Tenth Circuit Rules Against The University of Denver In Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has handed down a major ruling in favor of a male student who claimed sexual discrimination in the handling of a sexual assault claim against him. The court ruled that the lower court was wrong in ruling that John Doe had not “provided sufficient evidence for a jury to decide whether the investigation into allegations and subsequent disciplinary action discriminated against him because of his sex.”  The case highlights many of the due process failures that have been discussed on this blog at universities. However, there is an interesting twist in DU’s claim of lawful, self-righteous bias.

The court details the factual claims in the case. Both students were apparently very drunk when Jane Roe went back to her room with John Doe.  The court details how Roe’s account changed on critical details and did not claim assault after that night. It was later, after speaking with friends, that she made the allegation.  The court notes that, over the course of days, Roe told Doe that she was “letting other people tell” her whether she was assaulted. Doe responded, “oh my god [Jane], there’s a difference between regret and assault.” The Court also notes that witnesses stated that Roe was upset because Doe had discussed the evening with others. Such conflicting accounts (and delayed claims) are not uncommon and are not inherently determinative. However, it is systemic failures of the university that is most clear and chilling in the account that follows. Doe cooperated in the investigation. He sat down for an interview and gave the university a list of five witnesses to his account. DU simply refused to interview them while it interviewed 11 of Roe’s proposed witnesses. It was only after the release of its preliminary report that DU agreed to interview one witness, Doe’s psychologist, Mary Bricker.  Bricker later objected that the summary of the interview was highly distorted and that the interviewer showed obvious bias.

DU made critical errors in its report. It claimed for example that six witnesses proposed by Roe substantiated her account when only three witnesses did so. DU also ignored the fact that Roe’s own account changed including whether she was assaulted on Friday or Saturday. DU also ignored the accounts that Roe was mad at Doe for discussing their evening with others and had wanted a longer relationship.

What I found most interesting about the case was the DU defense. It did not deny the obvious bias shown in its investigation. It actually claimed the bias as a defense but insisted it was a bias against anyone accused of sexual misconduct:

“In response to John’s showing of a prima facie case, the University posits a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its conduct: the University employees were biased against sexual-misconduct respondents, regardless of their sex. If true, this type of explanation—though at odds with general notions of due process—would not expose the University to Title IX liability, because respondent and complainant are (at least in the abstract) sex-neutral classifications.”

So DU appears to be saying “Due process be damned,” we are all about convictions.

The Court also did not buy that DU was actually blind on gender and just biased against defendants. It noted that:

“John highlights that the University failed to formally investigate any of the twenty-one sexual-misconduct complaints brought by men from 2016 to 2018. In contrast, during the same period, there were about 105 complaints brought by women, fourteen of which were formally investigated by the University.

…Moreover, from 2016 to 2018, the University received five complaints brought against a female. Four of those complainants were male and one was female. The University did not formally investigate the four male-initiated complaints but did investigate the female-initiated complaint.”

The record in the case is a disgraceful account of the denial of basic due process.  It led the Court to rule:

“In sum, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to John, we are satisfied that a reasonable jury could find that John’s sex was a motivating factor in the University’s decision to expel him. While a one-sided investigation, standing alone, might only raise a reasonable inference of anti-complainant bias, Doe I, 952 F.3d at 1203, where there is a one-sided investigation plus some evidence that sex may have played a role in a school’s disciplinary decision, it should be up to a jury to determine whether the school’s bias was based on a protected trait or merely a non-protected trait that breaks down across gender lines.”

The case is Doe v. University of Denver.

29 thoughts on “Tenth Circuit Rules Against The University of Denver In Sex Discrimination Lawsuit”

  1. I still find this rulling concerning.

    While there is clear racial discrimination in college handling of sexual assault claims, that is a motive, the actual violation is one of due process.

    I am less concerned about Why due process was violated – than THAT there was no due process.

    We are all entitled to due process ALWAYS

    We are not entitled – only if we are men, or gay, or trans, or black.

    Failure to provide due process is the issue here – not what idiotic bias drove the schools failure.

    An openly admitted intention to shortcut due process – regardless of the reason – as the university openly admitted here – should alone have determined the case.

  2. This is a big shot across the bow for colleges. Get the investigation right. Or all accusers are telling the truth and not accused are lying. This area of human interaction is complicated especially when alcohol is involved. They have to make sure buyers remorse is not sexual assault. Ultimately this will hopefully prevent more false claims, which hurts those that were truly assaulted.

  3. I think your all correct about the administrators and professors but what about the parents who are paying up the kazoos for an “education”? They’re no longer institutions of education but institutions of indoctrination.

      1. I meant “Amen”, that they were institutions of indoctrination. Please stop the liberal BS.

  4. This bias against men is pure bigotry. There is neither guilt nor virtue in either gender. All human beings can lie, or be mistaken. And there is a chasm of difference between regret and rape.

    Why is that if two people are falling down drunk, the entire responsibility for the encounter lies on the man’s shoulders? If gender is a state of mind, then there is theoretically no difference between the man or the woman. Why would a drunk woman not be responsible for her actions, but a drunk man, with the same impairment, would be?

    This is yet another culture of bigotry in many university campuses, and yet another argument against one night stands in general. They aren’t safe. You have no idea who that person is. If they wake up the next day with regret, they could fabricate a rape claim and ruin your life. The same could happen in a casual relationship with someone you know. People are crazy. The more strangers you interact with, the more casual sex free from respect or friendship you have, then the more likely you are to run into someone crazy.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that universities are not institutions of reason and higher learning. They are far Left madrassas that will brainwash your kid, and target whites and males for harassment, denial of civil rights and due process.

