A former Boston College student filed a lawsuit on Wednesday contending that the University mishandled a sexual assault case that resulted in the student being suspended for three semesters. The lawsuit alleges that the University rushed to convict the student and did not give him a fair chance to tell his side of the story, according to The Boston Globe.
In 2012, the University charged the student, a former Heights reporter, with sexually assaulting a female student while he was reporting on the student boat cruise for The Heights. The case was later brought to the Suffolk County District Court, where the charges against him were dismissed in May 2014, according to The Boston Globe.
Three weeks after the 2012 incident, a board made up of three University administrators, one professor, and one student found him to be guilty of indecent assault and battery. The family is requesting that the University pay $3 million in restitution and requesting that the former student’s record be expunged.
Attorneys Charles Wayne and Matthew Iverson are representing the former student. The lawsuit is being filed against the University trustees as well as former dean of students Paul Chebator, executive director for planning and staff development Carole Hughes, program manager in the office of residential life Catherine-Mary Rivera, former executive vice president Patrick Keating, and vice president for student affairs Barbara Jones.
The University’s current sexual assault investigation policy is that the complainant and the respondent have the opportunity to review their statements prior to the finalization of the investigation report. There is currently a five-day comment period in which the involved student can remark on their own statement. Both parties are entitled to bring an advisor of their choice to any meetings or interviews.
“This case was adjudicated by an experienced team of administrators who found the former student guilty of sexual assault,” University spokesperson Jack Dunn said in an email. “The University plans to vigorously defend itself against this suit, which we believe is lacking in merit.”