Monday, July 6, 2020

Michigan State Title IX case dismissed

December 12, 2019
Beaumont Tower on Aug. 23, 2019.
Beaumont Tower on Aug. 23, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

A Title IX lawsuit originally filed in 2015 by four MSU alumni against the Michigan State Board of Trustees and Vice President of Student Affairs Denise Maybank was dismissed Dec. 12.

This lawsuit involved four student-on-student sexual assaults at MSU, according to United States Court of Appeals records. The case alleged a lack of adequate response to sexual assault reports from the four former students.

Originally, the case involved Emily Kollaritsch, Shayna Gross and two anonymous plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit alleging violations of Title IX, Due Process and Equal Protection, according to court records.

Two years after the initial lawsuit, the case was given approval by a federal judge to proceed. The lawsuit was dismissed today based on a lack of evidence against the MSU Board of Trustees and Maybank.

“The court basically said that in a Title IX lawsuit a victim needs to allege that they experienced some sort of sexual misconduct, that they reported that misconduct to the school, the school acted with deliberate indifference and then after all of that, that the deliberate indifference caused actual subsequent sexual harassment as well,” the plaintiffs' attorney, Alexander Zalkin, said.

Zalkin said he was disappointed with the sixth circuit court's ruling and is now evaluating the options on what to do next.

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