Jury Awards Nearly $4 Million To Student Who Accused University Of Mishandling Sexual Assault Complaint

YouTube - Screenshot - Pacific University

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Brandon Poulter Contributor
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A jury ordered Pacific University to pay nearly $4 million to a student last week who accused the school of handling sexual allegations against him improperly, according to The Oregonian.

Peter Steele enrolled in Pacific University’s psychology doctorate program in 2016 and found himself accused of sexual assault in 2020, which resulted in his suspension that year, according to the lawsuit against the university. Steele settled with his accuser but filed suit against the school, claiming the university improperly suspended and expelled him in September 2020 following the allegation. (RELATED: ‘Let’s Kill Eleri’: California School District Sued For Ignoring Homicidal Petition)

“My sincere hope is that Pacific’s leadership takes a hard, searching look at what happened in this case so it can do what is necessary to ensure that it never happens again,” Steele’s lawyer, Kevin Sali, told The Oregonian.

Pacific University Campus in Forest Grove, Oregon. Credit YouTube – Screenshot – Pacific University.

The jury sided with Pacific on all other counts and found that the school did not violate Title IX, according to The Oregonian.

“At every step in this situation, we followed our policies and procedures and we did not discriminate on any basis,” a spokesperson for the school said, according to The Oregonian. The school is considering an appeal.

“Both the size of the jury’s verdict and the fact that there was actually a trial was really, really unusual in this particular area of law and policy,” KC Johnson, professor of history at Brooklyn College who studies due process in campus sexual misconduct cases, told The Oregonian.

Pacific University did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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