A UCSD undergraduate student filed a lawsuit against UCSD to be absolved of his alleged sexual misconduct on March 30.
In the petition for writ of mandate, John Doe’s attorneys Matthew Haberkorn and Mark Hathaway asserted that their client is wrongly accused of sexual assaults and, therefore, demanded their client to be exempt from the penal suspension of one year and a quarter.
Mark Hathaway also expressed that the UCSD’s procession on the investigation was unjust because the procedure was carried out without concrete evidence.
“The process itself is what we’re calling into question,” Hathaway told the UCSD Guardian. “In any time that there’s a procedure that results in someone losing significant rights, that procedure should be fair and balanced.”
Ryan Huyler, associate vice president of student advocacy, claimed that it is very possible that the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination agents have proceeded a coercive investigation with Doe’s case.
“It’s very possible. OPHD agents will investigate any complaint they get, and I know that they will investigate sexual assault ones more thoroughly,” Huyler said. “That’s just how they operate, especially with sexual assaults.”
The 20-year-old male student, under the pseudonym of “John Doe,” emerged as an alleged subject of sexual misconduct when a 20-year-old female undergraduate at UCSD, referred to as “Jane Roe,” reported Doe’s sexual assault on her that she claimed to happen in the morning of Feb. 1, 2014 to the OPHD on June 5, 2014, and filed a request of for a formal investigation 11 days later.
According to Roe’s testimony of the morning of Feb. 1, 2014, “There wasn’t any sexual activity other than him putting his hands down my pants and trying to finger me and touch me down there and me telling him directly to stop and pushing his hand away …”
OPHD Complaint Resolution Officer Elena Acevedo Dalcourt affirmed that the alleged incident is a violation of UCSD Student Sex Offense Policy, given that “[Mr. Doe] is alleged to have digitally penetrated the student’s vagina after she repeatedly stated that she did not want to engage in sexual activity with him.”
However, John Doe denied this incident in his testimony, although both parties agreed that John Doe and Jane Roe have engaged in consensual sexual intercourse before the incident and in the evening of the incident.
Although the two parties disagreed on what happened in the morning of Feb. 1, the investigation continued.
Under the university’s decisions, John Doe was suspended from the university for a year and a quarter.
Hathaway explained that the procedure, through which the decisions were made, was not valid in his opinion.
“There was evidence not given witness; none of the statements were provided to the student,” Hathaway said. “And the decisions were made on essentially, as far as we can tell, secret evidence, which really, in 21st century America, should never happen.”
In the lawsuit, Haberkorn and Hathaway described the importance of their current process.
“Petitioner, an aggrieved college student, must exhaust judicial remedies through this petition for writ of mandate following Respondent’s administrative appeal process, which is now final, before bringing an action in state court for damages and other relief …,” Haberkorn and Hathaway wrote in the lawsuit petition. “
John Doe is currently attending classes at UCSD, and he will formally request an extension in court on May 1, until the petition is heard.