Accused Student Sues UCSB in Assault Case

Article here. Excerpt:

'A UCSB freshman is suing the school after being indefinitely suspended following an incident that occurred last August. About a month before he was scheduled to begin classes, UCSB student John Doe, as he is identified in court files, was arrested in San Diego for allegedly hitting his girlfriend. All criminal charges were dropped shortly after, and the woman told authorities her accusation was false, court files state.
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In early January, Robert P. Ottilie, Doe’s attorney, took the issue to Santa Barbara County Superior Court. He argued the school has well surpassed the 60-day maximum that Title IX law allots for these cases. (Ottilie has also filed a claim at the 2nd District Court of Appeal.) Meanwhile, Doe remains unable to begin his freshman year at UCSB.

This incident, which occurred in San Diego, involved an edited video posted to Twitter by Doe’s former girlfriend, in which it appears that Doe hits her as the video goes dark, according to court files. The footage was sent to UCSB’s Office of Student Affairs, which forwarded it to the UCSB Police Department. It is unclear who sent in the video, but Ottilie claimed it was not Doe’s ex-girlfriend.
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The complicated thing about Judicial Affairs cases is that they operate behind closed doors – there is no public record. This administrative process has received widespread scrutiny in recent years after sexual assault victims contended university administrators essentially swept their cases under the rug. At the same time, accused students — charged with anything from plagiarism to assault — have argued Judicial Affairs offices denied them their due process.

By mid-January, Ottilie claimed UCSB had yet to conduct a single interview with any third party witness involved in the case. Determined to begin his education, Doe expressed desire to attend community college until this investigation was complete, but UCSB administration told him that to do so, he would have to give up his admission to the university, Ottilie said. Currently, Doe is living in San Diego.

“These undisputed facts could lead a reasonable person to conclude the suspension without charges has encouraged certain kids to give up and leave,” Ottilie said. Doe grew up sleeping in storage closets and on couches in a San Diego deli, Ottilie explained. His father, who is black, is serving a life sentence in prison. His mother, a Mexican immigrant, has a fourth grade education. In high school, he worked three jobs. Ottilie said he is examining whether race and socio-economic status played a role in “the handling of this case.”'

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