CU-Boulder facing sex assault lawsuit

November 25, 2014

A male student is suing the University of Colorado claiming his civil rights were violated after he was found guilty of sexual assault by Boulder campus officials and suspended. The man said he is protected by federal gender equity laws typically used to protect the rights of female students.


The student, identified in court documents only as “John Doe,” said he was wrongfully suspended for three semesters after a night of consensual sex. The man’s attorneys filed the complaint using a pseudonym because they said they fear retaliation against their client, according to court documents.


CU chief legal officer Patrick O’Rourke said the lawsuit filed under Title IX, the federal gender equity law, is still being reviewed.


The man’s lawyers say CU’s investigation was slanted in favor of the woman and took her statements at face value while mischaracterizing their client’s statements. They say investigators from CU’s Office of Student Conduct were employed to prosecute campus sexual assault, not to gather unbiased evidence.


Colleges and universities use a standard of proof recommended by the U.S. Department of Education that finds an accused person guilty if the evidence shows he or she is more likely than not to have committed the policy violation, the Boulder Daily Camera reported Sunday ( ).


The lawsuit was filed after the university determined that the male student sexually assaulted a female student last year.


According to the complaint, the Boulder Police Department found no evidence of sexual assault, but CU accused the man of violating policies involving sexual relations.


His lawyers argued that CU administrators did not advise him of support services on campus, were inflexible with meeting dates and times, did not investigate important evidence and did not interview several eyewitnesses.


They also claim that the woman made a false complaint because she was angry and she reported the assault because she wanted to scare the male student. Details of the police complaint were not available because the lawsuit did not include the man’s name.


The man is seeking an undetermined amount of money and requests that CU reverse its findings, expunge his disciplinary record and destroy any record of the sexual misconduct investigation.


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