Sophomore accused of groping drops case

Brandon Arcari, Assistant Breaking News Editor

A sophomore has dropped his lawsuit against the University.

His case against the University stated he was denied due process after he was accused of sexually assaulting a female student at a club rugby party last spring.

The lawsuit was dismissed by the sophomore, identified as John Doe, stated Enrique Corredera, the communications director, in a Jan. 14 email.

The female student, identified as Jane Doe, had accused John Doe of groping her at a club rugby party April 28 last year.

The club was cleared after a Title IX investigation, according to the UVM men’s rugby treasurer Matthew Cortigiani.

The dismissal means that John Doe waived his right to bring this lawsuit back to court again, according to Nolo, a legal advice website.

“The plaintiff filed with the court a dismissal of the plaintiff’s case,” Corredera stated.  

The lawsuit claimed the University chose to make an example out of Doe and that there was no evidence to support his one-semester suspension.

It also said the female student’s accusations against John Doe were false, accepted as fact and denied John Doe due process of law.

The Title IX coordinator, Nick Stanton, was listed as a co-defendant in the suit. Stanton was said to have a conflict of interest as both the investigator as well as having to make the final decision about the case.

John Doe alleged in the suit that the University violated the 1972 Title IX Education Amendments by having an “anti-male discriminatory bias afflicting UVM’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures.”

In the suit, Doe’s lawyers cited statements from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a speech she gave at George Mason University Sept. 7 last year, rescinding the 2011 Dear Colleague letter.

The statements cited included that “the era of ‘rule by the letter’ is over,” and that “every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.”

UVM was never served with the lawsuit and did not influence John Doe’s decision to dismiss it, Corredera stated.

Corredera said that UVM did not alter Doe’s disciplinary record, sanction or status as a student, nor did it pay any settlement.

“UVM stands behind its policies and processes and how they were applied in John Doe’s case,” Corredera stated. “Those policies and processes have not been altered as a result of his lawsuit.”