Doe v. Ind. Univ. – Bloomington, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12966 (S.D. Ind. 2019)
02/26/2019On September 4, 2017 John Doe and Jane Roe engaged in sexual intercourse at a fraternity house at Indiana University – Bloomington (“IU”), where a photo was captured of the two of them having sex. An initial investigation of the photograph was conducted, where John Doe refused to release the name of Jane Roe or file a report against the male student who took the photograph. Eight months later, Jane Roe filed a report with the University police and Office of Student Conduct alleging that the intercourse with John Doe on September 4th was non-consensual. The University investigated, held a hearing, and ultimately found him responsible for sexual misconduct. Doe was suspended for 4 years. Doe’s appeal of the decision was unsuccessful. Doe filed a motion for preliminary injunction against IU and alleged violations of Title IX and breach of contract.
Doe’s breach of contract was not likely to succeed on the merits because IU complied fully with its Student Code and Sexual Misconduct Policy throughout the investigation. More importantly, Doe’s breach of contract claim was barred by sovereign immunity pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment.
Doe claimed that IU violated Title IX where IU’s investigation, disciplinary hearing and decision were tainted by gender bias. Doe introduced statistical data to support a showing of gender bias. The Court concluded that none of the evidence supported a showing of gender discrimination or bias. Upon review, the statistical data showed that cases involving female respondents were not analogous to cases of male respondents and did not support a more favorable outcome on the merits for female respondents – all female respondents accepted responsibility for charges and therefore a hearing was not necessary, whereas male respondents did not. Doe also contended that the appeal process was nothing more than a “rubber stamp” of the panel’s decision and suffered the same deficiencies as the original investigation and hearing. However, the Court concluded that Doe did not show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits because there was a lack of evidence of gender bias or discrimination. John Doe’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction was denied.CATEGORY: Discrimination