Appeals court rules against U-M in sexual misconduct case


ANN ARBOR — A federal appeals court said the University of Michigan violated the rights of a student in its handling of a sexual misconduct accusation.

The school’s violation occurred through its failing to give a man, or his representative, a chance to cross-examine a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct.

The court declared this month that public universities must give students an opportunity to question their accuser or other witnesses during disciplinary hearings if facts are in dispute.

The court overturned a decision by Judge David Lawson who had ruled in favor of the University of Michigan and dismissed a lawsuit by a man identified as John Doe.

Doe agreed to leave the school in 2016 instead of face expulsion. He was 13 credits short of graduation.

A university investigator found insufficient evidence that Doe had committed sexual misconduct with a woman at a fraternity party.

But that conclusion was overturned by a campus appeals panel after two closed sessions.

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