Skip to main content

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

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.


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.

Evan Ng, University of Minnesota student suing the school over Title IX.

Student athlete suing U of M for cutting men's gymnastics team

The lawsuit says the decision was "sex-based discrimination."

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


2 students accused of attempted sexual assault at Crown College

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

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