The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI student Makéna Solberg’s lawsuit against former FIJI member Broc Hawkins dismissed

Solberg filed a lawsuit against Broc Hawkins for spreading a video and photos of Solberg being reportedly sexually assaulted at a fraternity party.
The+Phi+Gamma+Delta+house+%28FIJI%29+is+seen+in+Iowa+City+on+Monday%2C+Sept.+25%2C+2023.+
Shaely Odean
The Phi Gamma Delta house (FIJI) is seen in Iowa City on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.

University of Iowa student Makéna Solberg’s lawsuit due to a reported sexual assault by former Phi Gamma Delta member Broc Hawkins was dismissed with prejudice by the courts on Monday. The filing, one page in length, provided no reasoning for the dismissal.

Solberg filed a lawsuit in September 2020 against Hawkins claiming he spread video or photographs of her being sexually assaulted at a Phi Gamma Delta, or FIJI, fraternity party in September 2020. 

According to court documents, the video or photographs were reportedly widely circulated, leading Solberg to discover she had been sexually assaulted at the party. 

Former FIJI members Carson Steffen and Jacob Meloan, the two accused of perpetrating the assault, will stand trial on Nov. 5 in Tama County. 

The court case started in 2021 but has been delayed after numerous filings by lawyers for the defense and plaintiff. This included a series of filings in August and September 2023, in which the defense successfully argued for the moving of the trial to Tama County due to extensive media coverage.

More recently, a Johnson County judge dismissed Meloan’s separate but related of libel and slander lawsuit that named several students, faculty, and friends of Solberg. According to files dismissing the lawsuit, Meloan had failed to properly serve — or provide legal documents relating to the lawsuit — to the defendants he was suing.

Alejandro Rojas contributed to this report.



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About the Contributors
Jack Moore, News Editor
he/him/his
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is from Cedar Rapids Iowa. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes."
Shaely Odean, Photojournalist
(she/her/hers)
Shaely Odean is a transfer student at the University of Iowa, currently in her third year. She is pursuing double majors in Journalism and Strategic Communications, as well as Sustainability Sciences. Shaely works as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan, and her passion lies in environmental issues. Before joining the University of Iowa, she attended Kirkwood Community College, where she served as the photo editor for the Kirkwood Communique.