CHICAGO (CN) – A former male student of Columbia College Chicago claims he was kicked out of school because of the college’s anti-male bias after a female student falsely accused him of sexual assault.
John Doe filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court on Monday that says CCC “violated Title IX by creating a gender biased, hostile environment against males, like Doe, based in part on CCC’s pattern and practice of disciplining male students who accept physical contact initiated by female students.”
Doe says he was suspended for the 2016-17 academic year after the female student, called Roe in the lawsuit, filed a complaint against him in February of last year claiming he had raped her while she was drunk and incapacitated.
According to Doe, the two were at a small dormitory gathering before heading back to his room, where Roe initiated sexual contact with him. She asked him to have sex, he says, but he declined because they had just met.
Her feelings seemingly hurt, Roe left shortly after, he claims. She allegedly texted him the next day to say she had had a “great time.”
But according to the lawsuit, Roe began to attack him, spreading rumors among her friends and on social media that he had raped her and filing a complaint with the school.
“Roe acted with malice when she falsely told CCC that Doe sexually assaulted her in part because she was angry Doe declined Roe’s request to have sexual intercourse,” the lawsuit states.
Roe’s friends allegedly called Doe a rapist on social media, using his name in their posts. One also punched him in the face and he and his now-wife received threatening notes and text messages, he claims.
“Doe informed CCC that Doe was suffering retaliation at the hands of Roe and her friends after engaging in protected activities by defending himself against Roe’s allegation,” the complaint states, but he says the school did nothing to stop or discipline them.
CCC knew Roe’s allegations were false, Doe claims, because its disciplinary hearing found Roe’s statements that he held her down and non-consensually kissed her were not true. The panel also had affidavits from three witnesses that said Roe did not appear to be incapacitated shortly before the alleged incident.
Doe says he even took a polygraph test that showed he was telling the truth in his version of the events.
“When Doe reviewed CCC’s file regarding his disciplinary proceeding, he saw no documents evidenced Roe’s receipt of medical treatment related to her allegations against Doe,” the complaint adds.
The college refused to tell Doe what he had been accused of and didn’t provide him with details of his alleged school violations so that he could properly defend himself, he says.
After the panel’s ruling that despite the evidence, Roe’s testimony was more credible than Doe’s, the school rejected his appeal and he was immediately removed from his dorm.
Doe says that schools have recently been encouraged to have a bias against men in the way they investigate sexual assaults, giving preference to the woman’s side of the story.
He adds that CCC’s support of anti-violence events such as “Take Back the Night” and the “Clothesline Project” create an anti-male atmosphere on campus, when it should be treating sexual assault in a gender-neutral way.
Represented by Eric J. Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Ball Co. in Granville, Ohio, Doe is suing CCC for Title IV violations and Roe for defamation. He seeks at least $75,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages.
Anjali Julka, CCC’s senior communications manager, says the school is aware of the lawsuit but does not comment on pending litigation.
Julka added that “in investigating any allegation of sexual assault, Columbia College Chicago follows its established policies and protocols that are based on the law.”
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