Libel Lawsuit Over University Rape Allegations Can Proceed

Eugene Volokh:

Reddington moved to dismiss, but the court allowed Goldman’s claim to go forward:

First, Reddington argues that the complaint fails to adequately allege that her statements were false. While plaintiffs must offer more than a conclusory statement of falsity, Reddington attempts to impose a heightened standard contrary to New York law. Goldman unambiguously disavows the accusation of rape as “utterly unfounded,” and presents specific facts through the OCDA report to plausibly allege that Reddington’s claims are not true….

Reddington cautions the Court against the use of the OCDA report, noting that the District Attorney’s decision not to bring criminal charges “does not conclusively establish that no sexual assault occurred.” However, the criminal standard of proof is immaterial here…. While the Court is sensitive to the exceedingly difficult task of corroborating claims of sexual assault, and has questions about the SANE examination and Title IX investigation, a motion to dismiss is an inappropriate forum to deal with these concerns. Reddington is free to renew her arguments regarding falsity in a motion for summary judgment following discovery.