Two Purdue University students engaged in sexual activity one night in July 2019, both cheating on their significant other in the process. While the male student felt guilty about cheating on his girlfriend, the female student decided to claim the encounter was sexual assault in an apparent effort to keep her boyfriend from thinking she cheated on him for a second time.
In court documents reviewed by The Daily Wire, the male student, referred to as John, engaged in sexual activity with the female student, Jane, after the two sent some flirtatious messages and agreed to meet up to drink and watch a movie at John’s apartment while his roommates — including his girlfriend, referred to as Mary — were out of town. Jane had been drinking before John picked her up from work but showed no signs of intoxication. She also knew John’s roommates would be out of town and brought an overnight bag along with her.
The two started drinking and watching the movie. Jane, according to John’s lawsuit, became “increasingly flirtatious and suggestive” and moved closer to John. John asked if she wanted to kiss and she grabbed him to begin making out with him in response. John then asked if she wanted to move into the bedroom and she said yes. Once inside the bedroom, they each began undressing and continued to engage in sexual activity. Jane quickly began having second thoughts, according to John’s lawsuit. She claimed she was on her period and said, “We shouldn’t do this” when John offered to put a towel down on the bed.
John agreed to stop and the two put their clothes back on and laid down together on the bed to cuddle. At some point thereafter, John says, Jane began rubbing her buttocks against John’s groin and making sexually suggestive moans. John asked Jane if she wanted to have sex, and this time she said “yes,” without hesitating.
John grabbed a condom, and Jane put it on him before straddling him and inserting his penis into her vagina while holding his arms down. They changed positions, with John in a dominant position, before he started feeling guilty about cheating on Mary. He stopped the sexual intercourse, and the two agreed not to tell anyone what happened.
The two fell asleep in each other’s arms. The next morning the two had breakfast together, and Jane returned with John to his apartment. Instead of going home, she spent more time at John’s apartment, watching a movie, and even asked to take a nap with him when he offered to drive her home. Jane also told John at some point that she had fun with him the night before.
That same morning, Jane texted her friend, referred to as Jill in court records, making no mention of an alleged assault or giving any indication she had been forced to have sex. Instead, Jane made clear that she needed to talk to someone because she “felt awful” about cheating on her boyfriend and claimed “she wasn’t straight forward enough to say no.”
John wrote in his lawsuit that Jane’s “lament is that of a young woman who wakes up regretting her infidelity, troubled that she gave in to her own sexual desire, and worried that if discovered, it will ruin her relationship with her boyfriend,” referred to in court documents as Paul.
Within days, Jane began claiming she was sexually assaulted and reported John to Purdue, though her story differed depending on who she was telling. Jane told her friend Jill the day after her night with John merely that she worried her boyfriend would be mad at her for cheating on him a second time (it was general knowledge among the group that Jane had previously cheated on Paul with her ex-fiancé). Later, Jane would tell others that she begged John to stop and that she had been in tears during the alleged assault, despite evidence to the contrary.
Jane even talked to John a week after their encounter, without making any accusations against him, simply saying she felt guilty about cheating. She then told John she felt “violated,” which began what John said was her orchestrated lies against him.
Jane spoke to John’s girlfriend, Mary, about the alleged incident, claiming she only planned that night “to drink and go home,” even though she brought an overnight bag with her. Jane admitted she had brought the bag and planned to spend the night to her friend Jill and campus investigators.
Yet with Mary, Jane claimed she thought John’s roommates would be home, even though Mary told investigators that Jane knew the roommates would be out of town prior to her going to hang out with John.
Jane also initially told investigators that John “grabbed her arm,” forcing her into the bedroom. She later admitted that wasn’t the truth. As the investigation continued, Jane claimed she was too drunk to consent and didn’t remember many details of the encounter, though she admitted to many specific details at certain times. She admitted to Purdue investigators that she put the condom on John and straddled him, though she didn’t admit this to Mary or Paul. She told Paul she was assaulted and didn’t know if protection was used. She also omitted the fact that she kissed and fondled John willingly on the couch when confessing the encounter to Paul.
Mary and another of Jane’s friends, referred to as Ruth, said Paul and others knew that Jane had previously cheated on him with her ex-fiancé. Mary also told Purdue investigators that Jane “has been known to dramatize and over exaggerate any slight inconvenience in her life. On numerous occasions, she refuses to take responsibility of her actions and blames others for any complications she experiences.” Ruth said something similar, noting Jane “constantly acted like the world was ending.”
Purdue seemingly ignored Jane’s inconsistencies and what her own friends said, deeming Jane’s claims to be credible while insisting John’s defense, which was consistent and backed up by evidence, was not credible.
John was only allowed to view Purdue’s preliminary investigative report, which seemed to ignore Jane’s inconsistent statements and the fact that much of what Jane and the witnesses said actually supported John’s version of events.
“The report indicates that the complainant told a variety of different stories, with little detail, to multiple people including the investigators. Many of the details that were provided by the complainant to the investigators support my version of what happened. Contrary to the complainant, my version of events has remained consistent and detailed throughout this investigation,” John wrote to Purdue.
The university held a hearing, which John says assumed Jane was telling the truth based on the pseudo-scientific “trauma-informed” policies Purdue follows, which insist that any inconsistency, lie, or statement contradicted by evidence is merely the result of the trauma resulting from the assault. Under “trauma-informed” investigations, there is no such thing as evidence that a woman made up her allegations. Guilt of the accused is assumed from the outset.
John said in his lawsuit that Purdue investigators didn’t even bother to properly attribute claims made in their preliminary report, several times attributing statements about John as statements about Jane. John said in his lawsuit that these errors made Jane seem more credible by making it seem like his testimony was inconsistent.
John informed Purdue investigators why Jane would lie about their encounter and suggested they talk to certain witnesses who could back him up, but it appears they didn’t contact those witnesses to ask.
John was not given access to the final investigative report and was not able to question its findings or witness statements therein, even though the report was used by adjudicators to find John responsible for sexual assault. John also wasn’t allowed to question Jane at the hearing, nor were witnesses allowed at the hearing, so John couldn’t question them or present exculpatory evidence from witnesses who backed up his story. At the hearing, Jane was allowed to give live testimony, but John wasn’t allowed to listen to what she said. John was also denied access to recorded interview with Jane and other witnesses. Further, John wasn’t informed of the identity of the three adjudicators to see if there were any conflicts of interest or bias prior to his hearing.
John was found responsible and Purdue expelled him. He appealed, and his sentence was inexplicably reduced to a one-year suspension. He sued late last year, following several other lawsuits against Purdue for violating male students’ due process rights. One of those lawsuits reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit while now-Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was still a member. Barrett found that a magistrate judge should not have dismissed the student’s lawsuit and that gender bias was an issue.
John’s lawsuit did not need to go that far. On January 11, 2020, John filed notice to dismiss the case after agreeing to an undisclosed settlement with Purdue.
John’s attorney, Eric Rosenberg, would not tell The Daily Wire what the settlement included but insisted that his “clients are able to move on academically and professionally,” after agreeing to settle with their universities. On Twitter, author and professor K.C. Johnson noted that John’s settlement was the 100th federal lawsuit since the Obama administration’s 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter” – which instructed schools to find more students responsible for sexual assault and led to the evisceration of due process rights for college students – to settle before any court decision was made in the case.
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