Expelled Yale basketball team captain intends to sue over dismissal

Jobs from Indeed

Panel found he had sex with a female student without consent but lawyer says client was a whipping boy for schools past handling of campus sexual assault

The former captain of Yales basketball team was expelled after a university panel found he had sex with a female student without consent, his lawyer confirmed on Monday.

Jack Montague, 22, now intends to sue the university over his dismissal, his lawyer said.

Montague was expelled from Yale on 10 February, kicking off weeks of campus unrest over the basketball teams public support of their former leader during the teams best season in decades.

On Monday, Montagues lawyer Max Stern declared his client had become a whipping boy for Yales past behavior regarding campus sexual assault and plans to sue.

We strongly believe that the decision to expel Jack Montague was wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure, said Stern.

Making details of the seniors departure public for the first time, Stern said that the allegation came from a female student who was in a relationship with Montague in the fall of 2014.

She had previously slept in Montagues bed and had consensual sex with him, but then alleged that on one night the sex was not consensual, Stern said.

Montague denies it was not consensual. After the incident, she reached out to him to meet up, then returned to his room voluntarily, and spent the rest of the night in his bed with him, Stern said.

We believe that it defies logic and common sense that a woman would seek to re-connect and get back into bed with a man who she says forced her to have unwanted sex just hours earlier, Sterns statement continued.

Thomas Conroy, a spokesman for Yale, declined to speak about the case because of privacy laws but noted: Where cases involve judgments about the witnesses credibility, all of the available corroborating or contradictory information is carefully weighed to determine who is telling the truth.

The female student reported the incident to a Title IX coordinator a person who handles sex discrimination and sexual misconduct cases when someone wishes to lodge a complaint and make changes such as moving classes or housing but not necessarily pursue disciplinary action a year later in fall 2015.

The Title IX coordinator then filed a complaint with the University-Wide Committee for Sexual Assault against Montague on behalf of the victim, said Stern.

Of the five new UWC formal complaints filed between July and December last year (the most current data available), only one was filed by a Title IX coordinator.

That complaint, which is still pending, reads: A Title IX Coordinator brought a formal complaint alleging that a YC [Yale] student engaged in sexual penetration of another YC student without consent. No-contact restrictions were imposed as an interim measure.

Yale, like many university campuses across the country, has a problematic history with sexual assault allegations. The US Department of Education fined the college $165,000 in 2013 for underreporting sexual assaults over a decade earlier.

A campus climate survey released in September showed Yale to have the highest number of reported sexual assaults of all the Ivy League universities. Twenty-eight percent of female undergraduates suffered sexual assault by force or incapacitation (the criminal definition of sexual assault), a figure 5% higher than the average of the 27 other colleges surveyed by the Association of American Universities.

Of the 2015 senior class, 46% of females reported sexual assault during their time on campus, while 57% of gender non-conforming citizens experienced sexual assault. Seven percent of female undergrad students report being raped.

Last year Yale received 134 complaints of sexual misconduct the majority being sexual harassment (62) and sexual assault (50). But expulsion is rare: only two Yale College students were expelled for sexual misconduct in 2015.

Yales spokesman said: Only about one out of 10 cases ends in expulsion, and the decision to expel a student is made only after the most careful consideration, based on the facts and, when appropriate, disciplinary history.

We cannot help but think it not coincidental that the decision by Yale officials to seek expulsion of the captain of its basketball team followed by little more than a month the report of the Association of American Universities (AAU) which was highly critical of the incidence of sexual assault on the Yale campus, and the Yale Presidents promise, in response, to redouble our efforts, Stern said.

In order for disciplinary charges to be placed against a Yale student or staff member for sexual misconduct, a hearing is held by the University-Wide Committee for Sexual Assault (UWC) where a fact finder investigates the claims made and a five-person panel evaluates them and if upheld, recommends a punishment. The dean of the school responsible for the respondent then implements the penalty.

Stern notes that Montague appealed the decision to the provost office but it was upheld.

Last week the Yale basketball team which just won the Ivy League championship and is in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1962 apologized for its public support for Montague, declaring that the team fully supports a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate where all students can flourish.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/14/yale-basketball-sex-assault-team-captain-lawsuit