A former Indiana University student who allegedly raped a fellow student in 2015 is suing both his accuser and the school for defamation.
In 2015, 21-year-old Aaron Farrer was accused of raping a drunken student. Although the victim showed police a text in which Farrer apologized, a court said in 2016 that there was insufficient evidence convict him. For his part, Farrer charged that the woman had been “sexually aggressive” toward him.
According to the Indy Star, Farrer filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana this week alleging that his constitutional rights were violated and that he was defamed by the school and his accuser.
"IU engaged in a gender-biased investigation of Farrer, which culminated in Farrer’s unlawful expulsion from IU," the lawsuit states.
Farrer accuses the school of violating his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 "by creating a gender biased, hostile environment against males, like Farrer, based in part on IU’s pattern and practice of disciplining male students who accept physical contact initiated by female students, but failing to discipline female students who engage in the same conduct."
The former student asserts that the school assumed he was guilty and did not afford him due process.
In addition to suing his accuser and Indiana University, others named in the lawsuit include "the school's assistant director, associate dean of students, deputy Title IX director, Title IX deputy investigator and other school staff," the Indy Star reported. Farrer is seeking reinstatement at the university, expungement of his records and at least $75,000 in damages.
In a statement on Monday, the school defended its sexual misconduct policy.
"While Indiana University cannot comment on pending litigation or, due to federal privacy laws, specific student disciplinary cases, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy provides for a fair, impartial and robust investigation and adjudication process when responding to reports of alleged sexual assault," the statement said. "Indiana University is strongly committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of its community, and assuring that its processes are fair and afford due process protections."