Posted by William A. Jacobson
A wave of litigation is following years in which due process rights of accused male students were disregarded on campus.
We have been covering extensively the issue of denial of due process to male students on campus accused of sex-related infractions and/or crimes.
One of the cases we reported on regarded campus “conviction” of a male athlete at Columbia, where the female accuser took several months to complaint, and there were contemporaneous electronic communications reflecting that the conduct may have been consensual. See,Suspended Columbia athlete files federal lawsuit over campus sexual assault conviction.
The same attorneys alerted me to a new lawsuit filed on behalf of a student at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
The Complaint reads like so many of the others — allegations of consensual sex for which there were later regrets coupled with a university witch hunt to convict the male student almost in disregard of the evidence and without proper procedural protections.
The Boston Globe summarizes the Complaint:
The recent lawsuit against UMass Amherst contends that the male student, a Connecticut native and a sophomore at the time, met the female student, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, at a party in a friend’s dorm room.
During a night of drinking, playing card games, and dancing with friends, the two students became friendly and flirted, and she later invited him to her room to have sex, the lawsuit said. They had consensual sex, and the female student at no point showed signs of intoxication, according to the suit.
The next day, the female student could not remember what had happened, according to the lawsuit. At her roommate’s urging, the female student went to the campus health center for an evaluation. The following day, she filed a complaint with the dean of students’ office.
In her written complaint, she never called what happened harassment, assault, or rape, according to the lawsuit.
Three days later, the university told the male student he was under investigation for threatening behavior, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and violating community living standards, the lawsuit said. He was immediately ordered to move off campus and was barred from the premises except to attend classes, the lawsuit said.
Two months later, the university held a disciplinary hearing, the lawsuit said. But the male student had not been given copies of case documents beforehand, key pieces of evidence were not presented during the hearing, the male student was repeatedly interrupted, and questions he had were ignored, the suit said.
Two days later, the student was told he had been found “responsible” for three violations: “sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and community living standards,” and he would be expelled.
The student’s appeal was denied.
Of course, at this state these are only allegations, but they are allegations we are seeing not just in lawsuits around the country, but also through increased scrutiny of the media.
We will upload the Complaint shortly. (Here)