College Student Sues School After Being Accused Of Sexual Assault

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A University of Chicago student who was twice accused of sexual assault is suing his school, alleging that the university is violating his rights under Title IX by creating a “gender-biased, hostile environment against males.”

The anonymous student, known in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court as John Doe, alleges that the school turned "a blind eye" to defamatory statements and actions by two women who accused him of sexual assault, even though an investigation into the initial alleged assault was found to be meritless by the school. He asks for $175,000 in damages.

The lawsuit centers around sexual assault allegations made against Doe by two women, named as Jane Doe and Jane Roe in the lawsuit. John Doe claimed that he was sexually involved with both of the women, who were friends, in 2013, but his encounters with each were consensual.

According to the lawsuit, in 2014, Jane Roe filed a complaint against him for sexual assault. Doe says that, though the complaints were found to be without merit, he was nevertheless pulled out of a class that the two shared. He claims that Roe’s friend Jane Doe also embarked upon a social media campaign to defame him with accusations that he had sexually assaulted both Roe and herself. John Doe, a theater student, also alleges that Jane Doe campaigned against his student-directed performance, damaging him professionally.

The anonymous John Doe isn’t the first to sue a school after being accused of sexual assault. Paul Nungesser, the Columbia University student accused of rape in the case made famous by Emma Sulkowicz’s “Carry That Weight” performance art protest, later sued the school in a lawsuit very similar to Doe’s. Nungesser argued that Columbia had violated his rights by tolerating Sulkowicz's protests, therefore allowing him to be harassed and defamed in public opinion. A judge threw out the initial lawsuit, but Nungesser has since filed again.

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