A male student at Columbia University is moving forward with a suit against the university for alleged anti-male bias in the handling of a female student’s sexual assault accusations, Campus Reform reports.
In a ruling handed down Friday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s initial ruling against the lawsuit, arguing that there was sufficient plausibility of a Title IX violation in the university’s handling of the case.
The student was suspended for “sexual assault non-consensual intercourse” in 2013, and his claims of bias had previously been rejected by the District Court.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, the plaintiff’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, said the university caved to “public pressure” in its handling of the sexual assault case.
“From the outset, Columbia University manipulated this investigation and engaged in gender bias against the accused, ignoring evidence and conflicting accounts presented by witnesses,” Miltenberg said.
Doe alleges that the university neglected to read him his rights and never interviewed witnesses he recommended to clear his name.
Columbia defended itself, saying the university’s investigator neglected to interview witnesses because Doe was only ever accused of coercing the female student into sex, not forcing himself on her.
Columbia has a controversial history in its handling of sexual assault cases. A recent case resulted in a female student, dubbed “mattress girl,” gaining national attention for carrying a mattress around campus in protest of the university’s handling of her case.
Her case resulted in Columbia changing its policy on sexual assault cases from a “no means no” policy to “knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants involved” and clarifying that “any non-consensual sexual activity is gender-based misconduct.”
Some allege that this policy potentially rejects “innocence until proven guilty” in favor of pro-female bias in sexual cases and allows women to retroactively accuse men of rape or sexual assault, deciding after the fact that they didn’t want to engage in sexual activity.