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Student suspended for sexual misconduct allowed back on campus

Judge rules that student suspended for sexual misconduct would ‘suffer irreparable harm if his suspension remains’

Despite a two-year suspension from the University, a student found responsible for sexual misconduct in a campus hearing this past spring will be allowed back on campus for the fall semester following an order issued from U.S. District Court Judge William Smith Aug. 23.

The student, referred to as “John Doe” in court documents, “will suffer irreparable harm if his suspension remains in place and he is unable to start the fall semester,” and the University is “enjoined and restrained from enforcing its suspension of Doe,” according to court documents.

In an April 2016 hearing, the University found Doe guilty of assaulting another student and suspended him from the University until fall 2018, after the alleged victim graduates, The Herald previously reported.

Doe then sued the University on the grounds of breach of contract for falsely applying the University’s definition of consent established in September 2015, 10 months after the alleged incident occurred. Though a final ruling on the suit has yet to be made, the court believes Doe is “likely to succeed (at least partially) on his merits of his breach of contract,” according to court documents.

The court upheld the University’s no-contact order, meaning Doe is still barred from contacting his alleged victim. With this “safeguard,” the court found that “Doe’s interest in resuming classes outweighs Brown’s interest in keeping him off campus while the outcome of the case is finalized,” according to court documents.

The University is awaiting the judge’s further decision, and the student can choose to remain enrolled in the University, wrote Brian Clark, director of news and editorial content, in a statement to The Herald.


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