Former Yale student who was expelled after a jury acquitted him of sexual assault files lawsuit agai
A Yale student expelled for sexually assaulting a female student after he had been acquitted of the charges in court filed a lawsuit against the university Friday seeking $110 million in damages.
The lawsuit by Saifullah Khan, which alleges that Yale denied him an education and ruined his reputation, is the latest legal volley that began in the fall of 2015 when Khan was accused of rape by a fellow student.
Khan, a native of Afghanistan, was recruited by Yale University and offered a full scholarship to be a member of the class of 2016 and receive “the very best education the United States could offer,” according to the lawsuit. Instead attorney Norm Pattis alleges Yale breached his privacy rights and breached a contract.
“We have not seen the complaint and are therefore unable to comment further at this time,” said Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart.
“What he received was a lesson in deceit, betrayal and the exercise of double standards. As a result of the acts and omissions of the defendants, the plaintiff has lost not just educational opportunity but the opportunity to live at peace either in the United States or in Afghanistan,” Pattis said.
Khan attended classes from 2012 through November 2015, majoring in neuroscience. On Halloween night he met a woman referred to as Jane Doe in the lawsuit.
The two went to a party and ended up having sex in her dorm room, the suit said.
The next day she claimed she was raped and filed a complaint with university officials. Khan was immediately suspended from classes and ordered to leave campus. Yale police opened an investigation and Khan was charged with first-degree sexual assault.
But when the case went to a jury trial in early 2018 Khan was acquitted on all counts.
He returned to school for the fall semester of 2018 despite a petition submitted to Yale seeking to bar Khan from campus that was signed by more than 77,000 people. At the time, school officials said its own investigation into the sexual assault allegations hadn’t been completed.
In October 2018 the Yale Daily News published a story in which Jon Andrews, a former board member for Families Advocating for Campus Equality, an advocacy group that supported Khan in the previous sexual assault case, alleged that Khan sexually assaulted him.
The lawsuit said Andrews accused Khan of sexually assaulting him during a “kinky bout of fetishistic role-playing with a pseudonymous woman” in June 2018. He also alleged that Khan slapped him in the face while they were together in Indianapolis.
A few days after the story broke Yale officials delivered a letter to Khan’s off-campus apartment informing him that he was “suspended effectively immediately from Yale College due to an emergency.”
The letter said his suspension “appears necessary for your physical and emotional safety and well-being and/or the safety and well-being of the university community.”
The lawsuit said the suspension was unnecessary because Khan posed no threat to anyone and should have been allowed to attend classes but that Yale submitted to outside pressure.
Khan underwent a university-ordered psychiatric examination, which concluded that he posed no threat to any other students.
In November 2018 Yale’s “University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct” finally held its hearing on the original sexual assault case involving Jane Doe. The lawsuit alleges that the hearing was a “sham” and that Khan or his attorney weren’t allowed to ask any questions of Jane Doe after she read her statement from a remote location.
The committee’s vote to expel Khan “was inspired in whole, or in part, by animus toward Mr. Khan and out of a desire to placate those who protested his return to the Yale campus.”