April 29, 2010

Ivy League university faces lawsuit over handling of sexual assault allegations

Brown University is facing a lawsuit stemming from a rape allegation in 2006. *The Associated Press *reports is available online.

Depending what occurs as the lawsuit moves forward, the case could result in changes to how universities deal with serious *criminal *accusations within their campuses.

Many universities, including in Canada, have internal processes with lower standards of proof and less protections for the accused than available in the common law justice system which applies equally to *criminal *acts both on and off the properties of universities.

If this lawsuit is successful, it will force American universities to review how they handle accusations of criminal activity. While we’re not aware of the details of the Brown University situation, it is very concerning that the accusation of sexual assault was not criminally prosecuted or, at the very least, plea bargained within the criminal justice system.