Judge ques­tions Fenves re­vers­ing sex as­sault case

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO&STATE - By Ryan Au­tullo rautullo@states­man.com ALSO IN­SIDE UT law­suit

A fed­eral judge ques­tioned a de­ci­sion by Univer­sity of Texas Pres­i­dent Gregory L. Fenves to over­turn a hear­ing of­fi­cer’s rul­ing and pun­ish a male stu­dent ac­cused of as­sault for hav­ing sex with a drunk fe­male stu­dent af­ter a soror­ity for­mal in 2016.

Judge Sam Sparks de­clined to rule on a mo­tion for tem­po­rary in­junc­tion Fri­day in U.S. West­ern District Court, mean­ing the stu­dent’s five-se­mes­ter sus­pen­sion will con­tinue through the fall. The stu­dent had hoped the judge would block Fenves’ de­ci­sion as classes be­gin on Aug. 30.

But Sparks did sug­gest Fenves over­reached in April by set­ting » aside the hear­ing of­fi­cer’s rul­ing that the stu­dent didn’t com­mit sex­ual as­sault, and re­mov­ing the stu­dent from cam­pus.

“It would ap­pear the hear­ing is just a fa­cade if the pres­i­dent makes the de­ci­sion,” Sparks said.

Fenves didn’t ap­pear in court Fri­day, just days af­ter the stu­dent’s at­tor­ney filed a law­suit that says the pres­i­dent should never have en­tered into the case.

The law­suit de­tails a drunken night in April 2016 when the man and the woman left a soror­ity for­mal and went back to his place.

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