In 2016 Yale University expelled Jack Montague for nonconsensual sex with a female student shortly before he was to graduate, despite the agreed-upon fact that she returned to sleep with him hours after he allegedly assaulted her. Montague was never criminally charged, and is pressing forward with his lawsuit against Yale; despite a federal judge refusing to order Yale to follow its own sexual-assault adjudication rules. Montague argues in his lawsuit that his academic and employment prospect have been drastically limited by his expulsion. During a March deposition he testified that he has been unable to apply to other schools because Yale won’t release his transcripts until he pays a $3,000 tuition debt. “That represents the last semester that I didn’t finish,” Jack testified. “So, as soon as I was expelled, they sent me a bill for $3,000.” According to the Yale Daily News, the trial is expected to start in February.
The last two times a due process case came before the 6th Circuit, it was clear by the end of oral argument which side would prevail. But in November’s hearing for Doe v. Miami, the oral argument left the final outcome uncertain. This case appeared teed up to determine whether the 6th Circuit would adopt the 2nd Circuit’s important standard in the Columbia decision, which makes it harder for judges to dismiss Title IX complaints by accused students. But the judges scarcely engaged with that issue, focusing more attention on procedural due process, questions of selective enforcement under Title IX, and the factual specifics of the case…In perhaps the most intriguing section of the hearing, Judge Moore noted how the severity of a sexual assault guilty finding might justify more rigorous procedures under the Constitution. Court room audio excerpts are at the link below.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
Emboldened by the federal government, South Carolina students accused of sexual misconduct are taking colleges to court over disciplinary procedures they call unfair. Colleges have been using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for judging guilt, which essentially requires a 51 percent likelihood that an accusation is true. Critics said the policy had come at a cost to suspects’ civil rights because its low burden of proof bred false accusations. Tommy Brittain, a Myrtle Beach lawyer for a student at the center of the Coastal Carolina case, said the lawsuits are likely just the beginning of a push against a disciplinary process that can plague students forever, stating, “The policy is a complete mess, it’s an absolute nightmare. A guilty finding is not like a violation of a little school rule. It’s a life-changing decision.”
postandcourier.com By Andrew Knapp
Freshman Karthik Saravanan had a dysfunctional romance with a white freshman female at Drexel. Saravanan who is South Asian of the Indian race, claims he was sexually assaulted, stalked and harassed by his ex-girlfriend. His ex “threatened to tell their social group that he was mentally disabled or a homosexual” if he reported her assault. Saravanan reported her assault. Drexel called his rape complaint “ludicrous,” remarking “I have never heard of a female raping a male” and asked him, “why was your penis erect?- doesn’t that mean you enjoyed it?” Saravanan claims that Drexel exhibited a pro-female bias throughout his case. Saravanan was expelled while his ex-girlfriend was retroactively given probation. U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney noted in his opinion the need for balanced judgment when investigating campus sexual assault claims. Judge Kearney held that Saravanan did not adequately show he faced discrimination based on race. The case was ultimately pared down to a single Title IX claim of erroneous outcome of the disciplinary process, alleging that Drexel’s decision to expel him was motivated by gender bias, and a breach of contract claim.
law.com By P.J. Dannunzio
Today marks exactly two years since I was falsely accused of sexual assault. It was the day that my whole life came crashing down around me and though I am a much stronger, indeed a much more formidable person, than I was two years ago, it still hurts to know that my life was almost destroyed because of a lie. It also hurts to know that despite the incontrovertible evidence we uncovered proving my innocence, my former college botched their “investigation” and eventually found me responsible for something I didn’t do… Aside from my lawyers, my parents, the federal government, and the school, this is the first time I have shared this information publicly.
facingthecampus.blogspot.com By Jonathon Andrews
The Education Department’s civil rights unit recently determined that Catholic University failed to uphold the rights of an accused male student, in violation of the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX. The report from the Office for Civil Rights is the result of a four year investigation into an incident that involved two students, alcohol and a dispute over sexual consent…The Trump administration has declared a shift in federal guidance on Title IX, saying it wants to work more closely with colleges to ensure the due-process rights of all students -including the accused – are protected in sexual violence cases.
washingtonpost.com By Nick Anderson
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute attempted to punish a male student from a different school, and a recent court ruling against RPI sheds light on their appalling behavior. The story begins in 2015 when Doe, a graduate student at a school that is not RPI, was in a relationship with an RPI student. When their relationship ended the RPI student filed a Title IX complaint with RPI against Doe. As the court would later observe, the alleged conduct at issue “took place off campus and was not in anyway related to an educational program or activity of RPI.” Despite this, RPI launched an investigation of Doe and interviewed him. Doe’s attorneys argued that RPI had no jurisdiction over Doe and that, even if it did, its disciplinary process was flawed. Doe-v-RPI The court ruled that RPI went too far in asserting jurisdiction over Doe and subjecting him to its disciplinary process. Per the ruling, a New York state court judge stated RPI’s interview of Doe constituted “a clear violation of Doe’s constitutional rights,” deemed RPI’s conduct “arbitrary” and “capricious,” and annulled RPI’s finding that Doe had sexually assaulted an RPI student.
John Doe’s lawsuit says the accuser claims she was groped at an off campus party, and identified her groper by nickname only. The University of Vermont searched for a picture of John Doe on Facebook and showed it to the accuser. She said the person in the picture was the student who groped her. John Doe told the investigator that he was at the off campus party with his girlfriend and that he had never met or danced with the female student/accuser, stating that he would not touch a woman without her consent. According to John Doe’s lawsuit, “Jane Doe’s false accusations against John Doe were accepted as fact and upheld by Defendants using a Kafkaesque process that denied John Doe due process of law in violation of due process.”
A male graduate is suing Cornell University in federal court, claiming that Cornell and its Title IX investigator Sarah Affel, conducted a biased, arbitrary, capricious, unfair and harmful investigation. John Doe’s complaint accuses Affel of discriminating against him based on his sex, religion and ethnicity and failing to consider the results of a polygraph test he voluntarily took and passed. Doe further accuses Affel of relying on anti-male, and anti-South Asian stereotypes to find him responsible; and employed anti-Muslim bias when one of the witnesses brought up Doe’s Muslim faith, at which point Affel began to question the witness about Doe’s level of respect for women…The investigation and the one-year suspension handed to Doe gave him severe mental health problems-problems that resulted in his contemplating suicide and his being admitted to a psychiatric ward “for several days.” Doe is demanding a jury trial and is asking the University for damages.
cornellsun.com By Drew Musto
Great news. Innocent John Doe will return to the University of Texas. Doe’s finding of innocence by the hearing examiner in February stands and the Univ. of Texas can attempt no further appeals.Read plaintiff’s response to UT’s motion to dismiss the due process hearing A settlement was reached after 45 minutes of closed-door negotiations that has spared UT President Gregory L. Fenves from having to testify about the school’s [biased] sexual misconduct policy. Brian Roark, a lawyer for Doe, told reporters that the student’s reinstatement last week by the university will remain in effect and that there will be no further review of the matter by the school. UT agreed to drop its plan to turn the matter over to an unnamed third party.
statesman.com By Autullo and Haurwitz