Attorney: Vincennes rape lawsuit to continue, despite bankruptcy

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 23:31:23-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Ohio man accused of repeatedly raping a Vincennes University student has filed for bankruptcy protection, but the alleged victim’s attorney remains confident the Title IX lawsuit will move forward.

Valdemar Castellano filed for Chapter 7 on June 24, and today the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana Terre Haute division ruled all claims against Castellano are stayed.

Jane Doe filed a lawsuit in 2015 claiming Vincennes University violated Title IX by failing to protect her and other students from then-fellow student Castellano.

Doe and her attorney, Ron Langacker, filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Terre Haute Division in August 2015.

Castellano held Jane Doe captive with a knife over the course of three days, repeatedly raping and beating Doe, according to the lawsuit.

Langacker said the ruling does not mean they’re dropping the case.

“I’m not going to let this one go,” Langacker said. “I’m going to continue to fight for my client. This is not over.”

Castellano was allowed to continue attending Vincennes University despite six harassment claims filed against him with VU police, records show, including harassment and unwelcome sexual conduct.

Langacker said because Castellano intentionally harmed his client, that can’t be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

“There’s good case law that that can’t be discharged,” he said. “There should still be relief granted in this case.”

Jane Doe settled her lawsuit with Vincennes University last month for an undisclosed amount of money.

“She is satisfied,” Langacker said regarding the settlement.

Jane Doe was so distraught by what happened she withdrew from college and is still recovering, according to her attorney.

Castellano was eventually expelled from Vincennes in 2013, according to Langacker.

He then enrolled at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima where, months after arriving on campus in 2014, he was arrested for sexual imposition.

Castellano grabbed a woman’s breast, pulled down her shirt and tried to pull down her pants, according to the police report obtained by Call 6 Investigates.

The University of Northwestern Ohio told Call 6 Investigates they were unaware of Castellano’s history at Vincennes University when he applied and during his attendance from June 2014 to March 2015.

Castellano did not list Vincennes University on his application to UNOH.

Call 6 Investigates did some checking and learned there is no requirement for colleges and universities to share sexual misconduct information with each other; the federal government does not have a database that compiles the information and there is no obligation for universities to list it on college transcripts.

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Castellano left the University of Northwestern Ohio in March 2015 and, months later, enrolled at yet another university – Rhodes State in Lima, Ohio.

Castellano declined to be interviewed and threatened to file charges against Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney for doing the story.

In the Ohio sexual imposition case, criminal charges were later dismissed, but it’s not clear why.

In the Jane Doe/Vincennes case, the Knox County prosecutor declined to file charges against Castellano.

“It was very clear that no criminal conviction could be obtained based on the information presented,” said Dirk Carnahan, Knox County prosecutor. “After a meeting with law enforcement and the complaining witness, it was determined that no charges would be filed.”

Vincennes University declined to comment on Jane Doe’s federal Title IX lawsuit.