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April 19, 2010 10:00 AM Brown Sued Over Rape Accusation

By Daniel Luzer

A former student at Brown University is suing the school, alleging that Brown unfairly suspended him after another student accused him of rape in 2006. According to an article by Elyse Ashburn in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The student, William R. McCormick III, claims that the university accepted the female student’s allegations without investigating, suspended him indefinitely, and gave him a one-way plane ticket home to Wisconsin. The lawsuit also alleges that after suspending Mr. McCormick, in September 2006, the university impeded his ability to gather evidence for a judicial hearing to be held later that fall. Further, it alleges that prior to the hearing, Mr. McCormick was coerced by his accuser’s lawyer into signing an agreement to leave Brown permanently.

McCormick maintains that the accuser’s father, who is apparently a major Brown donor, regularly contacted and maintained relationships with Brown administrators.

McCormick and the accuser, who were friends, lived in the same building during their freshmen year at the school. In 2006 the school told McCormick that another student had accused him of sexual misconduct but, according to the article, but did not provide McCormick with “a copy of the complaint and barred him from campus without allowing him to defend himself.”

In 1998 Brown settled a case with Adam Lack, another Brown student the school suspended after a rape allegation. The accuser later said she was drunk and didn’t remember the incident. The Lack case triggered a national debate about sexual consent and college drinking culture.

McCormick was suspended in 2006 and has not returned to the school. He transferred to Bucknell. His accuser is a senior at Brown. McCormick was never charged with a crime.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer