An ex-graduate student is suing the Ivy League university, claiming it mishandled his allegations of sexual assault—but Princeton says there’s more to the story.
By BRANDY ZADROZNY
A former graduate student is suing Princeton University, alleging the New Jersey institution mishandled his reports of sexual assault, and expelled him after a related suicide attempt—all because of his gender.
Going by the pseudonym John Doe, the Harvard graduate has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking undisclosed damages for the University’s supposed violation of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, alleging it failed to act on two sexual assault complaints against a ex-boyfriend.
“Princeton has created an environment where a male victim of sexual assault is fundamentally denied a fair and impartial process,” his complaint alleged. “John Doe would not have been subjected to Princeton’s discriminatory acts if he were a female victim of sexual assault by a male assailant.”
Advocates report one in six women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. According to a 2013 Department of Justice study, one out of every 10 rape victims are male.
Princeton has denied the allegations leveled in the complaint, and called the case “without merit,” in a statement provided to The Daily Beast by the school’s vice president for communications, Dan Day. “The suit contains a series of inaccurate accusations and repeatedly mischaracterizes how the University handled this former graduate student’s complaint,” the statement read in part. “The University responds seriously and compassionately to victims of sexual misconduct and to all students who need support.”
According to the complaint, Doe, a Turkish citizen in the U.S. on a student visa, is gay, but was not “out” when he started dating the man who would become his alleged assailant, an “influential student on campus” identified only as “Student Y.”
The identity of the Doe’s alleged rapist is unknown.