N.Y. College Student Sues After Being Suspended Over Sexual Assault Claim

A student filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to suspend him from college for two semesters for allegedly having a threesome, according to court papers.

The man, referred to in court documents as John Doe, reportedly had a threesome with a female student and another man. After, the female student said she regretted the incident and complained to AMDA about it, the New York Post reported. The AMDA then accused John Doe and the other male participant of violating the school's sexual misconduct policy.

In his suit, John Doe says the woman initiated the threesome.

“Jane Doe told Plaintiff she ... wanted to have a ‘three-some,'” court documents read, according to the Post.

The two male students involved claim to have a recording of the female student speaking after they had sex.

“It was just a lot to handle ... Both of you guys at one time," she reportedly said in the recording. "I mean damn. Maybe another time, but at different times."

The AMDA said that John Doe would have to take a sexual violence class before being allowed to restart his studies after the two-semester suspension. When John Doe appealed the decision, the AMDA decided that he hadn't violated the sexual-misconduct policy after all. He allegedly did, however, still violate the school's "basic rules of conduct."

In what is becoming a growing trend, the male student says that his Title IX rights were violated. Title IX is a federal regulation stipulating that higher education institutions must tackle gender-based violence.

He's suing for unspecified damages.

Last year, two students at the University of Houston sued the institution after they were expelled for being involved in an alleged sexual assault. They also claimed that their Title IX rights were violated.

A federal judge rejected their suit, but they launched an appeal during the week of Nov. 9.

Joshua Engel, the lawyer for the two students in that case, blames new federal regulations for the increasing number of lawsuits regarding cases of alleged sexual assault.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education instructed post-secondary educational institutions to rely on a preponderance of evidence, rather than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Engel’s two clients said in their suit that they did not get an adequate opportunity to defend themselves at an administrative hearing held by the university.

“We’ve seen schools really rush to judgment on these cases in order to make themselves look better for the Department of Education all around the country,” Engel told the San Antonio Express-News.

Others disagree, arguing the regulations are necessary to ensure sexual assault allegations can be investigated.

Sources: New York Post, San Antonio Express-News / Photo credit: Flickr, Wikimedia Commons

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