Frat boy expelled from Ivy League institution for sexual assault sues school and claiming to be the victim instead
Simply identified as John Doe, the claimant was expelled by Columbia Univ this summer and barred from getting a diploma after he was found to be ‘responsible’ of sexual assault
He is now suing the school to have that ruling reversed and guarantee his diploma after spending an estimated $250,000 for his stay in the institution
Doe claims that he was ‘too drunk to consent to sex’ on the night in question, when the victim accused him of sexual assault
He claims to have blacked out on the night of the alleged offense after downing seven beers in 45 minutes
He also claims that the alleged victim gave him a drink while he was blacked out, helped him undress, got a condom and initiated physical contact
First thing he remembers is waking up on the morning of December 13, 2017, in another woman’s bed dressed in only his underwear, Doe claims
The petition states that Doe provided witnesses and experts to back his claims but that the school ignored these when coming to their ruling
Doe claims that his brief flashes of memory from that night were dismissed, but when a woman went before the board months prior her flashes were deemed credible
He is claming the investigation was biased because of his gender
John Doe [real name withheld], who was expelled from Columbia Univ [photo] after a disciplinary board found him guilty of sexual assault is now suing the Ivy League institution and arguing he could not have committed the offense because he too was raped that night.
A student who was expelled from Columbia University after a disciplinary board found him guilty of sexual assault is now suing the Ivy League institution and arguing he could not have committed the offense because he too was raped that night.
The young man, named as John Doe in a court filing submitted in New York Superior Court earlier this week, claims to have blacked out on the night of the alleged offense after downing seven beers in 45 minutes.
The next thing he remembers is waking up in another woman’s bed dressed in only his underwear.
Doe states in the court documents he considered reporting the incident after leaving the woman’s room in the early morning hours of December 13, believing that he had not been capable of giving consent on the night in question.
His father urged him not to, and the following day he spoke with a mutual friend of the woman about what transpired that evening.
Then, two weeks after the encounter he learned that the woman was accusing him of sexual assault, prompting him to file a notice with the college accusing her of the same offense.
Doe ultimately lost that review, and as a result was expelled just weeks after he was set graduate from the school.
He was also informed that he would never be able to collect a diploma from the university after spending what he estimated to be $250,000 on his education.
Now, he wants those decisions reversed, his diploma handed over and monetary damages to make up for the losses he suffered as a result of the college’s ruling.
He stayed there for less than an hour he claims, and at that point has no clear memory of the night.
‘Petitioner’s next memory after entering the Uber was waking up partially clothed in an unfamiliar room in a stranger’s bed on the morning of December 13, 2017,’ states the petition.
‘After waking on the morning of December 13, 2017, Petitioner did not know where he was, how he arrived there, whose bed he was in, or who was in the bed with him. He also did not know how or when he met the person who was in bed with him.’
The petition states that Doe began to recall brief moments from the night over time however, which he used to mount his defense against the university,
‘Petitioner has no memory of what occurred in the living room after he returned to the living room. His next memory is Complainant leading him to her bedroom,’ reads the heart of the complaint,
‘Upon entering the bedroom, Petitioner believes Complainant initiated physical contact by kissing him. Petitioner is unclear as to how he got undressed in his heavily intoxicated state, but he believes he had help from the Complainant in removing his clothes.’
The filing gets on to explain: ‘Petitioner had a flash of memory where Complainant was on the bed, opened her legs and scooted back to indicate that she wanted oral sex. Petitioner does not recall whether there was any discussion regarding this event.
‘Petitioner’s next memory is Complainant retrieving a condom from somewhere in the room but has no memory of any discussion with Complainant about condom usage.’
An investigation kicked off soon after, one that Doe and his attorneys claim was biased because of his gender.
The rulings they argued also directly contradict those made in previous probes states the filing.
As an example, the filing points to the fact that a woman who had flashes of memory in her rape case earlier that year had been taken at her word by investigators when detailing her alleged assault.
‘In at least one similar case at Columbia where a female student claimed to have blacked out following excessive alcohol consumption, Respondents credited the female student’s recollection the night in question when she stated that she had flashes of memory following the incident,’ reads the petition.
‘Respondents concluded that the female student was incapacitated (and therefore unable to consent to sexual activity) and found the male student responsible, based on the female student’s testimony related to her partial memory loss. Here, Respondents arbitrarily decided to discredit similar testimony from Petitioner.’
The investigation also ignored testimony from an individual who had seen Doe that night and believed he was too drunk to consent.
Doe said that hours after he awoke he ‘expressed the distress and shame he felt for his alcohol-fueled blackout and felt taken advantage of in his intoxicated state’ in a conversation with his father.
‘Petitioner asked his father for advice on whether to report the incident to Columbia, but his father discouraged him from reporting believing it was better to try to talk to the Complainant and work things out with the her directly,’ states the petition.
Doe was charged with two counts of Sexual Assault: Intercourse (mouth to vagina and penis to vagina), for which he entered a plea of ‘Not Responsible.’
The board who heard the argument ultimately cleared him of one count but found him ‘responsible’ for the ‘penis to vagina’ charge.
The female was found ‘not responsible’ on all claims made by Doe, and Doe’s attempt soon after to appeal the decision was rejected by the board.
A two year suspension was recommended and Doe’s diploma was withheld by the school, despite the fact that he had fulfilled his course requirements.
His expulsion came after he was accused of committing a violation of the school conduct code while his case was being decided that is not detailed in the petition.
Soon after his appeal was rejected, Doe was informed that he had been expelled from the school and would not receive his diploma.
‘As a result of the expulsion, Petitioner will be precluded from obtaining his degree despite Respondents’ admission that he has completed all the necessary academic requirement for conferral,’ states the petition.
‘Petitioner has also paid more than $250,000 in tuition but will not be awarded his degree.’
‘The Gender Policy provides numerous examples of when sexual activity should cease. None of these examples suggests that an utterance of the word “ow” or ambiguous body language that may show engagement, such as shifting position mid-coitus, indicates a withdrawal of consent,’ states the petition.
‘By utilizing these words and actions as evidence of Complainant’s withdrawal of consent, Respondents improperly and arbitrarily imputed a standard not contained within the Gender Policy upon Petitioner.’
The second cause of action lists the facts that Doe feels were not taken into consideration by the board.
‘Respondents arbitrarily failed to properly consider the conclusions of Petitioner’s expert and evidence that clearly indicated that Petitioner was incapacitated pursuant to the Gender Policy (e.g., speaking in a German accent; asking to shower in a stranger’s dorm room; inability to keep his balance),’ reads the petition.
‘Respondents arbitrarily disregarded text messages written by Complainant stating that she “wasn’t very loud” about her alleged withdrawal of consent.
‘Respondents also, without justification, dismissed evidence from a witness who stated that Complainant told her that Petitioner “didn’t seem to realize as if he had done anything wrong.”
‘Further, Respondents ignored testimony from a witness called by Complainant who indicated that Petitioner was too drunk to provide affirmative consent to engage in intercourse with Complainant.’
For the third cause Doe declares: ‘Respondents failed to base their determinations that Petitioner sexually assaulted Complainant on a rational interpretation of the relevant evidence.’
And the fourth and final cause states that Doe should have been made aware the combination of being found responsible for assault and the infraction of the conduct code would lead to his expulsion.
Later he also lists as a cause the decision to withhold his diploma.
The filing does not however include any information as it relates to the alleged victim’s version of events, or the messages exchanged between the two.