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Ex-Yale Basketball Player Sues School Over Expulsion

The former captain of the Yale men’s basketball team who was expelled in February for an alleged sexual assault has filed a lawsuit against the university.

Jack Montague filed the suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. A university committee had determined that Montague raped a fellow student in violation of Yale’s sexual misconduct policies. The alleged sexual encounter occurred in October 2014. Montague received a formal complaint in November 2015.

Montague and his attorneys claim Yale was trying to use him as an example of the university’s efforts to crack down on sexual misconduct. They also claim in the complaint that Montague had had sexual encounters with the Yale student on at least three previous occasions and that the alleged incident was not the first time they had sexual intercourse. 

“Yale had long faced criticism from students and alumni for being soft on male sexual assailants,” according to a statement from Montague’s attorneys included with the lawsuit. “Mr. Montague — captain of Yale’s basketball team and one of the most prominent male students on campus — was Yale’s ticket to restoring its tarnished image.”

In addition to Yale University, the defendants named in the complaint are two university officials: Angela Gleason, who at the time was a deputy Title IX coordinator in the Office of the Provost, and Jason Killheffer, a senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the time.

Yale called the allegations in the lawsuit “factually inaccurate and legally baseless.”

“Yale’s procedures for addressing allegations of sexual misconduct are thorough and fair,” the university said in a statement, as reported by the Connecticut Law Tribune. “Allegations are investigated by an impartial fact finder, heard by five trained members of the Yale community, and decided by the dean of the school in which the accused student is enrolled. Throughout the process, all parties have advisors, which can be legal counsel, and they can appeal a decision.”

Montague was scheduled to graduate from Yale last month with a degree in American studies.

“The lawsuit may never make Mr. Montague whole, but it may repair some of the damage done by Yale and its employees to Mr. Montague’s reputation and to his promising future,” according to the statement from Montague’s attorneys.

After Montague’s expulsion, the Yale basketball team went on to win the Ivy League championship and appeared in its first NCAA tournament since 1962. The Bulldogs upset Baylor in the first round before losing to Duke.

Read the full complaint in The New York Times.

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