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Class-action lawsuit seeks to protect students accused of sexual assault

Class-action lawsuit seeks to protect students accused of sexual assault

In a groundbreaking move, the first-ever prospective class-action lawsuit that would benefit students accused of sexual assault has been filed against a university, potentially reversing the outcomes of dozens of sexual violence cases. Experts say the suit against Michigan State University is a clever legal maneuver that takes advantage of a significant ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judges determined in September 2018 that students accused of sexual assault, or their representatives, had a right to directly question their accuser, which legal experts said would reshape the notion of due process in these cases. The lawsuit could theoretically challenge, even retroactively, the results of any campus sexual violence case that didn’t offer due process protections. Advocates for accused students have long maintained that institutions disregard due process rights in investigating and adjudicating campus rape charges, ever since the Obama administration in…

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