A federal district judge has allowed a male student’s defamation lawsuit against a female student who accused him of rape to survive a motion to dismiss.
The male student, whom The Daily Wire will call John Doe, was accused of raping a female student, who shall henceforth be named Jane Roe. The two students attended Syracuse University.
In 2017, the two attended a party at John’s fraternity, which was co-hosted by Jane’s sorority. Surveillance footage from the night showed the two students entering John’s room around 12:30 in the morning. The two awoke in the same bed the next morning, fully clothed, with no memory of what happened the night before.
The following day, Jane went to Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York for a sexual assault examination. Because she didn’t remember the night before, she assumed she was drugged. She received a sexual assault examination, which found caffeine and marijuana in her bloodstream. A bloodstain was found on the crotch area of her white leotard, but there was no blood on her underwear. There were also two “tears” to Jane’s labia, but “no internal cuts or abrasions to vaginal walls and she had smooth hymen edges,” according to Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf’s summary of the case contained in her ruling. The ruling was first reported by Reason’s Eugene Volokh.
A DNA analysis of Jane’s vagina found no male DNA.
Despite these findings, indicating no sex occurred, Jane reported John to the Syracuse Police Department. Police investigated the claim and closed the case without charging John, since there was no physical evidence that any sexual contact occurred and Jane said in interviews she couldn’t remember what happened that night. Syracuse police forwarded the results of their investigation to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, which conducted its own investigation and came to the same conclusion as the police. The report from the DA concluded, “There is no credible proof of any sexual conduct in this case, consensual or non-consensual.”
In June 2017, however, Jane took her claims to Syracuse University’s Title IX department. Jane initially told school investigators that she had no memory of the night in question but weeks later said she experienced “sudden flashes of memories following a visit to a therapist.”
After these allegedly recovered memories, Jane claimed John raped and sodomized her without her consent. Despite no physical evidence of her claims, Syracuse expelled John based on Jane’s say-so alone.
Jane went to John’s fraternity the next day and bragged that “her rapist was expelled,” according to court documents.
John moved to New Jersey and enrolled at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He also obtained an internship with Bohler Engineering.
Jane then began publicly claiming that John was a “rapist,” which resulted in him losing his internship. John included six instances of Jane’s “defamation.”
- Jane sent a text to John’s friends, calling him a “violent rapist.”
- Jane sent a text to one of John’s other friends, calling him a “monster.”
- On Facebook, Jane called John a “rapist” and claimed it was not the first time he “has raped someone and I want to make sure that it is the last.” She posted his picture, marked the location as NJIT, and tagged both NJIT and Bohler in the post.
- On LinkedIn, Jane called John a “rapist” and tagged NJIT and Bohler once again.
- Jane also messaged Bohler directly on Facebook. Bohler responded by saying it “elected to immediately terminate the employment relationship” with John based on Jane’s “allegations.” Jane then posted that she was “feeling happy” that John lost his internship, again calling him a “monster” and “a disgusting excuse for a man.”
- Finally, Jane “reviewed” NJIT, claiming, “A school that accepts recently expelled rapists, despite it being marked on their transcript…………………. “
Judge Mauskopf accepted most of John’s arguments that Jane had defamed him except one — about John’s fear that he may be expelled by NJIT for Jane’s claims. Because nothing has actually happened to him at NJIT, his fears are (so far) not related to any actual actions.
Jane’s attorneys tried to push back on John’s claims, saying that John didn’t suffer any injury due to her conduct, even though John was clearly expelled from Syracuse and fired from his internship as a direct result of her claims.