of Vancouver, as the man who allegedly attacked her Oct. 22.

Coos County authorities charged Dornbirer on Oct. 27 with rape, kidnapping, sex abuse and unlawful sexual penetration. He awaits trial in the county jail.

Police in Vancouver said last month that Dornbirer also was under investigation for a rape there last May. A spokeswoman said Vancouver and Coos Bay police were working together.

Joe Thomas, director of campus security at the community college, declined to comment on the woman’s lawsuit. Thomas said he could not reach school administrators for comment.

Pulled from bed

Friday’s suit names the plaintiff, but she is not being identified in this story. The Oregonian generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

The lawsuit offers new details about the alleged attack:

The woman says she was sleeping in her dorm room at about 3:30 a.m. on that Saturday in October when Dornbirer walked in, uninvited and visibly intoxicated. He pulled her out of bed, carried her into his car and began driving, she alleges.

At one point, she broke free and screamed for help. But she said Dornbirer chased her down, dragged her back into his car and drove to a parking lot near a campus commons called the Lighthouse Depot. There he forced her into his dorm room and raped her, the woman alleges.

The lawsuit accuses the college of failing to provide enough around-the-clock security personnel to provide adequate safety to residents of its dorms.