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New England Art Institute named in suit over student’s sexual assault

A Rhode Island woman has filed a lawsuit that accuses the New England Institute of Art and others of providing lax security that allowed an intruder to enter her dormitory and sexually assault her.

The lawsuit, filed April 2 in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, charges that the for-profit school, along with the owner of the building at the time, Anwar Faisal, should have anticipated that better security was needed to prevent crime in the dormitory.

The woman, who is not identified by name in the four-page lawsuit, "was sexually assaulted by a male assailant who was not a student" at New England Institute of Art after a security guard "allowed the nonresident assailant to enter the living area" where the woman lived, the lawsuit says.


Once inside the dormitory, the assailant threatened the woman and "pushed her down and attempted to forcibly rape her in her dorm room," the lawsuit says.

The assailant was arrested and charged with indecent assault and battery, the suit says.

The building is located at 1110 Commonwealth Ave. in Allston.

The lawsuit says the woman suffered "serious physical and psychological" injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder "which impairs her ability to work." The lawsuit demands an unspecified amount of money to be paid to the woman as compensation for her suffering and injuries.

Faisal, who largely caters to student tenants in Boston, was depicted in a 2014 Globe Spotlight Team series of reports as the target of dozens of civil or criminal housing complaints over the past decade.

An attorney for Faisal did not return a call.

Devra Pranski, a spokeswoman for Education Management Corporation, which owns the New England Institute of Art and dozens of other art schools, said the corporation was "looking into the claims" and declined to comment further.

Frank J. Riccio, the attorney for the woman, declined to comment.


Sean P. Murphy can be reached at smurphy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @spmurphyboston.