Rape charges have been dropped against University of Southern California college student Armaan Premjee due to video surveillance footage a judge says gives a “very strong indication” that the female accuser was actually the one who initiated what appears to have been consensual sex.
The footage, though, is clearly not as convincing to the college's Title IX office, which is continuing its "investigation" into the alleged incident.
Surveillance video shows the unnamed 19-year-old accuser, a fellow USC student, kissing Premjee outside Los Angeles' Banditos nightclub, where the two met, and then making a sexual gesture with her hands — sticking her index finger through a circle she formed with her other hand — behind Premjee's back to a friend outside the club. The two are also seen getting into an Uber ride before the accuser leads Premjee back to her dorm room where she signs in.
Premjee told Inside Edition the woman's roommate walked in on the duo having intercourse before he left the dorm. The student says he was shocked when he was handcuffed on campus by law enforcement and told of the rape accusation.
The accuser claims she doesn't remember making the sexual gesture nor giving consent because she was so intoxicated.
A California judge dismissed the case, as The New York Times reports: "The judge said during a preliminary hearing last week that he believed that the sex was consensual and that the videos were a 'very strong indication' the woman was the initiator, according to reports."
But a campus investigation is continuing due to a 2014 rule which requires college students to receive "active consent" in California and Title IX rules that say an intoxicated person is incapable of giving such "affirmative consent." Per the Times:
U.S.C.’s rules state that a person who is intoxicated is “not capable of giving valid, affirmative consent.” A student misconduct investigation involving Mr. Premjee within the university’s Title IX office remains active. If found responsible, Mr. Premjee, a junior studying business administration, could be expelled. The female student has not been identified, which is routine in cases involving claims of sexual assault.
Premjee says he's "very grateful" for the video footage which cleared him in a court of law, though he still faces expulsion from USC, which he says will "ruin" his life.
“The key issue here is evidence,” said the male student. “In most sexual assault cases, there’s not video evidence like there was in my case. Innocent men are put in prison for that, or are punished, or kicked out of school.”