Ex-Yale basketball captain sues over sex assault expulsion

Former Yale basketball captain, Jack Montague, who was expelled in February for an alleged sexual assault, sued the Ivy League university last week for defamation and breach of contract.

According to the lawsuit filed by New Haven attorney William F. Dow, Montague, who was scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2016, “had a promising future” prior to the sexual assault allegations. The lawsuit alleges that Yale expelled Montague in an attempt to “make a public example” to demonstrate that the University is strict regarding the issue of sexual assault.

Montague was accused of sexual assault on Nov. 18, 2015 in a complaint filed by Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator Jason Killheffer on the woman's behalf. Not even three months after the complaint was filed against Montague, he was expelled from Yale and released from the basketball team. Montague has faced massive criticism and, according to his attorney, has been branded as a “sexual offender” and reprimanded as a rapist.

In regards to defining sexual assault, Steven Svoboda, public relations director of National Coalition for Men told Campus Reform the act of sexual assault in the correct context is rare.

“The truth is that sexual assault, properly defined so as not to embrace other things that are not assault—such as disagreements between couples, sexuality that is consented to at the time but regretted later, and so on—is quite rare,” Svoboda said.

In the claim filed by Dow, he stated that Yale is taking advantage of the massive awareness of sexual misconduct at the University by expelling Montague.

“Yale knew its students were paying close attention to the issue of sexual misconduct on campus, and that they had strong views on how Yale had responded, historically, to complaints of sexual assault,” the complaint reads.

“It was in this climatepermeated by deep mistrust and anger amongst Yale students and near-panic on the part of Yale administratorsthat the defendants misled and pressured a female student, against her original wishes to participate in a formal complaint process against Montague, accusing him of sexual assault.”

According to the complaint, the alleged victim, referred in the complaint as “Jane Roe,” did not want Montague to be punished in this capacity; however, she wanted a Title IX coordinator to speak to him and provide some sort of training for him. The complaint also claims that the Title IX office brought forth the original claim on false pretenses.

According to The New Haven Register,Montague is the fourth male student in five years who has been expelled for non-consensual sexual conduct. In addition, there were fourteen other men who were found responsible of the same behavior as Montague, but did not receive the same level of punishment.

Supporters of Montague are in agreeance with Dow and believe his case is being used to set an example at Yale. In March, Montague’s father told The New Haven register that Montague’s expulsion would “set some sort of precedent.”

In addition to damages, Montague has requested reinstatement as a student in good standing, the opening of the University Wide Committee on Sexual Conduct proceedings, the expunging of his transcripts and disciplinary records.

“The lawsuit may never make Mr. Montague whole,” the complaint reads. “But it may repair some of the damage done by Yale and its employees to Mr. Montague’s reputation and to his promising future.”