|Wednesday, May 28
UAB settles sexual abuse lawsuit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB and a teenager settled a lawsuit that contended she was sexually exploited by numerous athletes after enrolling at age 15.
The value of the settlement was not known. The judge sealed records in the case, which he dismissed Thursday.
Brittany Benefield, now 18, sued in 2001, saying she became a sexual "plaything" for more than two dozen UAB football and basketball players after enrolling.
Benefield initially sought $40 million in the suit. The complaint at first was filed anonymously, but a court ruled her name had to be made public in records for the case to proceed.
Lawyers could not comment because of a gag order.
The lawsuit contended administrators, coaches and campus police knew of the sexual encounters in a UAB dormitory and failed to stop them. The school denied the claim.
Benefield received a high school diploma at 13 after completing a home-schooling program. She left UAB in December 2000.