Accused Sexual Assault Perpetrator Sues for Degree

Amherst College student says he’s facing double jeopardy for an assault he’s accused of committing in 2009.

An Amherst College student suspected of committing sexual assault five years ago has sued the campus for not issuing him his diploma.

The man, identified as “John Doe” in court papers, claims he was supposed to graduate this year, but the college withheld his degree after re-opening an investigation into allegations that he had sexually assaulted his roommate in 2009. Doe’s alleged victim wished to remain anonymous but claims his anonymity was broken when Amherst College submitted the results of its investigation to the court, reports the University Herald.

According to the college’s investigation papers, Doe climbed into bed with his roommate when, according to Doe who had consumed seven to nine alcoholic beverages, his roommate didn’t show signs of resisting. Doe said he wasn’t sure if his roommate had consented to the sexual contact. His roommate, however, said he told Doe he didn’t want to have sex. The victim also claims Doe had made several advances toward him before the assault.

In lieu of suspension for this and several other incidents, Doe was placed on medical leave and probation in 2010 for alcohol use and personal issues, reports the Huffington Post. When he returned, he was warned to not violate the school’s honor code and that his actions could be subject to further discipline. In 2011, his roommate dropped out of school to avoid contact with Doe.

Doe claims that the school withholding his degree is a form of double jeopardy and that he never committed sexual assault on his roommate. He is suing the school for $2 million in damages.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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