A male and female, both students at the University of Cincinatti, meet at a campus party. It’s September 30, 2017.
The female nursing student, now referred to as Jane Roe, is bingeing on vodka and beer, while the male student, now referred to as John Doe, is becoming intoxicated off schnapps and beer.
After a few hours, John tells the young woman he is too drunk and wants to go home. Allegedly worried about him, Jane walks him back to his apartment, to ensure he gets home safe and has some water to drink.
She fusses over him when they arrive, offering him some ibuprofen and putting him to bed. At this point, Jane allegedly falls asleep too, only to be awoken by John’s roommate who asks her to leave. According to the roommate, she says she can’t because she’s dizzy.
That’s when the fumbling begins, and allegedly John initiates sexual contact with Jane. According to her testimony, she allows him to touch her. Jane then asks, “Is there was anything else you want to do?” to which John replies, “I think my roommates can hear. Let’s go to sleep.”
And that’s what they do. Jane wakes up and leaves his house the next morning.
It’s what happened next that is now making headlines all over the world.
Two days later, John filed a sexual misconduct complaint against Jane, who was suspended from the university “indefinitely” under Title IX.
Title IX (1972) is a federal law that, according to Ventura College, “serves as a powerful tool for combating campus violence. The law requires colleges receiving federal funding to combat gender-based violence and harassment, and respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education.”
Due to this law, John is protected until his graduation – meaning he does not have to share a campus with his alleged assailant.
Jane is suing the University of Cincinnati, with her lawyer arguing that there is just as strong a case against the male student who accused her. They were both intoxicated – and it was Jane, not John, who was touched.
Caitlin Flanagan, writing for The Atlantic, has termed the phenomenon ‘Mutually nonconsensual sex’, and opens her feature with the question: “Is it possible for two people to simultaneously sexually assault each other?”