published Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Lawsuit trial over alleged rape at Sewanee starts in federal court

A $3 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Sewanee: The University of the South by a former student accused of an alleged rape began this morning in federal court.

Attorneys wrapped up jury selection before a 90-minute lunch break. Seven women and two men comprise the nine-member jury.

The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe in court documents, is suing Sewanee for negligence and breach of contract, claiming he received no due process when forced to leave following a university ruling on the alleged rape.

He seeks money for the damage to his reputation and loss of future earnings.

On Aug. 29, 2008, Doe and an 18-year-old female freshman had sexual intercourse in his dorm room, according to court documents. The woman, identified as A.B., stayed for a few hours after the act, then upon leaving at about 7 a.m., called police to report she had been raped by Doe.

A.B. left the school that semester for drug and alcohol treatment and did not pursue her charge against Doe.

After the school’s investigation, Doe was told he could leave for the semester and return with the charge on his student record or withdraw and reapply the next year.

U.S. District Judge Harry “Sandy” Mattice told the court he expects the trial to last until Aug. 30 or later.

For complete details, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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rolando said...

Mr. South -- How about mentioning the rape "victim" fleeing the city and avoiding arrest for making false police reports, etc.

Seems a pretty important fact to leave out in support of Mr Doe's lawsuit.

Swanee did the same thing another University did to their Lacross team members a while back...it punished without cause and accepted a woman's unsupported word without due process for the true victim -- Mr. Doe.

August 24, 2011 at 6:31 a.m.
Legend said...

Thanks rolando. Although you and I have usually clashed on certain stories, I was wondering why this female student was in the males room in the wee a.m. hours to begin with.

So many young military males have had their lives ruined, careers cut short through military court martials under similar accusations; The female and male gets a little tipsy. Of course, when you've been drinking your libido goes into overactive mode, the female agrees to go back to the males dorm or room for some play time. Wakes up sober, changes her mind and screams RAPE! This type carelessness harms real victims of rapes. As eventually the courts, juries and public become more skeptical when hearing accusations and charges of rape.

August 24, 2011 at 9:04 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

The print edition of the paper ran a photo of John Doe. I see that topic wasn't addressed in the article above. The article is inaccurate in that it states that he was "identified only as John Doe in court documents." The plaintiff is identified by a clearly observable photo on the front page of today's paper.

August 24, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
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