Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Former Sewanee student suing school after false rape accusations

CHATTANOOGA (AP) - In a legal fight surrounded by unusual secrecy, a former student at Sewanee: The University of the South contends the university wrongly forced him to leave after a female student falsely accused him of rape.

A federal judge at a hearing Monday in Chattanooga set a July 28 jury trial on the suit that seeks at least $1 million in compensatory damages from the private, Episcopal-affiliated campus in southeastern Tennessee.

The former student was never criminally charged. The victim claimed she had been raped in his dorm room.

The suit contends the university has harmed his reputation and career prospects by improperly deciding he violated its sexual assault policy early in the fall 2008 semester.

Identified only as John Doe in court records, the suit contends it was consensual sex. All attorneys declined comment.