College Settles Lawsuit with Student Alleging Discrimination in Sexual Assault Case
The student argued Washington and Lee University’s sexual assault policies failed to provide an equitable disciplinary process.
A small university in Virginia has settled a lawsuit with a former student who claimed the school’s disciplinary proceedings discriminate against students accused of sexual assault.
Washington and Lee University and a student who had been expelled in November 2014 asked a judge to dismiss the case Jan. 6 and did not disclose the terms of their settlement, according to dailyprogress.com.
The lawsuit alleged that Washington and Lee University’s disciplinary board was influenced by the Rolling Stone article about a rape at the University of Virginia that has since been discredited. The board issued their ruling on the student’s case a day after the story, titled “A Rape on Campus,” was published.
The lawsuit also outlined a speech the university’s Title IX coordinator allegedly made on campus that argued “regret equals rape,” which insinuated that a consensual sexual encounter can later be deemed rape if a student regrets it after the fact. The plaintiff said his accuser heard the speech and it encouraged her to bring charges seven months after the sexual encounter.
The university released a statement following the settlement defending its disciplinary system and classifying its policies as “fair and equitable.” Title IX Coordinator Lauren Kozak also denied giving the “regret equals rape” speech.
The expelled student, referred to as John Doe in court, had requested to be reinstated at the university and was asking for an undisclosed sum of money in his lawsuit.
More than 100 lawsuits have been filed alleging bias college disciplinary systems according to the male student advocacy group “A Voice for Male Students.”
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