It's No Longer 'He Said, She Said' in Sexual Assault Claims on Campus
The former captain of the Yale basketball team who was expelled in February on charges that he assaulted a female classmate is suing the school for damages.
Senior Jack Montague was accused by a woman of "nonconsensual sex." Montague claims not only that the sex was consensual, but that they had several previous consensual sexual encounters.
The woman who filed the complaint waited several months before doing so. But the real story is the kangaroo court that heard the complaint and booted Montague from school.
A formal complaint was filed against Montague with the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct in November of 2015, several months after an incident of alleged misconduct occurred. The decision to expel him was made on Feb. 10, 2016, and a week later the University provost chose not to grant Montague’s appeal of the decision, according to sources familiar with the facts of the case. It remains unclear if the November formal complaint was the only complaint brought before the UWC.
Montague's story about what happened is the stuff of nightmares.
The lawsuit claims that Montague was made "Yale's poster boy for tough enforcement of its Sexual Misconduct Policies" after the university had come under criticism from the Department of Education for its response to sexual assault allegations.
Montague was expelled in February after a university investigation into an incident in October 2014 in which a woman said she had nonconsensual sex with Montague. Montague maintains that the encounter was consensual -- one of multiple sexual encounters between the two of them -- and that the woman left his room but then returned to spend the night with him.
According to the lawsuit, the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education issued a ruling in 2011 that Yale was "deficient in a number of areas" when it came to sufficiently responding to complaints of sexual harassment. This led the school making an example of Montague, the lawsuit claims. It argues that the woman, referred to as Jane Roe, did not want Montague punished, only counseled, but was pressured by Yale's Title IX department into filing a formal complaint.
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Connecticut Thursday, actually makes its own Title IX complaint, arguing that Montague was a victim of gender inequality in that he would not have been prosecuted had he not been a man.
The lawsuits names Angela Gleason, a Yale deputy Title IX coordinator at the time of the incident, and Jason Killheffer, a senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the school at the time in question, as co-defendants.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and asks that the court offer relief in the form of: reinstating Montague as a student, reopening the proceedings against him, expunging complaints against him and awarding damages -- both for attorneys' costs plus interest and for punitive damages.
A Yale spokesman says the lawsuit is factually inaccurate and baseless and the university plans a vigorous defense.
It should be noted that this is only one side of the story. The woman's account of what happened is shrouded in secrecy.
Why did the woman wait nearly a year to bring the "assault" to the attention of the school? Shouldn't that have raised red flags with the UWC? And with no physical evidence whatsoever, how can a university expel a student based on the word of one person and then refuse to grant an appeal?