|By Jeremy Roebuck and Susan Snyder, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
He was expelled.
Those spare facts make up the little that the parties can agree upon in a lawsuit working its way through federal court in
The young man at its center -- an honors student and former high school class president identified in court filings only as
"To correct one wrong -- its past unresponsiveness to female complaints -- [
With universities across the country under pressure from victim advocates, government regulators and even the
And in a new wrinkle, many of those suing -- including former students at
Experts say the legal tactic is too new for them to determine whether it will stand up in court.
A federal judge in
A judge in
But the proliferation of these legal fights has sparked further debate on what part academia should play in policing a crime shrouded in conflicting accounts, often with no witnesses.
"We're constantly in a balancing act," said
"Some boards and panels still can't tell the difference between drunk sex and a policy violation," he wrote. "We are making Title IX plaintiffs out of these men."
Consider the case of
He sued the school in May, three months after a disciplinary board composed of one faculty member, one student, and one administrator concluded he had assaulted his ex-girlfriend sexually.
By all accounts, Villar and his accuser had dated for two years before the night of the alleged assault. Hours after they had sex, the couple dined at her parents' house and stayed to watch a movie. She invited him back the next day.
Only after Villar admitted to his girlfriend that he had cheated on her with another woman did she tell school authorities she had been raped, said his lawyer,
The disciplinary board took less than 45 minutes to find Villar guilty of sexual misconduct and expel him.
Under school policy, Spade was barred from aiding Villar at the hearing. Acting on his lawyer's advice, Villar chose not to participate.