Two black, male students were expelled two days after a white female student accused them of sexually assaulting her. The male students sued their former university and have now reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount.
Justin Browning and Alphonso Baity, II, were students at the University of Findlay in Ohio until they were accused by a fellow student, referred to in court documents only as M.K., of sexual assault. The case dates back to 2014. Browning and Baity were roommates along with two other African-American students. M.K. was friends with all four of these men and would go to their home frequently, according to the male students’ original lawsuit, which I covered in detail.
One night at a house party M.K. asked Browning to leave the party with her, according to the lawsuit. The two – and two others – returned to the house and talked for a few minutes before M.K. and Browning went to his room and engaged in sexual activity. The original lawsuit was very specific in saying that M.K. never said “stop” or “no” or otherwise indicated in any way that she did not consent to the activity.
“To the contrary, M.K. affirmatively consented to the sexual activity(ies) by saying ‘yes.’ At all times, M.K. initiated all sexual activity and physical contact of a sexual or intimate nature with Browning, and physically and verbally encouraged and voluntarily consented to such contact and interaction,” the lawsuit said.
Baity returned home later that night. He entered his room, which he shared with Browning, and saw his roommate engaging in sexual activity with M.K. The accuser suggested he join, and he agreed, according to the lawsuit. Baity and M.K. then engaged in sexual activity while Browning stayed on his own bed.
M.K. would eventually leave the room, according to the lawsuit, completely naked and sit down with the other people in the room and talk with them. At some point she returned to Browning’s room and engaged in further sexual contact. She left in the morning.
The lawsuit claims she bragged to several people about her encounter with the two black men: A woman in her dorm and at least one other friend.
M.K. made her accusation 10 days after the sexual encounter. Two days later – and after an investigation that failed to interview M.K. or all the witnesses at the party – Browning and Baity were expelled. They appealed, and before the appeals process was complete, the university sent out a campus-wide email announcing the two had been expelled (including their names). Their appeals then fell through.
More than a year later, they filed a lawsuit, alleging discrimination based on their race and sex. They believe only one of their African-American roommates was interviewed (and not two other African-American witnesses) because the school felt they “would be biased in favor of Plaintiffs and contain no useful information.” The students claimed the university only spoke to two white women who were at the house when the encounter happened because the school thought the women would band together in favor of the accuser, which they did not.
These two women said they were retaliated against by the university for upholding the accused students’ side of the story. The university strongly denied this and also denied allegations that racism played a role in the students’ expulsion. The school also claimed that, contrary to Browning and Baity’s lawsuit, students interviewed as part of the investigation did not all side with the accused and say a student who sent an email to the university did not claim M.K. bragged about the sexual encounter.
This lawsuit has been ongoing since late 2015. M.K. filed a counterclaim against Browning and Baity claiming she was too drunk to consent and seeking damages for the disclosure of photos and video of the encounter without her consent. Sr. U.S. District Judge James G. Carr recently denied a motion from M.K. and her attorneys for prejudgment attachment, and wrote that it was unlikely M.K. could achieve a settlement from the accused students, according to court documents reviewed by the Daily Wire.
Further, in a status report on the case filed January 31, 2019, Browning and Baity’s attorneys say they have “resolved all claims” with the university “to their mutual satisfaction.”
Findlay affirmed this in an email statement to The Daily Wire.
“The University of Findlay and two previously expelled student-athletes, Justin Browning and Alphonso Baity, have resolved all claims between them to their mutual satisfaction, the specifics of which are confidential. They have no further comment,” the statement said.