Monday, December 9, 2013

Student acquitted of rape, sues college and student accuser

Stephen Zingarelli, a former Kenyon student who was acquitted last June of rape and gross sexual imposition, filed a lawsuit on Thursday, Dec. 5 in Knox County’s Court of Common Pleas against Kenyon College, the student who accused him of rape and a student Sexual Misconduct Advisor (SMA). The suit was first reported by the Mount Vernon News yesterday.

In the suit, which contains 14 individual counts, Zingarelli accuses Kenyon of breach of contract and negligence in the training and supervision of SMAs. The suit also accuses Kenyon of violating Title IX of the Education Acts Amendment of 1972 by discriminating against him based on his sex.

Zingarelli also alleges that his student accuser subjected him to malicious prosecution, infliction of emotional duress and defamation.

In the suit, Zingarelli additionally claims his accuser destroyed evidence relevant to the case, and alleges that those actions were taken "with the aid and encouragement of [the sexual misconduct advisor], and at her direction."

All three defendants are accused of civil conspiracy to damage Zingarelli in the suit, which was independently obtained and confirmed by the Collegian.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the College as well as injunctive relief. The suit also seeks damages and attorneys fees from the two student defendants.

Although the suit repeatedly seeks damages “yet to be determined,” it cites $175,000 in paid Kenyon tuition, counseling fees in excess of $500, attorney’s fees in excess of $15,000 and “lost opportunities and income caused by delay in graduating and entering the professional world.”

Director of Public Affairs Mark Ellis told the Collegian that Kenyon would not comment on pending litigation.

Mr. Zingarelli’s attorneys, who are employed by a firm in Cleveland, did not immediately return the Collegian’s request for comment.