Former Yale student’s defamation suit over rape accusation can proceed

Former Yale student’s defamation suit over rape accusation can proceed
Former Yale student’s defamation suit over rape accusation can proceed

By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court docket on Wednesday dominated {that a} former Yale College pupil can proceed with a defamation suit in opposition to a fellow pupil who accused him of rape.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals follows a ruling by Connecticut’s highest court docket that statements that the accuser made in a college disciplinary listening to weren’t shielded by a type of authorized immunity that applies to court docket proceedings.

The lawsuit additionally consists of claims in opposition to Yale, which weren’t at difficulty within the resolution.

“We’re delighted by the ruling and searching ahead to holding Yale accountable for the hurt it did to this extraordinary younger man,” Norman Pattis, a lawyer for plaintiff Saifullah Khan, stated in an e mail.

A lawyer for the defendant, recognized in court docket papers as Jane Doe, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

In accordance with his 2019 lawsuit, filed in Connecticut federal court docket, Doe stated Khan raped her in 2015 following a Halloween get together, which he denies.

Khan in 2018 was acquitted at trial of legal fees, having been indefinitely suspended from Yale whereas the case was pending. Following the trial, Yale held a disciplinary listening to and expelled Khan after discovering him accountable for the rape.

Khan sued the college and Doe in 2019, calling the listening to a “sham.” He accused Yale of breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional misery, and Doe of defamation, amongst different claims, searching for $110 million in damages.

A decide dismissed Khan’s lawsuit in opposition to Doe on the grounds that the college’s disciplinary listening to was a “quasi-judicial continuing,” making Doe’s statements immune from Khan’s defamation claims.

Khan appealed, arguing that the listening to was not a quasi-judicial continuing as a result of it lacked procedures to guard his due course of rights, together with the power to cross-examine Doe and name witnesses. Doe gave a press release by video, with Khan and his lawyer not current, in line with court docket papers.

U.S. Division of Schooling steering on the time, relationship from Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, acknowledged that cross-examination in such hearings was not required, and plenty of universities adopted an analogous strategy to Yale’s.

In 2020, the administration of Republican President Donald Trump issued a brand new regulation requiring cross-examination, nevertheless it was blocked by a court docket ruling. Below President Joe Biden, a Democrat, the Division of Schooling is just not searching for to implement a cross-examination requirement.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York, Enhancing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Will Dunham)

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