University Pays Family of Dorm Room Murder Victim $2.5M

Eastern Michigan University will pay $2.5 million to the family of a student raped and killed in her dormitory room a year ago, school and family representatives said Thursday.

The settlement does not include any admission of liability on the part of the university.

"We are not allowed to talk about Eastern or the settlement or anything," the victim's father, Bob Dickinson, told The Detroit News.

The slaying of Laura Dickinson, 22, of Hastings drew attention to security at the Ypsilanti school. Eastern Michigan's president was fired in the wake of a cover-up of information about the slaying.

"Eastern Michigan University has reached an agreement with the Dickinson family and estate regarding the resolution of their claims," Don Loppnow, Eastern Michigan's executive vice president and provost, said in a prepared statement. "The Dickinson family remains in the thoughts and prayers of the entire campus community."

Dickinson, a member of the rowing team, was found dead in her room Dec. 15, 2006. A fellow student, Orange Taylor III of Southfield, was charged Feb. 23 with rape and murder.

Taylor's first trial ended in a hung jury and he is awaiting a second trial, scheduled for Jan. 28.

Two reports determined Eastern Michigan had misled the public and violated federal laws in how it handled information in the wake of Dickinson's death. The university is awaiting word on sanctions or fines from the federal government for those violations.

The case also led to the ouster of university President John Fallon, Vice President Jim Vick and safety director Cindy Hall.