A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a University of St. Thomas student who sued the school after he was suspended when another student accused him of raping her.
The student, listed as John Doe in the lawsuit, argued that the school's investigation into an assault reported in December 2015 violated his rights by not having a fair investigation and hearing process before suspending him for three semesters.
But in his order, Chief Judge John Tunheim found that Doe was unable to show that the school mishandled the case.
"Even considering all of the facts in a light most favorable to Doe, Doe cannot show a genuine issue of material fact as to [the school's] alleged breach," Tunheim wrote. "The Court therefore concludes that no reasonable jury could decide that [St. Thomas] breached its duty of care."
In his lawsuit, Doe said the school was biased against him, but Tunheim said he found no evidence of that.
"Nowhere does he show any connection between the training that [St. Thomas] administrators were given and bias in his specific case."
Tunheim's decision comes amid a proposed overhaul of Title IX from the Trump administration, which governs how schools must respond to sexual assault reports.
Doe was a St. Thomas freshman in 2015 when he walked another student back to her dorm. Though their accounts would differ, both would describe a sexual encounter that ended after he requested oral sex and she refused.
The next morning, she reported to the school that she had been sexually assaulted.
Following a school investigation, he was told that "he had been found responsible for nonconsensual sexual intercourse" and was suspended for three semesters. The decision was upheld after he appealed.