'John Doe' drops lawsuit against Univ.
A former student referred to only as “John Doe” in court proceedings withdrew his lawsuit against the University on Sept. 13. Doe had accused the University of mishandling a 2014 sexual assault investigation in which he was accused. He filed the initial suit in April 2015.
The withdrawn lawsuit does not affect the Title IX Complaint Doe lodged against the University through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The agency is continuing to investigate the University over the matter.
In April, Judge Frank Dennis Saylor dismissed some parts of Doe’s case but kept these core accusations intact. In an 89-page memorandum, Saylor called the 2013 to 2014 Special Examiner’s Process “secret and inquisitorial” and said it lacked the “basic fairness” which private universities that receive federal funding must legally have in their sexual misconduct investigations.
In a press release distributed through his attorneys, Doe said that he withdrew the lawsuit because he felt “vindicated” by Saylor’s memorandum in April. Moreover, Doe was concerned about the ongoing cost of continuing the suit and wanted “to get on with his professional and private life,” according to the statement.
In a statement emailed to the Justice, Senior Vice President for Communications Judy Glasser wrote that “Brandeis agreed to the dismissal of this case at the plaintiff’s request. There was no settlement involved. We remain confident that we have the policies and procedures in place to enable us to promptly and appropriately investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct affecting the Brandeis community.”
The case centered on Doe’s relationship with a boyfriend — referred to as “J.C.” in court documents — who accused Doe of sexual assault and harassment several months after their relationship ended. The alleged sexual misconduct included waking his boyfriend with a kiss and sexual overture and touching his groin while watching a film.
Doe was found guilty under the 2013 to 2014 version of the Special Examiner’s process and received sexual assault training and a disciplinary warning. Doe claimed in his suit that the University also provided the documents to an employer, causing him to lose a prestigious internship.
Doe sued the University over issues with both the Special Examiner’s process itself and with its execution in his particular case. Doe did not know what he was being accused of when he was interviewed by the Special Examiner and lacked the right to counsel.
The current Special Examiner’s Process permits advisers and provides the accused with more detailed information about the case prior to a decision.