Ex-Vanderbilt Student Sues University for $10M Over Assault Allegations

May 19, 2017

A former student has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Vanderbilt University, claiming he was wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

The Tennessean reports the lawsuit was filed May 5. It claims the student, identified only as “Z.J.,” was expelled three days before his expected graduation. As a result, Z.J. lost his ROTC scholarship and had to repay $136,000 in tuition. He also lost his commission as an Army officer.

The lawsuit says Vanderbilt didn’t follow its own campus discipline policies and denied Z.J. the right to confront his accuser or offer his own witness in a hearing that concluded he assaulted a female student. A Metro Nashville sex crimes detective “ruled out any non-consensual sexual contact,” the lawsuit said. No police report was filed.

The lawsuit claims that the woman who accused Z.J’ accounts were inconsistent, but Vanderbilt officials determined she was more credible because she was “consistent.”

The lawsuit claims Z.J. was “guilty until proven innocent” in the case, “effectively denying him due process by having to prove his innocence when the female’s statement is accepted at face value,” the lawsuit said.

Vanderbilt officials said in a statement that the school is reviewing the lawsuit.

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