You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

A U.S. magistrate judge has recommended that a student accused of sexual assault at James Madison University be awarded nearly $850,000 after he successfully sued the institution.

The student, called John Doe in court filings, sued the university in 2015 after he was found responsible for sexual assault.

A university panel initially considered him not responsible, but his accuser, called Jane Doe in court documents, appealed that decision -- John Doe was then suspended until the spring 2020 semester and barred from campus.

John Doe filed a lawsuit, alleging his 14th Amendment due process rights had been violated. A federal district court judge ruled in his favor last year, ordering that James Madison reinstate him. The student chose not to re-enroll in the university, according to a university spokesman. If he had returned to the university, he could have been subject to another hearing and disciplined for the alleged assault. 

The magistrate judge has recommended the court give John Doe a total of $849,231 -- roughly $795,691 in attorney’s fees and about $53,539 in litigation costs -- a surprisingly large payment.

The university intends to object to the recommendation, the spokesman said. 

The court’s ruling follows a trend of an increasing number of male students accused of sexual assault who have pursued court action against colleges and won.