A former Colgate University student was expelled one month before he was to graduate after the university found him “guilty” of three separate sexual assault charges.
The student claims he was wrongly accused and his attorney says, “there’s actually evidence within the administration, within the faculty, that there was a push toward findings of responsibility and toward skewing the hearings.”
Ex-student sues Colgate University over expulsion in sex misconduct case
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former student who says he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct sued New York’s Colgate University on Monday for expelling him after investigating complaints by three female students.
The man, an anonymous 22-year-old from Florida, was accused of non-consensual digital penetration, nonconsensual touching and sexual exploitation by three female students in separate incidents during the 2011-12 academic year, according to the lawsuit, brought in U.S. District Court for the Northern District. The women each filed reports about the incidents in October 2014.
Colgate, a small liberal arts university in Hamilton, New York, conducted an investigation and held a combined hearing on the three charges. The hearing panel found the accused student responsible for each charge and issued a disciplinary sanction of expulsion a month before his expected graduation, according to the lawsuit.
The ex-student told Reuters the sexual activity reported in each incident was consensual and that he thinks Colgate’s hearing process needs to better protect students’ right to due process.
“I would like to have my records cleared, and I would like to be able to go back and finish my degree,” the former student said in a telephone interview. “I understand that accusing someone of sexual assault like this is no laughing matter, but I also think it’s terrible to be wrongly accused like this.”
The lawsuit claims that Colgate failed to conduct a fair and timely investigation and did not abide by a preponderance-of-evidence standard. It also argues the student was discriminated against based on his gender and that the severity of the sanctions was disproportionate to that of the charges.
Ex-student sues Colgate University over expulsion in sex misconduct case (WTVB)