A colleague elsewhere sent me the complaint, and I thought it would be worth noting a few points:
1. There is no allegation of rape in the complaint. (I note this since one newspaper headline used the word "rape.")
2. There are allegations of egregious misconduct by Ludlow towards the plaintiff that would probably constitute sexual assault and, even if they did not, would constitute sexual harassment. The complaint alleges that a university official (Ms. Slavin) concluded, "based on the totality of the evidence...that Ludlow engaged in unwelcome and inappropriate sexual advances toward Plaintiff on the evening of February 10-11, 2012. In particular, Ms. Slavin found that Ludlow initiated kissing, French kissing, rubbing Plaintiff’s back,and sleeping with his arms on and around Plaintiff on the night of February 10-11, 2012. She also found that Plaintiff 'was incapacitated due to heavy consumption of alcohol purchased for [Plaintiff] by Respondent [Ludlow], and [was] therefore unable to offer meaningful consent to this physical touching that night. I also find that Respondent told you [the Plaintiff] he thought you were attractive, discussed his desire to have a romantic and sexual relationship with you, and shared other personal information of a sexual nature.'"
3. There is an allegation that Ludlow threatened to sue the plaintiff for defamation over her allegations. If the allegations are not true, they would be defamatory, though recovery by a public figure (I am guessing Ludlow would be one) for defamation is difficult in the U.S.
4. The complaint states that "on information and belief," the plaintiff believes a university committee recommended termination of Ludlow. "On information and belief" means, roughly, that the plaintiff has reason to believe this is so, but does not know it to be so at this stage in the litigation.
5. The complaint alleges that the university's failure to take remedial measures exacerbated the substantial psychological and emotional harm to the Plaintiff, which is described in some detail.
6. The complaint does ask for punitive damages, i.e., damages to punish the university for its alleged wrongdoing in failing to take appropriate remedial action, in addition to monetary damages compensating the plaintiff for her suffering, medical expenses, and related costs.
ADDENDUM: I was surprised to see on Facebook and some blogs the suggestion that there was somethign strange about the reaction to last year's case involving Colin McGinn at Miami compared to this case involving Peter Ludlow at Northwestern. I haven't done a careful study of reactions, but to the extent that reactions are different (allegedly more critical of McGinn, less critical of Ludlow [not among my Facebook friends!]), it surely is due to the fact that the facts in these cases became public at very different times: in the McGinn case, things only became public when McGinn had already agreed to resign after allegations of inappropriate conduct with a student; in the present case, things have become public only at the stage of allegations (in the form of a lawsuit), with all the evidence in the public record indicating that the 'accused' denies all wrongdoing.
ANOTHER (FEB. 12): The latest from The Daily Northwestern, including that: (1) the plaintiff did file a criminal complaint, and (2) Ludlow's lawyer does not know of any criminal charge filed against him.