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Former student sues Denison over sex investigation


Denison University and an unnamed female student have been sued by an unnamed male student who says he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

Filed in Licking County Common Pleas Court, the lawsuit alleges the female student had consensual sex with the male student on Sept. 13 and the encounter ended at the female student’s request.

The female reportedly filed a complaint with Denison security about 10 days later. According to the lawsuit, the male was asked to speak with security, and after he did, the student contacted his father who is an attorney.

The male student’s father alleges that he spoke with Denison officials who said the university’s disciplinary actions would be stopped if the student withdrew. The student left the university in October; however, the investigation into him was continued by the university, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states the continuance of the investigation is a breach of an oral contract made between the male student’s father and the university.

The plaintiff also filed for a temporary restraining order Wednesday asking that the university end its investigation against the male student and not file any misconduct charge or disciplinary procedures against him.

Denison officials had no immediate comment Friday.

According to the lawsuit, Granville police interviewed the female student and charges were not pursued. Acting Police Chief Keith Blackledge said Friday that a Granville officer attempted to speak with the alleged victim on Sept. 23 but said the victim did not wish to talk with police.

Blackledge said the case was then closed, though it could have been reopened if the victim decided later to talk to police.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said Friday that, without names and seeing a copy of the civil suit, it is difficult to comment on the case.

However, Oswalt said, according to communication from Granville police, “It was reported to me that the victim did not want to proceed.”

The male student’s attorney, Eric Rosenberg, of Granville, also could not comment Friday.

Rosenberg, who is not the male student’s father, also was the attorney for two other former Denison male students who sued the university after they were expelled over allegations of sexual misconduct, one in 2010 and the other in 2013, according to Advocate archives.

Both suits were settled out of court, with details not made public. However, the first suit prompted the Licking County Prosecutor’s Office to implement a memorandum of understanding with Denison and Granville police to improve communication about crime on campus.

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