Judge Michelle Williams dismissed a sexual assault lawsuit filed against USC by a male student Monday morning. The plaintiff, who goes under the alias John Doe, demanded that the University’s sexual misconduct policy declared unenforceable.
John Doe, a USC student currently studying abroad, is accused of sexual misconduct with his ex-girlfriend in his dorm room in 2016. However, it wasn’t until September 2018 that the plaintiff was notified by USC’s Title IX office of a report accusing him of attempted sexual assault and non-consensual sexual contact.
John Doe filed his lawsuit on Feb. 21, 2019, a week after USC adopted a new sexual misconduct investigation policy. Doe complained that this policy — which names the steps for investigating sexual assault allegations — does not adhere to the requirements set by multiple California appellate court decisions.
In his lawsuit, Does also sought to ensure that USC would no longer be able to enforce this policy against himself and other students.
According to the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court, the lawsuit was premature as the plaintiff’s case was still under review by the University. Moreover, the plaintiff’s motion to strike was dismissed, whereas his demurrer was sustained, but postponed.
The plaintiff's lawyer, Mark Hathaway, detailed in his court papers that although the court case should have come to fruition in a period of 60 days, the case has gone on for nine months with still no decision.
USC’s Media Relations told Annenberg Media that they “are pleased that the court has dismissed the case out of respect for the expertise and autonomy of the university’s Title IX office and will allow the university to complete its process.”
Currently, the court proceedings have been postponed as John Doe is studying abroad at the University of Auckland this semester, according to publicly available court documents.