A graduate of Boston College is suing the university, claiming that the school violated its own polices and federal anti-discrimination laws because of the way it handled the sex assault allegations against him. It was in 2012 that college officials charged John Doe with the sexual assault of a female student during a student boat cruise.
The school, based on its probe, found the plaintiff responsible for indecent assault and battery and he was suspended for three semesters. The student also was charged with the crime in Suffolk County District Court, but that case was thrown out last year because of video and physical evidence exonerated him.
Now, John Doe’s family wants $3 million in damages, expungement of his record, and a permanent injunction against Boston College, mandating that it must comply with Title IX, which requires gender equity on campus.
At Altman & Altman, LLP, our Boston personal injury lawyers represent parties that sustained injuries because of a Massachusetts campus crime. Unfortunately, sex assault and rape continue to be far too common occurrences and many victims find themselves contending with school procedures and policies that don’t properly handle sexual crime claims. Victims of campus sexual assault may have reason to pursue a Boston injury case against the perpetrator and others who could and should have prevented the incident from happening.
This week, hundreds of students at Brown University marched in silence across the school grounds to protest the handling of recent sex assault allegations. A number of those who participated taped $1 bills over their mouths to stand for the victims who have been silenced. Among the latest purported mishandlings is the school’s decision to drop drugging claims by two female students, including one who said she was sexually assaulted last year at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity party.
In a recent, unrelated sex assault lawsuit, a former Stony Brook University student claims that the school discouraged her from notifying county police about what happened. The victim alleges that she was sexually assaulted in a dorm room last year and sustained bruises on her body. The school later asked her to cross-examine her alleged assailant during a university disciplinary hearing. Now, she is suing the school and her alleged attacker.
According to Inside Higher Ed’s fifth yearly Survey of College and University Presidents, although a third of college presidents in the United States consider sexual assault to be a problem on college campuses, only 6% think the issue exists on their own campuses. This type of denial is one of the reasons rape culture remains prevalent in schools.
However, sometimes there are instances in which a person is wrongly accused of committing a crime, suffering emotional trauma and other damages from the misplaced allegations as a result.
Graduate Files Lawsuit over BC’s Handling of Sexual Assault Case, Boston Globe, March 13, 2015
Former Student Claims in Lawsuit Stony Brook University Mishandled Sexual Assault Case, CBS New York, February 26, 2015
Brown students protest handling of sex assault allegations, WHDH, March 11, 2015
2015 Survey of College and University Presidents, Inside Higher Ed
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