Should continuing to assert your innocence be seen as a sign of guilt? After issuing a three-semester suspension to football player “John Doe” for sexual assault, Carleton College in Minnesota gave him the option of appealing the verdict. He did so, to no avail.
Then the dean of students wrote to Doe that “the fact you continue to assert that it was okay to engage in sexual activity with a person in [Jane Doe’s] condition is deeply troubling.” John’s suspension was upgraded to a permanent expulsion.
That’s just one of many troubling claims made in Doe’s lawsuit against Carleton College, which was filed in U.S. District Court earlier this month. John alleges that investigators violated his due process rights, ignored evidence that undercut his accuser’s claims, and evinced bias against him at all stages of the process.
The lawsuit stems from the events of April 28, 2017, when John, Jane, and many other students received invitations to join a secret society. They were told to meet at a specific place on campus at 2:00 a.m., where the members of the society instructed them to consume copious amounts of alcohol and then cover the president’s house in toilet paper. On the way to the house, the lawsuit claims, Jane stopped John, whom she had just met, and began kissing him and then touching him below the belt. According to John’s lawsuit, he eventually grew uncomfortable with the public nature of their contact, and suggested they go back to his dorm.