Former USC fraternity president asks judge for expulsion reversal
By BILL HETHERMAN
A former USC student who was president of his fraternity during his senior year is asking a judge to overturn his 2021 expulsion from the university on sexual misconduct allegations, saying he was denied due process and that the decision was influenced by pressure from the community and media.
The petitioner is identified only as John Doe in the Los Angeles Superior Court legal action filed Wednesday.
The university released a statement Thursday saying, “We have not yet been served with this petition and only received a copy (Thursday). We are reviewing it carefully.”
Doe met his female accuser, referred to as Jane Roe in the petition, at a Los Angeles nightclub on Oct. 15, 2021, and the two talked, danced and kissed before leaving first for the home of a friend of the woman, then subsequently to Doe’s residence at the fraternity house, the suit states.
Early the next morning, the two became intimate and Doe complied when the woman told him to stop, the suit states.
“Ms. Roe got up from the bed to gather her things and petitioner asked if everything was okay, which she affirmed,” the petition states. “Petitioner lent her a sweatshirt and asked for her number to keep in touch (and) she entered her contact information into his phone.”
The woman declined Doe’s offer to summon a ride-hailing service for her, the petition states.
“Before leaving, Ms. Roe hugged petitioner and attempted to kiss him goodbye, which was captured by the security cameras on the outside of the fraternity house,” the suit states.
That afternoon, Los Angeles police and Department of Public Safety officers went to the fraternity house and a detective spoke to Doe about whether he had anal sex with the woman, the suit states.
“Petitioner informed the detective that he never tried to engage in anal sex with Ms. Roe and it must have been an accident due to their positioning and inability to see because the lights were off,” according to the petition.
Meanwhile, multiple social media posts and news outlets called Doe “rapist,” leading to protests surrounding the fraternity house and vandalism of the residence, all done without any intervention by USC, the petition alleges.
No criminal case was ever filed against Doe, the petition states, but the internal Title IX USC hearing resulted in Doe being found in violation of “multiple instances of non-consensual anal penetration” of his accuser, the petition states.
USC imposed expulsion, a prohibition on Doe’s presence at any university property or facility and an order to not contact his accuser, the suit states.
Doe appealed on the grounds of procedural irregularities, new evidence and bias against him, the suit states.
“Petitioner emphasized throughout his appeal the university’s lack of action to protect him during the protests, vandalism and open destruction of his reputation by the media and community,” the petition states.
Doe’s appeal of the expulsion was ultimately denied by USC Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Monique S. Allard, according to the petition.
The fraternity was cleared of all allegations during a separate investigation, the suit states.
“Throughout the concurring investigations, it was revealed that useful information from petitioner’s case was shared with (the) fraternity investigator, but any information relevant and exculpatory from the fraternity case was not disclosed to (Doe’s) investigator,” the suit states.
Doe’s petition alleges USC failed to properly consider the “overwhelming amount of evidence” in his favor, deprived him of the ability to provide more favorable evidence, failed to protect him from retaliation and abused its discretion “when making a decision that would impact his academic career and future based on pressure from the media and community.”