Four Curry College students suspended in 2019 for getting another student into a situation where they could video him and make him seem like a sexual predator yesterday sued the Milton school for suspending them without, they say, due process.
The four students, meanwhile, are still defendants in a suit brought by the other student for videoing him and then posting the edited results as "To Catch a College Predator" on social media without the consent required under the state wiretapping law.
The four students had organized as "Unkut Kings" to make videos about various social issues, such as Black Lives Matter. In the spring of 2019, they write in their complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, they decided to make a video about date rape. The way they did this, they write in their complaint, was to have a female student who pretended to be drunk text a male student - whom the four knew and who had worked with them on some of their past videos - over to her room and to try to persuade him she might be in the mood for love. The four acknowledge they did not alert the student in advance he was walking into a set up so they could keep it real and all.
The student accepted the text invitation and came to the female student's room - which the would-be auteurs decorated with empty beer cans to make the point she was drunk. Two of them hid in her closet as a camera recorded; the other two were stationed, hidden, nearby.
As the student walked towards the woman and possibly tried to kiss her, she walked out, the two men in the closet came out and she returned with the other two, whereupon, their own complaint continues, "the plaintiffs continued to record as they spoke with JAB communicating their opinion that his accepting the invitation from the female student to visit her in her dorm room when she was drinking and potentially vulnerable was both inappropriate and foolhardy."
Afterwards, he began to ask them not to post the video, saying it would ruin him. They responded that they would add a disclaimer that the incident was staged. He was not happy and again asked them not to post it. They posted it.
He sued about three weeks later, noting that the state wiretapping law requires a person's consent to record him and he never gave that:
The Video falsely portrayed [him] as a sexual predator simply because he had accepted a woman's invitation to come to her room to engage in romantic activities. After luring [him] to her room, Defendants confronted him. They refused to let him leave. They accused him of heinous crimes.
The judge in his case issued a preliminary injunction that required the four to take down the video. The videoed student's case is now in mediation, but he is asking for a permanent injunction that the video never been posted publicly again, so that the student "may move on with his life."
Meanwhile, not long after the video went up, Curry College found out and began disciplinary proceedings against the four, ultimately concluding they had violated the school's code of conduct, specifically for "sexual and gender-based harassment and discrimination" and booted them off campus. The school warned them that if they showed up on campus, they'd be subject to arrest by either Curry College or Milton police.
In their suit, the four say they were never given a chance to properly rebut the allegations, especially not with the assistance of counsel or with the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses against them.
They continue Curry violated its "contract" with them to treat them fairly in any disciplinary action and not give the complaining student "greater due process rights and procedural protections, including the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner."
The four also charge the school violated various constitutional rights, including the right to free speech, the right to free association and the right to petition, as well as their due-process and equal-protection rights.
The four are seeking a jury trial to make their case and demand damages against Curry.