Jason Schaumleffel, a member of the Tri-Valley Local School Board, has filed a lawsuit. Schaumleffel had been asked to resign from the school board after the district received an anonymous letter in March, alleging he was involved in sexual misconduct while a student at Muskingum University. The complaint filed by Schaumleffel’s attorney, Eric Rosenberg, claims two women made false allegations against Schaumleffel after he engaged in consensual sexual activity. The lawsuit claims Muskingum University conducted a bias investigation into the allegations and, as a result, Muskingum University improperly and unlawfully expelled Schaumleffel, despite knowing he was falsely accused…the university ignored evidence proving his innocence, including a polygraph test and text and social media messages between Schaumleffel and the two women. Because of the allegations, the complaint states Schaumleffel has been suffering from depression, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping and interacting socially.
zanesvilletimesrecorder.com By Hayden Kull
Title IX Lawsuits
Falsely accused are fighting back with Title IX and other lawsuits. Some wins, some losses.
A Bellarmine University student claims he was kicked out of a study abroad program, booted from a Paris hotel on New Year’s Day, and left to fend for himself after being falsely accused of sexual assault. Doe says he and several other students went out to dinner in Germany on New Year’s Eve, and then watched fireworks. During the fireworks displays, he says he “had his arms around SG and SD. There was a large crowd and at one point his hand slipped and briefly touched SD on the butt and later on her breast. He apologized but SD was upset and left with RB.” Doe’s attorney Joshua Engel said that “without any hearing or semblance of process, he was kicked off the trip and thrown out his hotel. The student’s parents then had to arrange for a hotel room and transportation back to the United States.”
courthousenews.com By K. Koeninger
A federal judge has denied a motion filed by former Yale basketball captain Jack Montague, that would have allowed him to return to his studies. Montague was more than halfway through his senior year and leading Yale’s basketball team in its most successful season in decades when he was expelled in Feb. 2016. His lawyer, Max Stern, said Montague was expelled because of Yale’s finding that he had “unconsented-to sex” in fall 2014. Stern said that Montague’s expulsion was “wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure.”…In a decision filed March 8, U.S. District Judge Covello said that Montague failed to show that the harm to him would be “irreparable” if he was not granted a preliminary injunction.
courant.com By Kathleen Megan
Laura Kipnis, the Northwestern University professor who faced down a Title IX investigation after writing an essay about sexual relationships between students and professors, is now being sued for defamation. The lawsuit contends that Kipnis’s book misrepresents ‘Jane Doe’ as “litigious.” But how is that a misrepresentation? Doe has used both the Title IX process, and a lawsuit, to adjudicate her dispute with Kipnis…There’s a sense in which this lawsuit actually proves the central ideas of Kipnis’s book – that sexual paranoia pervades the modern university campus, where messy relationships are treated like assault, women are presumed to lack agency when it comes to consent, and tribunals are seen as the solution to every dispute.
reason.com By Robby Soave
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 UCF male student expelled last year over allegations he raped a female student after a night of drinking is fighting in court to return to school. “I didn’t do this,” he testified at his school discipline hearing, I want my student life back.” Prosecutors did not pursue a criminal case against the male student because of problems with the accuser’s credibility and a missing key witness. The male passed a polygraph test. According to the lawsuit filed against UCF, the man said the sex was consensual and that she made up the allegation because her boyfriend had caught her cheating on him. The man also disputed the fairness of his hearing because he was not allowed to bring up her previous sexual assault allegations against his roommate…Since late 2015 at least three others -a Rollins lacrosse player, a UCF ROTC cadet and a UCF freshman – have sued after they said they were unfairly punished for sexual assault allegations they denied committing. The courts rejected one case while two are still pending.
orlandosentinel.com By Gabrielle Russon
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
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