A federal judge will let a jury decide a lawsuit against Grinnell College that challenges the way the Iowa school handles sexual misconduct complaints.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2017 by a male student identified only as John Doe, who was expelled in 2016 after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger concluded in a ruling filed Tuesday that he has adequately shown that gender bias could have been a motivating factor in his dismissal and he may not have received a fair and impartial review of his appeal.
The student had sex with a female student. She said she willingly participated in the sex and didn’t initially pursue a complaint but the college launched an investigation and later sought her participation.
Doe, who lives in the state of Washington, is seeking emotional and psychological damages, damage to reputation, past and future economic losses, loss of educational and athletic opportunities and loss of future career prospects.
He also wants a court order preventing Grinnell from violating federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination when it considers future sexual misconduct complaints.
A trial is set for Sept. 18.
Grinnell College spokeswoman Debra Lukehart says the judge’s decision only means there will be a trial and there was no finding the college violated the law. She says the college looks forward to sharing its “robust processes that uphold the rights of all of our students at trial.”