A male Notre Dame student has filed a lawsuit in federal court. The plaintiff John Doe alleges school officials would not allow to be considered a recording of the accuser saying: “I want to f*** up [John’s] reputation; I want to make sure he never has a girlfriend…here or anywhere…and I want him never to be able to have a social life.” Doe’s lawsuit argues that officials at the Catholic university led an investigation rife with “procedural flaws, lack of due process, and inherent gender bias, designed to ensure that male students accused of any type of sexual misconduct or harassment are found responsible.”
thecollegefix.com By Kate Hardiman
Due Process Rights
Articles relating to due process rights for our College boys
As the debate over campus sexual assaults continues more [TitleIX] accused male students have started taking their female accusers to court. Male students accused of [TitleIX] sexual misconduct have filed hundreds of lawsuits, charging that they were the victims of both false allegations and school procedures that failed to properly vet the claims. Frequently, heavy drinking is involved and college officials are sifting through case after case of what both parties frequently say started as a consensual act but then disagree over whether consent was withdrawn. “What’s troubling is that the (sex) act has become so casual, but the consequences [for the male student] can be so severe,” Attorney Sonya Pfeiffer.
charlotteobserver.com By Michael Gordon
A Columbus lawyer said teen boys are being victimized by a system that doesn’t give them the presumption of innocence in acquaintance rape cases. Brad Koffel said he’s defending more and more cases of sex between teenagers leading to criminal charges. He considers it consensual sex that later becomes “regret” sex. According to Koffel, some teenage boys and their families said they’re getting caught up in an after-consensual-sex drama that can ruin lives. [At SOS there is an increase of emails from HS families looking for help due to HS regret sex accusations. Here is one of those stories.]
abc6onyourside.com by Kurt Ludlow
Last month, Patricia Hamill filed a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame on behalf of “John Doe” alleging that Notre Dame unfairly expelled him just a few weeks before he was slated to take his last two finals and graduate. After filing his suit, Doe moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction permitting him to take his last two finals. Doe’s efforts were successful, and the court granted his preliminary injunction. Last week, Judge Simon ordered Notre Dame to administer Doe’s last two finals, minimizing the disruption to Doe’s education should his suit succeed. While Doe raised several claims in his complaint, the opinion only discusses Doe’s breach of contract claim. While the entire opinion is worth a read, particularly for due process litigators, I’d like to focus on two particular issues: the right to active counsel and a plaintiff’s choice of remedies.
thefire.org By Brynne Madway
Two Michigan State University students ‘Nathan and Melanie’ began a consensual sexual tryst in the backseat of a car in 2014. A passerby interrupted them, and Melanie revealed that the incident brought up unpleasant memories of a previous abusive relationship. Later that night Nathan tried to resume the encounter, but stopped after she rejected him. Sixteen months later, Melanie who now identifies as a man – made a formal complaint to MSU officials for the “one-time, non-consensual touching.” Melanie cited being transgender as a key reason for coming forward, and claimed to fear encountering her ex-lover in the male bathrooms…“The so-called sexual harassment is not really sexual harassment. The breast touch occurred in the summer, off campus, the school was not in session, it had nothing to do with the school – Title IX does not require you to take cases when they don’t involve the school.” Deborah Gordon, Nathan’s attorney
foxnews.com By Hollie McKay
A former student is suing Vanderbilt university alleging he was wrongfully expelled three days before his planned graduation a year ago. The plaintiff “Z.J.” alleges that Vanderbilt officials violated his rights of due process and equal protection after he was accused of sexual assault by a female student. The university’s investigation found Z.J. at fault and expelled him; an internal appeals board upheld the findings and expulsion. ZJ’s lawsuit claims the investigation was biased, that the alleged victim’s testimony was inconsistent, and that the spotlight on the administration following the much-publicized rape trials might have affected the university’s decision to expel him. ZJ is seeking $10 million in damages, in addition to an expungement of the assault, an admission of fault by the school and a conferring of the plaintiff’s degree.
nashvillescene.com By Cari Wade Gervin
He’s innocent…Following a day long trial, a jury took thirty minutes to acquit Zimbabwean student Ezra Zigarwi who had been accused of rape and aggravated sexual battery by a fellow female student. The following month, Zigarwi also was cleared at an on-campus sexual misconduct hearing and he has since re-enrolled at the school. That same month he filed suit against the female who wrongly accused him. Zigarwi’s suit alleges that after his acquittal, his accuser intentionally published false statements about him on social media and in an online petition. He also seeks to restrict the defendant from making statements about her allegations, and asks that she be forced to remove any online statements or posts about it. In an amended complaint filed Tuesday Zigarwi’s suit claims defamation and negligence and asks for $500,000 in damages.
roanoke.com By Neil Harvey
A former Indiana University of Pennsylvania student who was acquitted in separate trials last year of rape, alleged in a federal lawsuit that his expulsion by the school’s disciplinary board violated his constitutional right to due process. Jose Aponte, 24, of Philadelphia seeks unspecified civil damages against the university and IUP officials. The lawsuit alleges that Aponte’s Hispanic heritage contributed to his treatment and resulted in a “smear campaign” against him. “Aponte was deemed guilty from the moment of his arrest, and the stories of his accusers were taken as gospel because of their sex and prevailing stereotypes, even though the accusations made against Aponte were not true. The (disciplinary) hearing was simply a formality…by virtue of this suspension, Aponte was barred from finishing his finals and attending graduation.” He is asking the court to order IUP to confer upon him a Bachelor of Science in criminology.
triblive.com By Paul Pierce
College settlements with the wrongly accused take place more than you know. But 95% of the time settlement terms demand confidentiality, and insist that counsel remain silent. Luckily this is not the situation with Lynn… Lynn University decided not to take its chances with a jury after a federal judge gave the green light to a lawsuit against it by a student accused of rape. One day ahead of a scheduled hearing on Lynn’s motion for summary judgment, the university reached a confidential settlement with Doe according to his lawyer Angel Castillo.
thecollegefix.com By Kaitlynn Critchfield
In recent years, critics of the Obama administration’s approach to sexual assault reporting have charged that colleges are denying the rights of the accused. Two lawsuits – one involving Thomas Klocke an accused student who committed suicide, and another about a Cornell student’s attempt – have added fire to the continued debate over how colleges handle complaints of sexual assault. These two cases have been held up as examples of a flawed system that some say should require colleges to rely on a higher standard of evidence in investigating and punishing students for sexual assault.
insidehighered.com By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf