University of Michigan: Prof Not Guilty of Sexual Assault Because Accuser Is Gay

Pride flags on fence
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The University of Michigan is allegedly accusing a former student of being gay as part of its defense against his claims that a celebrated music professor at the university assaulted him. According to the man’s lawyer, the university is “blatantly playing on harmful stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community equating same-sex relationships with indiscriminate promiscuity.”

Former University of Michigan student Andrew Lipian filed a lawsuit against his former institution in 2018, claiming that Professor David Daniels sexually harassed and assaulted him between 2016 and 2018. Now, the university is using Lipian’s alleged homosexuality as a defense against the claim. The problem? Lipian, who is married to a woman, denies that he is gay.

Lipian’s attorney, Deborah Gordon, explained in a court document that the University of Michigan has attempted to use false claims of Lipian’s past sexual behavior to suggest that his interactions with Daniels’ were consensual. “The University clearly seeks to defend this case by incorrectly asserting that Plaintiff consented to Daniels’ disgusting overtures and acts, and that this consent will be proven if Plaintiff ‘has kissed another man on the lips,'” Gordon wrote. “In addition to ignoring well-settled law rejecting this theory, Defendant is blatantly playing on harmful stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community equating same-sex relationships with indiscriminate promiscuity.

Lipian was asked a series of questions by the University of Michigan legal team during a deposition that took place in July. “Have you ever had a homosexual experience?” and “have you ever kissed a man on the lips?” were amongst the questions posed to Lipian during the deposition.

 “Moreover, through its questions attempting to elicit evidence that Plaintiff is gay, the University has made it clear that it is willing to ‘out’ any student who sues them, even where, as here, the sexuality of the Plaintiff is not relevant as to whether he was sexually assaulted and harassed by an openly gay Professor,” Gordon wrote.
Gordon claims that her client’s sexuality is irrelevant to the sexual misconduct that took place between 2016 and 2018. In July, Professor Daniels and his husband were indicted by a Houston grand jury over claims that they assaulted a Rice University student in 2010 after slipping him a sleeping pill.

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