‘It’s a kangaroo court and it’s a joke’
Arizona State University first expelled a male student for rape on the grounds that his female partner was incapacitated.
When he appealed, that finding was overturned – and a new finding was imposed, with no notice, that he committed “sexual violence” against her.
These are the allegations in a new federal lawsuit against several ASU employees and the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s three public universities, The Arizona Republic reports.
The accused student athlete, “John Doe,” had a consensual “threesome” with a woman and another man at a party two years ago, according to the suit. He claims the woman withdrew after the sex “became physically uncomfortable,” and that she objected to the other man videotaping part of the threesome. She allegedly told a witness that Doe was upset that she wouldn’t continue having sex with him.
She reported the incident to municipal police the next day, claiming she was “too drunk” to consent, but they didn’t charge Doe, who was 15 credits shy of graduation.
The finding by the ASU dean of students that the accuser couldn’t consent to sex was overturned by the University Hearing Board, which then claimed Doe should be expelled anyway because he had used “sexual violence” in the encounter.
Doe’s lawyer Robert Carey told the Republic that neither the accuser nor the university initially claimed Doe had used force in the sex:
Instead, the sexual violence charge came out of nowhere, Carey said, and the man had no opportunity to rebut it before the hearing board. The first Doe and his attorney heard of the charge was at the ruling, Carey said.
“It’s a kangaroo court and it’s a joke,” Carey said.
The university also made no attempt to “fully vet the woman’s claim” or even interview the other man from the threesome, the suit claims.
Doe is alleging violation of Title IX and violations of due process and equal protection under the state the U.S. constitutions, among other claims. The suit names James Rund, who upheld the sexual-violence finding as senior vice president of educational outreach and student services; the three members of the University Hearing Board; Senior Associate Dean of Students Kendra Hunter; and Title IX investigator Tara Davis.
It’s not his first lawsuit in connection with his expulsion. Doe’s lawsuit against the board of regents remains active but under seal in Maricopa County Superior Court, which “issued a partial stay of the expulsion and allowed Doe to take online classes at ASU in Spring 2018,” according to the Republic.
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