Warning: Some viewers might find the details of this story disturbing.
MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – A former Spring Hill College student who says she was raped on campus is suing the school alleging they failed to provide basic security measures.
Audrey Cox, who did an interview with WKRG in March 2021, says she was violently sexually assaulted inside her dorm room after a night of drinking downtown.
Since the alleged incident a student at Spring Hill College, Vassil Kokali, was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, and burglary.
He turned himself in to Mobile Metro Jail on March 30, 2021 and was released on bond that same day.
In the federal lawsuit filed on April 21, 2022, it alleges Spring Hill College failed to maintain working locks on its residence hall doors which resulted in Cox’s March 12, 2021 attack. The lawsuit also alleges the school’s lax security was well-known on and around campus.
The lawsuit states dozens of similar incidents have allegedly occurred in the years preceding Cox’s rape.
Testimony given during court proceedings over the last year alleges surveillance video captured Kokali entering New Hall dorm at Spring Hill College, which was Cox’s residence hall, during the night in question. According to witnesses officers interviewed, Cox and Kokali were interacting and making out on the dance floor at Saddle Up Saloon in downtown Mobile prior to the sexual assault later in the evening.
An officer testified Cox was highly intoxicated and says a friend called an Uber to take her home. He says Kokali did not head back to Spring Hill College’s campus with them but went to the residence hall later in the evening.
Cox alleges Kokali broke into her dorm when she was asleep in her bed, then attacked, and sexually assaulted her.
The officer says Cox told him Kokali assaulted her vaginally and anally. Evidence was collected including a rape kit at USA Hospital.
The officer also says he took photographic evidence of Cox which includes pictures of bruises. He says the bruises look like fingerprints on her thighs.
Kokali’s attorney, Megan Doggett, has argued the sexual intercourse was consensual. She has also stated that she believes Cox had taken recreational drugs earlier in the evening, specifically MDMA, which she says reduces her credibility.
This new federal lawsuit filed by Cox’s attorney names Spring Hill College as a defendant, along with school officials, including the chief of police, president, and vice president of student affairs.
WKRG News 5 reached out to Spring Hill College for comment on the lawsuit. A representative for the school told us in a statement:
“Spring Hill College is committed to providing students with a safe environment that is conducive to personal growth and learning. While we cannot comment on the details of this ongoing legal matter, there is no place on our campus for violence of any kind. The safety of our students is of the utmost importance. We have in place a number of initiatives to prevent and address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
We plan to review this litigation and address it through the legal process.”Statement from Spring Hill College
Since the alleged incident, Kokali graduated from Spring Hill College but has to remain in the state of Alabama on the court’s orders.
The trial for Kokali is set to get underway on June 7.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, help is available. To speak with someone today, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline available 24 hours at 1-800-656-4673.