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Exonerated student sues U. of Miami for kangaroo-court treatment, professor who harassed him

‘Self-inflicted wounds’ by accuser

Two years after David Jia was accused of rape by an allegedly jilted ex-lover, he is seeking justice against the university that railroaded him for the discredited allegations.

Miami New Times reports that Jia sued the University of Miami, two officials and his accuser Angela Cameron for “negligence, Title IX violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and other claims,” following his semester-long suspension.

Two things stand out about Jia’s suit: Cameron’s related claims against him had already been shown false by police, and a professor who moonlights as an unofficial “rape counselor” harassed him.

Jia and Cameron met while performing a scene from The Blue Room, “in which a prostitute falls in love with a cab driver,” and started having “consensual sex” after that, according to the suit.

She accused him of raping her while Cameron was “drunk and unconscious,” but Jia claims she only said that “after she found out that Jia had not invited her to a party, and was likely cutting off ties with her,” according to New Times.

Cameron overplayed her hand by making claims that could be easily undermined, casting doubt on her entire narrative:

Cameron alleged that Jia had twisted her wrist and beaten her in two separate April 2015 incidents. But Coral Gables Police determined that Jia was not in town during that week in April. Then-university president Donna Shalala then publicly called the beating allegations “unfounded.”

The suit also says a medical examiner studied bruises on Cameron’s body, and determined the wounds to have been self-inflicted.

Police also had separately accused Cameron of falsifying pregnancy tests during an encounter with a different student in 2014.

Jia says Tony Lake, director of judicial affairs, “screamed” at him during the disciplinary hearings, treated him as guilty and gave his witnesses the wrong dates to testify on Jia’s behalf.

But it’s the behavior of Katharine Westaway, a women’s and gender studies professor who has since been dumped by the university, that is eye-opening.

She ran the “Canes Consent” organization that helped students who claimed they had been sexually assaulted, and Westaway took it up a notch when Cameron made her claims.

An April 2015 New Times story explains:

After hearing Cameron’s story, UM Professor Katharine Westaway and her Women’s and Gender Studies class decided to start a petition to get her rapist kicked off campus altogether. The petition, released Tuesday on the advocacy site Avaaz, already has over 4,000 signatures. Westaway plans to deliver the petition to university administrators.

A month later, Westaway helped organize a graduation protest against Jia “just as police said some of Cameron’s claims didn’t check out,” New Times said.

Westaway’s contract wasn’t renewed because of her “poor judgment” during the ordeal, an anonymous top university official told New Times.

Read the story.

h/t #RepealVAWA

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