A male student has settled with American University after he was found responsible for sexual assault for a few minutes of over-the-clothes sexual activity that he says was initiated by the female student who accused him more than two years after the incident.
The male student, using the pseudonym John Doe, is an immigrant from Kuwait, a conservative Muslim country. Prior to enrolling in American, John had never even held hands with a woman before, as Kuwait has “strict laws, customs, and traditions regarding physical intimacy before marriage,” the student said in his lawsuit against the school alleging sex discrimination.
On the night of April 22, 2016, however, that all changed for John. His friend, referred to in court documents reviewed by The Daily Wire as H.S., and H.S.’s female friend, referred to only as Jane Roe, went to John’s apartment to hang out. While there, Jane ate part of a marijuana-laced brownie she had received from H.S. Neither H.S. nor John ate the brownie, instead drinking alcohol. At the time, John didn’t know Jane very well, but when H.S. left the room to vomit in the bathroom, Jane kissed John, according to John’s lawsuit. Since John was inexperienced, Jane “took the lead,” putting her hands on his head and guiding him toward her breasts. John touched Jane’s breasts over her clothes without her objection, and she then guided his head to her lower body. He asked her, “is this what you want me to do?” and she responded “yes.” Again, John was inexperienced, so he merely fumbled around for a few seconds including at one point putting his mouth on her clothes – he never performed oral sex. Since it was John’s first time with any sexual activity, he kept asking her if what he was doing was alright, and, he says in his lawsuit, she consented.
Shortly after their brief encounter ended, Jane order an Uber to take her and H.S. back to their own dorm. Before leaving, she hugged John and thanked him for being so “caring” by asking her for permission, unlike “someone else” in her past. Jane also texted John when she returned home, saying H.S. vomited on the ride home but that he was “OK.” The next night, Jane texted John to ask if he was “okay with everything.” John responded saying he was, to which Jane replied: “Yeah I’m tired but okay.”
More than two-and-a-half years later, just months before John was set to graduate, Jane suddenly filed a formal complaint with American’s Title IX Office alleging John had sexually assaulted her in 2016. She claimed John was somehow responsible for her eating the pot brownie and that she was incapacitated and unable to give consent during their brief and limited sexual activity. She also claimed that it was John who initiated sexual contact, accusing him of penetrating her with his finger.
A month after Jane made her allegation, John learned she also made multiple allegations against H.S., though he did not at that time learn what those accusations entailed. He later learned from H.S. that Jane claimed he had somehow made her eat the brownie and that when she was incapacitated from that brownie, H.S. grabbed her hair, one of her breasts, and “violently” kissed her. Jane also made a second complaint against H.S., alleging he and another friend, C.S., physically assaulted her and exposed their genitals to her in February 2016. She also claimed in that report that H.S. grabbed her breast.
In each instance, H.S. was found not responsible for Jane’s allegations. John, however, was found responsible for touching Jane without her consent, claiming he misread Jane’s clear statement of “yes” after John asked, “is this what you want me to do?” and her actions of physically moving John’s head over her breasts and between her legs.
The interactions lasted mere seconds, and Jane herself told school investigators that John stopped what he was doing when she asked.
John was found not responsible for making Jane incapacitated or digitally penetrating her. He was still suspended for a year-and-a-half, meaning he could not graduate on time even though he was just months away from receiving his diploma.
John, as hundreds of other students have done, sued American University, alleging the school violated his rights by conducting an investigation that ignored witness statements and text messages contradicting and undermining Jane’s claims and her own inconsistent statements, as well as her alleged withholding of evidence that undermined her claims. John also alleges the school investigator “selectively” quoted a witness, “leaving out key language that undermined” Jane’s claims, and ignored the text-message exchange between John and Jane, claiming Jane was merely responding to John, even though she initiated the messages.
This investigator, who is named in the lawsuit, also allegedly gathered evidence against John while investigating Jane’s claims against H.S. without sharing the information with John.
And while John didn’t receive information or updates from the investigator, Jane did. She also had access to all the information that had been withheld from John. John also argued in his lawsuit that finding Jane not credible in her allegations against H.S. should have helped John’s case, yet she was found credible in his case despite her apparent false allegations against H.S.
“She’s either trustworthy or not. H.S. cannot be credible in his own case but not credible as the key witness — who contradicted Ms. Roe’s claims — in Mr. Doe’s case. And Mr. Doe cannot be credible as a key witness in H.S.’s case but not credible in his own,” John said in his lawsuit.
John also alleged that he was not allowed to challenge members of the Sanctioning Panel that determined his suspension, even though university policies said he was “entitled” to do so. John also wasn’t allowed to have an advisor present, even though university policies allowed it.
John appealed the finding but was denied without explanation, granting the excessive suspension despite the actual findings against him.
After more than a year in the legal system, John and the university filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on February 22, 2012, an indication that a summary had been reached in the case. John’s attorney, Matthew Kaiser, did not respond to a Daily Wire press inquiry prior to publication.