Student accused of rape sues College of St. Scholastica over suspension

He says he was denied due process because of his gender.

Duluth's College of St. Scholastica is being sued in federal court by a student who was suspended after a rape accusation last year. 

Identified in court documents only as "John Doe," the student says the school denied him due process because of his gender, and thus violated federal Title IX rules

It's the second time this year that St. Scholastica's been accused of violating the federal law (which prohibits sexual discrimination at colleges that receive federal funds) in relation to the way it handled a sex assault case (but more on that later).

John Doe's case

According to Doe's lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, he was suspended in May following an accusation from a fellow student that he had drugged and raped her at a party in October.

The lawsuit asserts that Doe had asked the alleged victim for consent to sex both "before and during sexual activity," and received verbal consent from the victim. 

Additionally, the suit says a medical test performed the next day "showed no evidence of Rohypnol, or any other sedative, tranquilizer, or 'date-rape drug'" in the woman's body, despite claims that she had been "roofied."

But it's not the alleged victim that John Doe is suing – it's St. Scholastica, on the grounds that the way it handled the case violated Title IX rules in multiple ways. 

That includes violating Doe's rights to due process by denying him information about the accusations against him, and failing to let Doe "defend himself in an in-person hearing consistent with" the school's own policies.

These and other actions, the lawsuit says, constitute "illegal selective enforcement" of Title IX rules based on Doe's gender.

Not the school's first Title IX controversy 

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education found St. Scholastica "non-compliant" with Title IX laws over a rape that allegedly happened on a study-abroad trip to Ireland in 2015, the Duluth News Tribune reported

In that case, the student who reported the assault had complained that the school failed to "quickly and appropriately respond to her report," and "later 'retaliated' against her for wanting to talk about what happened with other students traveling to Ireland," the Tribune noted. 

For its part, St. Scholastica issued a statement in the wake of the report, casting serious doubt on the accuracy of "local media" coverage. 

In a statement received by GoMN in an email last month, Scholastica President Colette Geary said that, "to our knowledge," the Title IX investigation has not yet "yielded formal results or findings" about the 2015 case. 

Next Up

Xcel Energy Center

Fiala's goal gives Wild victory over first-place Golden Knights

Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves in the 2-0 victory.


Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.


Male student suspended over sex assault claim is suing colleges for gender bias

The student says he has been unfairly punished over a sexual misconduct allegation.


2 students accused of attempted sexual assault at Crown College

One of the suspects says it was a prank gone wrong.

2 Minnesota colleges have to pay back the students they defrauded

It's the latest in a string of setbacks for Globe University and Minnesota School of Business

hyobin lee

Charges: Eden Prairie taekwondo instructor raped student multiple times

The charges say that as part of the sport, it's embedded into a student's mind that they "always must comply."

Colleges can raise the bar for proving sex assaults under new U.S. policy

The education secretary says the new system is fairer for the accused

Minnesota mom sues for rights over her transgender teen

The lawsuit challenges state law that allows minors to receive medical care and procedures without parental consent.