Male UO student accused of sexual assault seeks to overturn university suspension
A male student of University of Oregon is seeking to overturn the university’s decision to suspend him for an alleged sexual assault case in Lane County Court Sept. 6, the Register-Guard reports.
The student, identified in court documents by the pseudonym “John Doe,” claimed that he was falsely accused of an off-campus sexual assault. He also stated university officials gave him an unfair disciplinary hearing before banning him from campus for two years.
His attorney, Lissa Casey, asked Judge Jodie Mooney to postpone the suspension so he could complete his undergrad program this upcoming fall term.
“This particular student is so close to his degree that (the suspension) would be a substantial consequence for him,” Casey said. “…Our position in this case is that this was not a fair process.”
Attorney Amanda Walkup, representing the university, said the university had done its due diligence in the investigating process; therefore, the student’s claim should be denied. She said a ruling to defer the suspension would “undermine the university’s entire disciplinary process.”
Mooney urged the two parties to reach an agreement that would lift the suspension but still protect his accuser and the UO’s disciplinary process before noon Sept. 8.
If they fail, Mooney will issue the ruling.
According to court documents, UO investigated in a claim made by a female student in February 2016 that she was sexually assault by John Doe. The alleged incident has caused her panic attacks, damage in academic consequences and fear of seeing John Doe.
By May, UO reached a decision to suspend John Doe until the end of the 2018 summer term and placed a “negative notation” on his transcripts that can be removed at the end of his ban.
The student’s attorneys say that the UO’s decision was not supported by any substantial evidence. They also accused the university of violating the student’s procedural due process rights by not allowing him to cross-examine his accuser or other witnesses, not swearing in the witnesses prior to giving testimony and not having a “neutral decision-maker” impose sanctions against John Doe.
This case is not the only of its kind. Three former UO basketball players, Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, are also suing the university for mishandling their cases. The university is asking a judge to dismiss the suits.
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