A male University of Massachusetts-Amherst student was found responsible of sexual assault and suspended, even though the female student accused him waited more than a year to accuse him and he was only given one hour to look at the university’s file against him. The male student sued, and a judge this week denied Amherst’s motion to dismiss, finding the student had a case in regard to his Title IX and due process rights being violated.
The case was filed by the male Amherst student, referred to in court documents reviewed by The Daily Wire as John Doe, who had several sexual interactions with a female student referred to as Jane Doe. On October 20, 2018, Jane sent John a message on Snapchat asking to come over to his dorm to hook up, just as she had done several times in the past. John agreed, so Jane went to his dorm and the two had sexual intercourse. Usually, Jane would stay the night after the two hooked up, but this time John had to ask her to leave because his parents were coming the next morning. Jane left and walked back to her own dorm building with a friend.
Two days after their encounter, Jane returned to John’s dorm room and began yelling at him, saying she had been drunk the night they had sex and accusing John of rape. He yelled back at her, saying he hadn’t raped her. That was the end of things – or so John thought.
More than a year later, on November 3, 2019, Jane claimed she was sexually assaulted by John to Amherst officials. She only filed the complaint because she wanted to move into the same dorm building as John and told university housing that she wanted him to be moved elsewhere. She was told she needed to file a sexual misconduct complaint against John, so she did.
John wasn’t told about the accusation until January 7, 2020. On January 23, John met with an assistant dean about the alleged incident and was apparently assured nothing would come of the complaint. Months later, on March 6, this same dean said he had spoken to additional witnesses and wanted to speak with John again. A few days after that, John was informed his case had been referred for a hearing.
Just two days before the hearing, John was told it would be held on April 24. He wasn’t told who the hearing members were (so he couldn’t check any conflicts of interest) and was allowed just one hour to review the case file that would be used against him. While reviewing that file, John wasn’t allowed to make copies. John wasn’t informed until the day before the hearing that he could have an advisor, and at that point it was too late to find one. He also wasn’t informed he could ask to delay the hearing so he could find one, or that he could make an opening statement or submit a final written argument. He was not instructed on how to prepare opening, closing, or impact statements for the hearing.
The hearing consisted of two non-party witnesses being asked how drunk Jane was and her intention about going to John’s dorm that night. Neither Jane nor John were asked questions regarding the incident.
Jane gave no evidence that she had been assaulted – no police report was made, nor any medical report, and she only made the accusation a year after the encounter. At the hearing, however, she claimed the event ruined her life. John says this isn’t true, because Jane’s boyfriend broke up with her in the spring of 2020 and it was only after that she left school.
Nevertheless, John was found responsible for sexual assault and suspended for two years. He appealed the decision, saying the university violated its own policies by allowing Jane to make the accusation outside the one-year time limit on complaints. He also argued the burden of proof was placed on him and he was not provided an equal opportunity to state his case, along with several other errors in the case against him.
His appeal was denied, so John sued. Amherst tried to get the case dismissed, but on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel (a President Jimmy Carter nominee) allowed John’s case to continue, arguing that John’s due process rights were violated by the university only allowing him one hour to review the evidence against him. She also ruled that John’s Title IX rights were violated and that Amherst showed gender bias in its treatment of John.
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