Drake University in Iowa has fired a trustee board member after expelling his disabled son, who alleged he was the victim of a rape by a female student.
According to a federal lawsuit, Tom Rossley, who had been on Drake’s board for 23 years, accused the college of failing to accommodate his son’s “ADHD, anxiety, and language-based learning disabilities” in the university’s sexual-assault investigation.
Drake dismissed allegations raised by the son, who claimed that a female student who had accused him of rape actually initiated the sex while he was incapacitated, the College Fix reports.
Rossley’s lawyer, who called the case “first-of-its-kind Title IX retaliation,” also represented the disabled son. The lawsuit accuses the university of violating Rossley’s First Amendment rights for dismissing him after he argued that Drake discriminated against his son.
Drake conducted an investigation against the son following a complaint by a female student back in October 2015. The investigation led to him being expelled four months later.
Both students filed complaints, but only the man was investigated. According to Drake, Rosley’s son filed his complaint against the woman to retaliate against her.
The son’s lawsuit, however, alleges that both he and the other student were intoxicated, but the woman initiated oral sex on him. It added that he wasn’t “in a state to be with her” and “not able to give consent that night.”
Rossley’s lawsuit, meanwhile, claims the female student said “on the record” during a hearing that she indeed has initiated sex without the son’s consent.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the accused man’s disabilities weren’t accommodated during the investigation. In a nine-hour hearing, Drake “forced” the son “to be his own advocate and act as his own legal representative … despite knowing full well” that he has language disability, the lawsuit says.
Drake barred Rossley from his son’s hearing and did not offer any support, whereas the female student family received “comfort rooms,” it claims.
The suit claims that the father was told to stop complaining about the process and eventually was asked to step down from his position at the university because of “conflict of interest.”