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Slain student Annie Le's estate sues Yale

Graduate student Annie Le was killed at Yale

Graduate student Annie Le was killed at Yale University. Photo Credit: Handout / Undated

The estate of a Yale student found slain on the day she was to be married on Long Island has sued the Ivy League university, claiming it has long failed to protect women like her from harm.

Thursday is the second anniversary of the Sept. 8, 2009, slaying of Annie Le, 24, who was found five days later stuffed in a wall behind a toilet in the lab building where she did pharmacology research.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Connecticut Superior Court in New Haven, claims Yale botched the search for her after she went missing.

It also says Yale "created a culture of tolerance that allowed and encouraged aggressive male behavior" and failed to protect Le from her convicted killer, Raymond J. Clark III, a man the suit claims "had previously demonstrated aggressive behavior and a violent propensity towards women." The suit didn't detail Clark's history.

"Yale had long taken inadequate steps to ensure the safety and security of women on its campus," said the family's attorney, Joe Tacopina of Manhattan.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said "there is no basis for the civil suit" and that the school could not have foreseen "this terrible crime."

"This lawsuit serves neither justice nor Annie's memory, and the university will defend against it as appropriate," Conroy said.

The U.S. Education Department said in April it is investigating student and alumni complaints accusing the school of violating federal law by creating a hostile campus environment toward women.

Clark, now 26, was sentenced on June 3 to 44 years in prison in Le's strangling death. He pleaded guilty to murder and no contest to attempted sexual assault. Le was to be married in Syosset on Sept. 13, 2009, to Jon Widawsky of Huntington.

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