A new lawsuit against the University of Findlay accuses the school of expelling students after rape allegations from a student who had bragged about sleeping with them.
Justin Brown and Alphonso Baity are both former student-athletes at the University of Findlay, a small private college in Ohio. Both of them were expelled after a female student, identified only as “M.K.”, accused them of raping her in September 2014.
But in their lawsuit, Brown and Baity say there are many witnesses who said their sexual encounter with M.K. was consensual, and that further evidence came from the accuser herself.
“M.K. boasted about having voluntary and consensual sexual relations with Plaintiffs,” the suit says. “M.K. professed to be very proud of the prior evening’s events. She was not upset in the slightest. Indeed, M.K. never mentioned any alleged sexual assault or rape to any of her female friends and acquaintances, or to her Resident Assistant.”
Ten days later, though, M.K. allegedly changed her tune, and filed a sexual assault claim with the university. At that point, Findlay began what the lawsuit calls a “sham” investigation lasting less than a day.
Brown and Baity’s lawsuit adds a new wrinkle to the many lawsuits accusing schools of improperly expelling students accused of rape. While several lawsuits have accused administrators of being biased against men and against defendants, Brown and Baity, who are black, also accuse the school of being racially biased and favoring their white accuser.
After the allegation was filed, the lawsuit says, school officials questioned Brown and Baity, but without describing the specific accusations against them (M.K. was never interviewed at all). They refused to interview the men’s black housemates, though, allegedly because they assumed they would defend their friends. Instead, officials only questioned white women who were present the night in question. Even these women disputed M.K.’s version of events, and the lawsuit says they were punished for doing so, with one losing her work-study job and the other being threatened with expulsion.
Despite the lack of supporting evidence, the lawsuit says Findlay made the immediate decision to expel Brown and Baity, without holding a hearing. Not only that, but the school sent a campus-wide email specifically identifying them and saying they had been expelled for sexual assault, which led to the publication of news stories naming the men. One of those news stories supports the men’s claim they were expelled very quickly, without a hearing.
The lawsuit claims it can muster numerous witnesses to support its claims, but Findlay isn’t ready to concede defeat.
“The university conducted this process with integrity and fairness,” a spokesman told The Washington Examiner. He said the school would “vigorously defend” its adjudication processes.
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