A University of Cincinnati graduate student identified only as "John Doe" has sued the university after being found guilty of sexual harassment and sexual assault by the university. According to a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer, the lawsuit alleges that the trial was biased against John "from the start... in order to look good for the Department of Education and advocates."
Doe has been suspended from the university for one year after allegations surfaced that he had assaulted a female student -- identified as "Jane Roe" in the lawsuit -- in September, 2015.
The lawsuit, filed by Doe's attorney, Joshua Engel of Mason, alleges that the university violated both Title IX and due process in both the handling of the investigation and the ruling against him, supposedly to make the university "look good" in response to "criticisms of a possible 'rape culture'" on the University of Cincinnati campus.
At this point, it is worth noting that over 400 Title IX complaints were filed in 2015, and more than 260 have been filed thus far in 2016, including incidents which are both "sexual in nature and non-sexual." It is also worth noting that, of those cases, only four individuals were found guilty of causing physical abuse or harm in the more than 400 cases filed in 2015, and, as yet, John Doe is the only individual found guilty in the over 260 cases filed this year.
As the Cincinnati Enquirer has also noted earlier this year, rape statistics show that the rates of sexual assault in Cincinnati, especially on university campuses, are abnormally high and as New York Daily News reports, the University of Cincinnati has been involved in numerous cases involving rape culture, and are under fire for mishandling of Title IX cases, which have demonstrably not been prosecuted.
Doe's lawsuit, meanwhile, alleges that he was denied the opportunity both to defend himself, and to confront his accuser; he claims that there was a lack of evidence and that he could have defended himself, but was not allowed to do so, or to seek counsel. It also alleges that he was found guilty due to being unable to question Jane, as she declined to attend the hearing -- and his lawyer agrees.
"We have hundreds of years of history suggesting that the ability to cross-examine and confront your accuser is essential to having a fair and accurate process."According to the lawsuit, the University of Cincinnati deliberately favors women over men in sexual assault cases -- which seems demonstrably untrue, judging by their prosecution statistics.
"UC's decision-makers and its investigator were motivated to favor the accusing female over the accused male, so as to protect themselves and UC from accusations that they had failed to protect female students from sexual assault."Doe claims that he and Roe met on Tinder, and had consensual sex at his apartment. Roe reported the incident to the university as rape roughly a month later, one of the nearly 100 reports of rape and sexual harassment on campus that year.
"What sets this case apart from some of the other cases we've brought is the University of Cincinnati is pushing the envelope in what they can do in these hearings beyond where any other school has gone," said Engel.
Engel, who bills himself as a "campus crime attorney," has represented multiple men accused of sexual assault before -- including another University of Cincinnati student. According to WCPO, in an oddly similar case in September, 2015, a UC football player (identified again as "John Doe") was suspended for sexual misconduct against a woman. Joshua Engel filed a lawsuit alleging that the university's sexual misconduct policies were slanted against men in favor of women. He is also repeatedly on record, according this time to the Daily Beast, as claiming that campus administrators are biased in favor of female victims.
This will probably come as a surprise to the hundreds of female victims at University of Cincinnati whose alleged abusers were declared not guilty in the past two years.
Regardless, if Doe's lawsuit should fail, he will be eligible to re-enroll on Jan. 2, 2018.
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