Former University of Alabama student Megan Rondini would still be alive if not for the "mishandling" of her alleged rape, her parents say. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed Sunday, Rondini's parents accuse the university, school officials, sheriff's deputies, and Rondini's alleged rapist of enabling her suicide in February 2016. Rondini had been a 20-year-old student at the University of Alabama in July 2015 when she alleged she was raped by local businessman TJ Bunn Jr. But authorities "wrongfully acted or failed to act in response," the lawsuit alleges, per Buzzfeed. It adds deputies—who found the case didn't meet Alabama's legal definition for rape—didn't test Rondini's rape kit or interview witnesses, an "intentional" behavior that was due to Rondini's gender.
Rondini—who allegedly stole $3 and a gun from Bunn—was "treated as a crime suspect," not a victim, the suit continues, per the AP, also alleging a school counselor refused to see Rondini unless she took anxiety medication. Rondini later dropped out of school, moved back to Texas, and suffered "extreme depression, anxiety, PTSD, fear, panic attacks, decline of cognitive functions and general well-being … all of which directly led to Megan's loss of life," the suit states. Per AL.com, two days before her suicide, she sent a text reading, "I wonder what I could've accomplished if one man didn't completely rip everything away from me." Bunn, who claimed the sex was consensual, was never charged with a crime. His lawyer tells AL.com that the lawsuit is "baseless" and "simply false." (Read more wrongful death stories.)