Princeton facing Title IX sexual assault suit

The former graduate student also alleges Princeton expelled him after he attempted suicide

A former graduate student has sued Princeton, alleging that the university mishandled his sexual assault report and expelled him after he attempted suicide.

The lawsuit, John Doe v. Princeton University, was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on Thursday.

The student alleges that Princeton handled his sexual assault complaint in contravention of Title IX, the gender discrimination section of the United States Education Amendments of 1972. He also alleges that he was expelled after attempting suicide.

Dan Day, Princeton’s assistant vice president for communications, strongly denied the student’s allegations.

“The suit contains a series of inaccurate accusations and repeatedly mischaracterizes how the University handled this former graduate student’s complaint,” Day said in a statement to The Tab. “The University responds seriously and compassionately to victims of sexual misconduct and to all students who need support. This matter was investigated extensively and fairly in full compliance with University policies and procedures. The lawsuit is without merit, and we intend to mount a vigorous defense.”

Princeton is still managing litigation in the case of W.P. v. Princeton University et al., filed in 2014 after an undergraduate student alleged he was expelled after attempting to commit suicide, even though he was not a threat to campus safety. A review of electronic federal court records by The Tab on Friday showed that the last docketed event in that lawsuit occurred last month.

Now, according to the New Jersey Law Journal, the new Doe plaintiff has alleged that Princeton failed to take his complaint seriously after he alleged he was assaulted by a male student; that Princeton violated its own policies by refusing to take stopgap measures to help him in his studies after he fell behind; that he was subjected to homophobic slurs after filing the complaint, which Princeton failed to remediate; and that he was subject to sexual harassment, stalking and retaliation charges in university disciplinary proceedings.

The Doe plaintiff was a master’s of finance student, according to the Law Journal. After his visa, which was sponsored by Princeton, was terminated, he was required to leave the country. He allegedly reported the assaults to Princeton on Oct. 21, 2014, attempted to commit suicide on Mar. 24, 2015, and was expelled in June 2015.

Princeton reached a settlement in November 2014 with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights about its handling of sexual misconduct investigations.

Read the Doe plaintiff’s complaint here.

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