UMass gender bias case for male student in sexual assault charge allowed to proceed

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A federal judge has upheld a former student’s lawsuit against the University of Massachusetts Amherst, arguing that the student did not have sufficient time to review a sexual assault case that led to his suspension from the school last year. 

A female student, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe,” filed a formal complaint with the university in November 2019, more than a year after the alleged sexual assault took place, according to court documents reviewed by Fox News. 

A view across the outside courtyard of the W.E.B  Dubois library toward the Campus Center Hotel on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, a public institution.

The documents say the female student messaged a male student, identified as “John Doe,” via Snapchat on Oct. 20, 2018, asking to come to his dorm room to “hook up.” The two had sex in his dorm room and two days later, she told him she couldn’t remember what happened that night because she was “intoxicated,” the documents say. 

In January 2020, the university informed “John” of the November complaint made by “Jane” alleging sexual assault in October 2018. The university notified him that a hearing on the matter would be held on April 24, 2020. 

A day before the hearing, John was allowed just one hour to review the university’s investigatory file, but he was not allowed to make copies of those materials, according to the civil action. 

The university notified him in May 2020, that he had been “found responsible” for sexual misconduct and would be suspended from his studies there for two years. 

“John” filed a lawsuit against the university, arguing that it was responding to external pressure to implement disciplinary procedures that gave “preferential treatment” to female victims. He alleged that the procedures were biased because he was a male accused of sexual assault. 

UMass Amherst attempted to dismiss John’s case, but last Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel – appointed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter – allowed his case to continue, arguing that his right to due process under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Zobel also ruled that the university showed gender bias against him, in violation of his Title IX rights. 

Fox News has reached out to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for comment but did not hear back before publication. 

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