A former University of Minnesota student and fraternity chapter president is suing the Minnesota Daily for defamation regarding an article published in 2017 identifying him as a perpetrator of sexual assault.
Cisco Labayki, former fraternity president of the University of Minnesota’s Delta Upsilon chapter, was named in an article published by the Minnesota Daily in February 2017 detailing sexual assaults committed by members of the fraternity. The article includes allegations of sexual assault made against Labayki by two former University students.
According to the civil complaint, Labayki is suing for defamation, claiming the article includes various libelous statements intended to injure his reputation. The suit was filed in Hennepin County District Court Friday after demands for retraction by Labayki’s attorneys from Van Nurden Law, PLLC were made on his behalf in March 2017 and October 2018.
The article, written by former Minnesota Daily reporter Jessie Bekker, was the first of a three-part series on University Greek life and sexual assault. The article names two instances detailing alleged sexual assaults committed by Labayki two weeks apart in 2015.
The Minnesota Daily does not typically publish names of alleged perpetrators of sexual assault. Labayki was identified due to his position of leadership at the University and his identity and offense being deemed public under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, according to the editor’s note accompanying the article.
Labayki is seeking monetary damages in excess of $50,000 and an injunction that would require the Minnesota Daily to remove parts of the article currently posted online, according to the complaint.
Van Nurden Law, PLLC declined to comment for this story. Mark Anfinson, the lawyer representing the Minnesota Daily, was not immediately available for comment.
A trial date is proposed for Aug. 10, 2020.