Former Yale Student Acquitted of Rape Sues Accuser and University
Saifullah Khan, a former Yale student, has filed a defamation lawsuit against one of his accusers and is seeking $110 million in damages from the university.
Khan was expelled from Yale in 2019 after being accused of sexual assault.
However, he was acquitted of rape in a court of law but found “responsible” for the act by the university in a disciplinary hearing.
The Lengthy Legal Battle
Khan filed the defamation lawsuit more than four years ago, approximately 20 months after his acquittal in the criminal case.
The legal process has been slow, with a recent ruling in June allowing Khan to proceed with his defamation suit against his accuser.
The court determined that the accuser was not immune from a defamation lawsuit.
A Complex History
Khan, a member of the class of 2016 who did not graduate due to the allegations, faced a tumultuous journey.
After being acquitted, he was readmitted as a full-time student in 2018 but faced protests from fellow students.
His return to campus was marred by controversy when another student, who had initially supported Khan during the trial, accused him of assault during a consensual encounter.
Allegations and Acquittal
The original allegations stemmed from an incident on Halloween night in 2015, when Khan was accused of sexually assaulting a female student.
He was arrested and faced trial, during which he was found not guilty by a jury. However, the university’s disciplinary process led to his expulsion.
The Lawsuit’s Basis
Khan’s lawsuit demands $110 million in damages, citing violations of his rights during the investigation process, including a breach of Title IX regulations.
The damages claimed include obstruction of his degree completion, reputational harm, breach of privacy, and emotional distress.
Detailed Description of Events
The lawsuit provides a detailed account of the events leading up to Khan’s expulsion, including his arrest in November 2015, the subsequent trial, and the university’s actions.
It highlights the impact on Khan’s academic and personal life.
Challenges Faced by Khan
Upon his return to Yale, Khan faced significant opposition and protests from students, as well as a petition calling for his non-readmission.
The suit portrays a challenging environment for Khan, who had to live off-campus while attending classes.
Expulsion and Additional Accusations
Despite his acquittal in the criminal case, Khan was expelled by the university based on a separate allegation of assault made by another student.
This expulsion, which came more than three years after the initial incident, paved the way for Khan’s defamation lawsuit.
Connecticut Supreme Court Ruling
The recent ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed Khan to proceed with his defamation lawsuit.
The court found that the university’s handling of the case lacked due process, leading to its decision to permit Khan’s suit.
Impact on Future Title IX Cases
The ruling has significance beyond Khan’s case, as it sheds light on the handling of sexual misconduct cases in academic institutions.
It comes as the federal government plans to change regulations regarding Title IX and sexual misconduct cases, potentially affecting how such cases are handled in the future.
Norm Pattis, Khan’s lawyer, considers the court’s decision a positive development for his client.
He believes it highlights the challenges faced by individuals in the university’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints.
The outcome of Khan’s lawsuit and the impending changes to Title IX regulations will likely have broader implications for how universities handle similar cases in the future, impacting due process and the role of cross-examination in such proceedings.