George Mason student expelled for rape allegation wins lawsuit after proving relationship included rough sex

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McLEAN, Va. — A student who said he was wrongly expelled from George Mason University for engaging in consensual, sadomasochistic sex has won a federal lawsuit demanding his reinstatement.

The student, who is identified only as John Doe in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, was expelled in 2014. His ex-girlfriend said she was sexually assaulted, but the expelled student said administrators ignored evidence that they had been in a consensual relationship that featured bondage and sadomasochism. The student said administrators also wrongly overruled a Sexual Misconduct Board that had exonerated him.

Judge T.S. Ellis ruled in favor of the student in an opinion issued last month and ordered him reinstated. But a hearing is scheduled for Friday to determine whether the student could be subject to a new round of disciplinary hearings at the university.

The student enrolled at GMU as a freshman in 2012, according to court records, and began a relationship with a female student at another university that lasted for more than a year. After they broke up, the ex-girlfriend told school officials and police about what she considered in hindsight to be sexual assaults.

In the fall of 2014, a three-person Sexual Misconduct Board exonerated the student after holding a 10-hour hearing, but the ex-girlfriend appealed that finding. Brent Ericson, an assistant dean of students, appointed himself to hear the appeal, and ordered the student’s expulsion.

 

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