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Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
A former University of Dayton football player has sued the school and a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, which resulted in the player being suspended from the university for two years.
Filing anonymously in Dayton's U.S. District Court as John Doe, the player claims he was falsely found to have been guilty for what he says was consensual sex on Sept. 4, 2016. Doe was suspended for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
The filings name as defendants UD, the anonymously named Jane Roe, the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) and its managing partner, Dr. Daniel Swinton.
The complaint indicates neither the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office nor city of Dayton prosecutors filed charges against Doe.
"A finding of sexual misconduct against a student in academia is the ultimate scarlet red letter for these guys," said attorney Eric Rosenberg, Doe's attorney. "I'm aware of at least three suicides by falsely accused students, and I often take calls from suicidal falsely accused students.
"These students can't get often into community colleges, they can't get into the military, they're academically and professionally done, currently."
Rosenberg wrote that UD violated Title IX by creating a gender-biased hostile environment against males based in part on the school's pattern and practice of disciplining male students who engage in consensual sexual activity with female students.
"This is a really huge problem on college campuses," he said.
The complaint - which, with exhibits, totals 719 pages - said Doe took a polygraph that showed he was telling the truth and that UD did not accept the results as credible.
A UD spokeswoman said the school doesn't comment on pending litigation. They released a statement that read, in part: "We strive to maintain a campus environment that protects the dignity of all persons and is free of sexual harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct."
The statement said the school takes reports of sexual assault seriously and investigates promptly and thoroughly through university police and an internal Title IX process: "We take care to ensure that our polices and processes are in compliance with U.S. Dept. of Education requirements and are fair to all."
The complaint details how Doe and Roe met at a party and played corn-hole before going to Roe's residence and, ultimately, her bedroom.
The versions of what happened after that differ, but both agree they had sex - Doe said it was consensual - and that later, Doe left. That night, two University of Dayton police officers showed up at Doe's residence to question him.
That led to an investigation and, ultimately, to Doe being dismissed from the university. His appeal also was denied. Doe's attorney said his client was not able to ask questions of his accuser and that the gender-biased process led to a false determination.
"Prior to this, he was absolutely in love with the university and loved being there, and his faith in the university was shattered by what happened to him," Rosenberg said.
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