April 10, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 17 C 00748 - Amy
J. St. Eve, Judge.
BAUER, MANION, and ROVNER, Circuit Judges.
case arises out of a sexual assault investigation and
disciplinary hearing conducted by Columbia College of Chicago
("Columbia"). Jane Roe accused John Doe of sexual
assault after the two engaged in what she says were
non-consensual sexual relations. Doe was given multiple
opportunities to submit exculpatory evidence to Columbia, and
after the investigation was complete, Doe was given multiple
opportunities to review the investigative materials and the
evidence submitted by Roe. After a formal disciplinary
hearing a panel weighed the evidence, found that some of
Roe's allegations were proven by a preponderance of the
evidence, and that some were not. Doe was then suspended from
Columbia for an academic year.
filed a complaint in federal court alleging Roe and Columbia
violated 20 U.S.C. § 1681 ("Title IX"), breach
of contract, promissory estoppel, negligent infliction of
emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, and negligence. The district court ruled that each
claim was defective and granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss. Because we agree with the well reasoned and thorough
opinion of the district court, we affirm.
Roe and John Doe attended Columbia and had a sexual encounter
on December 11, 2015. In February 2016, Roe filed a complaint
with Columbia alleging she had not consented to the
encounter. Columbia appointed staff member Sarah Shaaban to
investigate the matter. She met with Doe on February 3, 2016,
to discuss the allegations and provide him with an
opportunity to submit whatever evidence he wished. At this
time Doe did not provide any exculpatory evidence.
Title IX coordinator, Dr. Beverly Anderson, reviewed the
investigative report and notified Doe that there was
sufficient evidence for a reasonable hearing panel to
conclude that Doe had violated the school's sexual
misconduct policy. She informed Doe that he would be given
written notification of the date, time, and place of the
hearing, the names of the hearing officers, and that he had a
right to review investigative materials. Anderson also
provided Doe with Columbia's hearing procedures policy.
responded by asserting that the allegations were false and
that he had been physically assaulted and verbally harassed
by Roe and her friends since the incident. Columbia requested
the names of the individuals who committed the acts Doe
described in his letter; Doe refused to provide Columbia with
contacted Doe two days later and suggested they meet in
person to discuss his concerns, but Doe refused to do so
without his attorney being present. Anderson informed Doe
that he could bring his attorney. Doe said that two of
Roe's friends had "flipped him off" a few days
prior. Anderson said she would look into the incident.
associate vice president for campus safety and security
contacted Doe and met with him twice to address his concerns.
Campus safety and security was able to identify the student
who struck Doe and addressed the issue. Doe was instructed to
inform Columbia if he had any other interaction with the
April 19, Anderson provided Doe with a letter addressing each
concern that Doe had raised in his March 13 letter. Anderson
informed Doe that he and Roe would be provided with the same
period of time to review the investigative materials. She
reminded Doe that he could submit evidence, but had failed to
do so, and that he needed to inform Columbia if he had
evidence he intended to present. The letter again provided
Doe with the specific conduct alleged against him and the
categories of sexual misconduct that the allegations fell
into. The letter also stated that Doe had not provided any
evidence of gender discrimination and, if he provided any
evidence of discrimination or bias by a Columbia employee
connected with the investigation, Columbia would promptly
contacted Doe in early April to provide him with an academic
advisor who could approve any accommodations Doe might need.
Anderson followed up several times advising Doe that she
needed more information before she could approve any
accommodation. Doe failed to provide her with this
April 26, Columbia provided Doe with a copy of the
information that Roe had submitted regarding the sexual
assault. Doe responded in writing to her submission.
6, Anderson informed Doe that Columbia would schedule a
hearing and again advised him of the allegations and his
procedural rights. Doe reviewed a copy of Roe's
submissions and the investigation materials on May 9. Doe
then submitted his evidence including screen shots of text
messages, his April 25 letter, and a toxicology report that
he had paid an expert to prepare. All of this evidence was
submitted to the hearing panel.
4, Anderson received a report that Doe and another male
student made "kissing noises" at Roe when she was
leaving her dorm the night before. Anderson requested that
she and Doe speak about the incident. Nothing in the ...