Jury finds Sewanee and student at fault; awards student $26,500

photo "John Doe" exits the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building earlier in his trial with his mother, Mary "Doe", left, and attorneys Elisha King, bottom right, and Charles B. Wayne, top right.

A former student who engaged in a three-year legal battle with Sewanee: The University of the South said the Friday verdict in his case proves the school unfairly handled a rape accusation against him in 2008.

A federal jury awarded $26,500 to the former student, identified only as John Doe in court documents, who sued the school for negligence and breach of contract. He had asked for $5.5 million.

University spokeswoman Laurie Saxton said in a news release Friday that the low amount of damages shows that the jury thought Doe "received a fair hearing."