Judge: UTC wrestler expelled in sexual misconduct case allowed to take finals by Claire Wiseman
A UTC wrestler expelled Tuesday after a sexual misconduct finding will be allowed to take his finals, a Nashville judge ruled Thursday.
Jeff Rufolo, attorney for wrestler Corey Mock, said a Davidson County Chancery Court judge issued an injunction that essentially allows Mock to complete his semester at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. That means Mock could receive credit for the semester if he ultimately wins a judicial appeal of his expulsion, Rufolo said.
A university spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Mock, a nationally ranked senior wrestler, was expelled the day before finals, after UTC Chancellor Steven Angle upheld a judicial officer's determination that Mock was responsible for sexual misconduct with a female student last spring.
After Tuesday's expulsion, Rufolo said he requested a stay that would have allowed Mock to remain a student, but that Angle denied that request.
The sexual misconduct case was adjudicated through the university, and Corey Mock was never arrested or charged with a crime.
A campus judicial officer initially found Mock not responsible, then reversed her finding weeks later, Rufolo said.
The university would not confirm that sequence of events.
Rufolo said his client was accused of having sex with another UTC student "without her consent," and the decision in the case focused on the university's "yes means yes" standard.
Mock's father, C.D. Mock, speaking in a phone interview from North Carolina, said the university's decision in his son's case was influenced by the national debate over the way sexual assault is handled on college campuses. Documents detailing Angle's denial of Corey Mock's appeal reference the current climate on campuses nationwide and in the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether 55 universities nationwide mishandled sexual assault cases in violation of Title IX.
Prior to the injunction, the chancellor's timing meant that even if Corey Mock won an appeal, his semester would not have been complete.
"[Angle] couldn't have done anything worse than what he did," C.D. Mock said.
Corey Mock previously wrestled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his father is the program's head coach.