A judge argued that sexism played a role in the expulsion of a male student at Johnson and Wales University who suffered an allegedly botched investigation into a sexual assault allegation against him.
According to court documents, the student, referred to as John Doe, was accused of sexually assaulting Mary Smith after the two had been engaged in a consensual sexual relationship. Those familiar with the case, such as The Federalist’s Ashe Schow, argue that Smith’s account of two alleged assaults “raises questions and contradicts other evidence.”
Despite the reasons for skepticism over the accusations, Doe was promptly expelled by Johnson and Wales University. After Doe attempted to appeal his expulsion to the university, he immediately received a denial from school officials. The case, now before a court system, is confirming the concerns of those who believe that universities exercise too much discretion when handling sexual misconduct allegations.
KC Johnson is a history professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, attended the court hearings. According to a blog post by Johnson, the judge argued that sexism was the only possible reason that Doe might have been expelled. “On the pleadings,” the judge said, there is “no reason at all why the result was Mr. Doe’s expulsion. The only inference [is] . . . gender played a role.”
Doe’s case highlights again that there may be issues with due process at universities that are willing to take matters that are meant to be handled by the criminal justice system into their own hands.
In July 2017, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faced tremendous backlash after she announced that a few individuals who were falsely accused of sexual assault would be joining her at speaking events where she addressed sexual violence on campus.