    Be very careful in selecting what universities or trade schools you are willing to pay for. A lot rides on this decision.

    1. So says someone who never went to college and who relies on alt-right media for her daily affirmation and next reason to blame “the Left” for all of society’s ills. Karen: do you have some kind of blog that tries to make the case that men are victims, or is that some other Karen?

      1. Typical leftist projection, Natacha. When you can’t debate Karen’s well reasoned response, then attack her personally with a vapid and litany of regurgitated talking points.

      2. Natacha, when ever I waste the time to read your postings, all I see is pure hate.

        1. Karen never went to college, and attacks those who have. Sour grapes, I imagine. She does depend on alt-right media for her “opinions” that she regurgitates. None of her opinions are “well reasoned” at all, and….there is a “Karen” who has a blog that whines about men being unfairly treated.

          1. Where my wife use to work, one of her coworkers wanted to impress her about her college education. She promptly informed her that she paid for 2 college educations. A friend of mine has a son who went to a trade high school. After he graduated he became a licensed electrician. Now he’s paying for his wife’s PHD.

    2. “Why would a drunk woman not be responsible for her actions, but a drunk man, with the same impairment, would be?”

      Because feminists and gender studies types regard women as inherently weak and easily manipulated. While men, on their view, are by nature rapacious brutes. Thus, women by nature are victims, and men by nature the victimizers.

      That is why they are uninterested in the facts and evidence of any particular case, and instead chant: “I believe her.” They start and end with this evil, bifurcated view of women and of men.

  5. How did they not think that would get overturned?
    They built their own case against themselves by gross incompetence, and bias.

  6. Any chance this court decision will change anything……not. The Dems are back in the drivers seat.

    Education lobbying groups boost spending as Biden administration sets to reverse DeVos-era policies • OpenSecrets


    In June, the Education Department conducted a weeklong hearing to begin changing DeVos’ sexual misconduct policies at universities.The DeVos-era policies countered regulations put in place by former President Barack Obama that lowered the bar of proof for cases of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Civil rights groups and others working on campus assault issues critiqued the DeVos change, and said it made it easier for schools to ignore cases of sexual misconduct.

    Cardona’s budget proposal would reverse the DeVos measure. The education secretary said there would be a 10% increase for the Office for Civil Rights for a total of $144 million to enforce civil rights laws in schools, which govern sexual misconduct cases.

  7. How many liberal men and women will rue the day they support this university fascism when it is their son being hoisted? The only reason, THE ONLY REASON, this has gone on so long is that the vast majority of people have no idea that it is happening. This crime wave of university administrators would end tomorrow if the public was aware of its scope, mush like the CRT disaster happening to school boards these days.

    The left has been sneaking these monstrous policies, rules and regulations into our society for years and years because the right is too busy working, producing and parenting to know about it and too disbelieving of how wicked the left can truly be.

  8. The University Administrators responsible for this should be fired forthwith. That is the only way to bring the abuse of power to a stop.

  9. How does a group of supposedly intelligent people, working together, screw up so badly?

    How do people of supposed good will, discriminate so badly?

    Did they think that there actions wouldn’t be reviewed.

    And yet there will probably be few consequences for the bigots who brought shame on the organization.

    Another school to avoid.

    1. “How does a group of supposedly intelligent people…
      Here’s my explanation for intelligent versus smart. Intelligent is being able to calculate the velocity of the truck coming down the road. Whereas, smart is knowing to step out of its way. Not witnessing much in the way of smart among academics these days.

      1. That is the most perfect summation of how skewed our values around intelligence have been skewed I’ve read in awhile. Spot on. The likes of Silicon Valley or modern Phd candidates are seemingly quite literally incapable of the latter and can’t be bothered to take the notion into consideration.

      2. McCartyae – well put.

        It’s all theory and no practical application. Most of these people have worked in insulated environments, echo chambers free from meritocracy or opposing views for too long. Power tends too corrupt, and these unaccountable people hold so much power over students. It takes a strong will for those in power to resist the temptation to believe in their own infallible authority. They have their Machiavellian reasoning.

        1. These brilliant minds cannot even make the causal connection between the Defund the Police Movement, and the ensuing rise in crime, resignations and retirement of cops.

          1. Some of them make the connection. Some of the rabid defund the police pols have demanded police personal protection as if the police were only their private security force.

          2. You haven’t made the causal connection between “defund the police” and the police murdering men like George Floyd. How many “police” have been “defunded” as of right now? Name some. And, don’t you understand that “defunding the police” means a movement to divert money toward social programs to help mentally ill and substance abuse victims who get mishandled by police instead of more guns, more assault rifles and more training. So, if “cops” can’t handle not being allowed to murder people, they should retire. And, the “rise in crime” is causally related to the pandemic that was allowed to spiral out of control, resulting in unemployment, alienation, fear, poverty, loneliness, homelessness and other problems. And, you know who allowed the pandemic to spiral out of control by lying and downplaying it, not supporting wearing masks.

            1. George Floyd should be alive. He should also be in jail. Let’s erect another monument to a thug.

            2. Natacha, if you ever did go to college, you probably majored in “gender studies” or some crap like that.

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