Victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment can file a civil lawsuit to collect money damages for physical or emotional injuries sustained as a result of the misconduct. These money damages compensate victims for such things as pain and suffering and medical expenses.
In early 2013, Sandra Jones filed a complaint against “John Doe” claiming that he raped her back in February 2012. According to the Daily Caller, both Jones and Doe were students of Amherst College at the time. It is undisputed that in February 2012, Doe and Jones engaged in oral sex in Jones’ dorm room. Jones claims that she did not consent to this, while Doe claims that he blacked out from alcohol consumption and does not remember any details of the night. After a hearing conducted by Amherst College, Doe was expelled in December 2013.
Now, Doe is suing Amherst College, claiming he was wrongfully expelled after an investigation that was “grossly inadequate.” Since his expulsion, he has recovered texts from Jones’ phone that seem to indicate that she was not raped. Rather, the texts sent by Jones state that she did something stupid. Jones realized, as indicated by the texts, that Doe’s girlfriend was her roommate. However, nothing in the texts indicate that she was the victim of rape. Instead, they are arguably an admission of knowingly performing an act, albeit one she immediately regretted.
Amherst’s response to Doe’s lawsuit is that his production of this new evidence is not timely, and thus cannot be considered. In other words, the time for an appeal has ended and Doe has no recourse. This is an especially severe policy considering the fact that students are not allowed to have an attorney present during the initial appeals process. Therefore, Doe may not have had the knowledge or forethought to ask for Jones’ texts during the narrow timeframe of the appeals process. Nevertheless, the College is not making any exceptions for Doe.
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of sexual harassment, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts sexual assault lawyers or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.