COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- KBTX has learned a Title IX lawsuit has been filed by a former student against Texas A&M University that alleges male-gender bias in a sexual conduct investigation.
Texas A&M University has declined to comment on the case.
The student is represented by attorneys Andrew Miltenberg and Michelle Simpson Tuegel.
According to a statement from the attorneys, their client, referred to as John Doe in the lawsuit, was wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct by a fellow student and suspended for over one full year and dismissed from the University’s Corps of Cadets.
"TAMU failed to provide a fair and unbiased investigation of the encounter, resulting in the violation of Title IX and John Doe’s fourteenth amendment rights to due process. The University went so far as to conduct the sexual misconduct and adjudication process without John Doe’s participation, while the accused student was hospitalized and admitted to a mental health treatment facility," said the attorneys.
“After he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct, this young man suffered severe depression and anxiety resulting in his hospitalization and subsequent admittance to a mental facility,” said Miltenberg, who has represented hundreds of accused males on college campuses.
“Yet, the administrators at TAMU -- showing callous disregard for his
well-being and rights to due process -- moved forward with a biased hearing and presumption of guilt, providing him with no opportunity to defend himself from these false claims," said Miltenberg.
According to the complaint, the John Doe’s accuser, Jane Doe, had previously been accused of sexual misconduct by a male student. While John Doe was removed from campus housing and his extracurricular activities during the course of the disciplinary process, Jane Doe was allegedly able to remain in her dormitory and activities while claims against her were being investigated and adjudicated.
"While John Doe was found 'responsible' of all four charges against him, without a basis, rationale, evidentiary support, or the opportunity to defend himself, TAMU assigned Jane Doe and her accuser '50/50
responsibility,' and Jane Doe received no sanctions," according to the statement issued from the attorneys.
“The stark difference in the procedures and sanctions implemented in the investigations of John Doe and Jane Doe point to a blatant male gender bias at TAMU,” said Tuegel. "The anti-male discriminatory bias in the TAMU process is a clear violation of Title IX and the Fourteenth Amendment requirement for procedural due process.”
The complaint goes on to state that, in erroneously deciding that John Doe engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of TAMU’s Title IX policy, the adjudicator relied on prejudicial assumptions and failed to apply the requisite preponderance of evidence standard required by both the University’s own policies and Title IX.
The student's attorneys say at all times, John Doe was deemed guilty.
Consequently, John Doe was suspended for over one full year and dismissed from the University’s Corps of Cadets, said the attorneys.
The complaint states that "this extreme and severe sanction was not warranted in light of the lack of evidence."
"The complaint also notes that TAMU has recently come under fire for its unlawful Title IX procedures. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opened an investigation at TAMU into the disciplinary process and procedures in place in the University," said the attorneys.