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Penn settles Title IX suit by male student after judge approves ‘gender bias’ claims in rape investigation

Wouldn’t let him graduate while suit proceeded

The University of Pennsylvania is paying an undisclosed price for allegedly training its Title IX employees to show bias against males.

After a federal judge let the gender discrimination claims move forward, the Ivy League university settled a lawsuit brought by a black male student accused of raping a white female student, WHYY reports.

The stories told by “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” about their night together after leaving a bar, right after finishing their junior year, could not be more different:

The woman told Philadelphia police that, before she entered the man’s bedroom, he “pulled her into the house while holding her hand and using his other arm to hold her around her neck, head and hair.”

“Afterwards,” the man’s lawsuit later stated, “Jane stayed and cuddled with plaintiff, asked that he set an alarm so that she could get to work in the morning.”

The school suspended John for two years, finding that his sex with Jane was not consensual because she had been drinking. John had claimed neither was drunk and Jane was “fully awake” and an “active participant.”

Though it held the suspension while John’s lawsuit proceeded, Penn told John a week before graduation that it wouldn’t let him graduate because of the “disciplinary hold.”

Penn tried to get the lawsuit thrown out more than a year ago, claiming John couldn’t sue because his discipline hadn’t been finalized. An investigator had recommended, however, that Penn expel John, and his lawsuit alleged that person “changed language” in Jane’s statement “to make Doe’s actions appear more sinister than she had described them.”

The judge rejected John’s claim that the investigation was motivated by a racial stereotype of a “young African-American male as aggressor,” but he let other allegations proceed, namely that Penn “did not properly train investigators how to probe cases without gender bias,” according to WHYY.

The terms of the settlement – including how much Penn paid John and whether it gave him his degree – were not disclosed.

John had sought $600,000 in damages, saying Penn’s biased findings and hold on his degree caused him “irreparable harm” and “interfered” with his ability to find employment.

Read the article.

MORE: Penn sued for racism against black male student accused of rape

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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