PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Judge rules in favor of Brown University student suspended for sexual assault.

Brown University will have to re-adjudicate a years-old campus sexual assault accusation after a judge determined the school suspended him after improperly investigating the accusations against him. . . .

His accuser waited a year to accuse Doe of sexual assault, and during that time, Brown’s policy on what constitutes sexual assault changed. Doe was adjudicated under the new, more restrictive, policy, which didn’t exist when the encounter took place. During the investigation, his accuser provided the investigator with text messages between her and Doe that occurred before the encounter. When Doe was questioned, he provided text messages that occurred after the encounter — in which his accuser claimed she was “more excited to see you finally! Haha” — and some texts that the accuser had not provided from before the encounter.

Doe was suspended and subsequently sued. Judge William E. Smith, in his 84-page decision, vacated Brown’s ruling. He did not adjudicate the accusation himself, and did not give any indication whether he felt the accusation was baseless. He merely stated that Brown’s decision to try Doe under a policy that didn’t exist when the alleged sexual assault occurred was improper.

“When combined with other errors set forth herein, it is clear that Doe’s contract rights were violated,” Smith wrote.

Smith was concerned about a lot of the decisions Brown made during the investigation, including not asking for more texts between the accuser and one of her friends, whom Doe believed she conspired with to fabricate accusations against him. A Brown administrator initially included Doe’s claim, but abandoned it and failed to ask for additional text messages that might have proven Doe correct. This, Smith wrote, was a violation of Doe’s rights under Brown policy.

Smith was also concerned that a Brown administrator “did not consider any of the post-encounter evidence in reaching her determination that Doe was responsible.” The accuser had made additional sexual comments to Doe and had said she was “excited” to see him again. The Brown administrator said the training she received from Brown precluded her from including potentially exculpatory evidence, like those texts, because they occurred after the encounter.

Related: Lawyer takes down unfair campus sexual assault processes. It’s about Robert Shibley’s book, Twisting Title IX.