A federal judge today dismissed a Title IX lawsuit against Emerson College, saying the college properly investigated a student's rape and harassment allegations that Boston and Cambridge police found not credible.
US District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor says the evidence showed Emerson not only investigated the allegations, but went to considerable lengths to help the student in the aftermath of the alleged incidents in 2012 and 2013.
Title IX does not guarantee that an investigation will yield the outcome that a complainant desires. Nor does it require that all complainants be deemed credible, simply because they are complainants. A school satisfies its obligations if it engages in a reasonable process for investigating and addressing claims of sexual harassment. ... Whether or not every decision Emerson made in the course of its investigation was correct is not the appropriate focus of a Title IX claim. Again, there is no genuine basis for dispute as to whether Emerson’s response and investigation were clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.
The woman alleged two rapes at the hands of another female Emerson student and a male student at MIT, one allegedly at an MIT party in Cambridge, one in an alley off Boylston and Tremont streets in Boston. Saylor noted that Cambridge Police found no evidence to support her allegations and that the other two people had alibis for the second alleged incident - the woman provided proof she was on a bus to New York City at the time and the man showed proof he was a patient in the MIT infirmary then.