University of Michigan must give student live hearing in sex assault case, court rules

Darcie Moran:

A federal judge has ordered that the University of Michigan allow a live hearing for a student accused of sexual assault.

The student, identified only as “John Doe” in the filings, has alleged that the university is violating his due process rights during an ongoing investigation into whether he violated the university’s sexual misconduct policy.

The decision Friday comes in response to a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in the federal lawsuit filed in June. It points to a likelihood the case against the university may be decided in the student’s favor.

The sexual misconduct investigation stems from a complaint a female student raised with UM’s Office of Institutional Equity on March 12, 2018 alleging the male student assaulted her in his residence hall room four months prior. The male student claims in the lawsuit that the sex was consensual.

The lawsuit alleges the university has denied the male student any form of hearing or cross examination, but provides those to students facing all other forms of discipline.

University policy, the lawsuit claims, has “created an environment in which decision-makers at the University are explicitly and implicitly biased against males accused of sexual assault.”