Sexual Assault

Colorado State Pueblo Settles With Student It Falsely Accused of Rape

Grant Neal's girlfriend told school administrators repeatedly that he didn't rape her. They expelled him anyway.


Colorado State University
Spilly816/Wikimedia Commons

Colorado State University-Pueblo has reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Grant Neal. Neal is the athlete who the university expelled for allegedly raping a fellow student, even though that student told school officials, "I'm fine and I wasn't raped."

The settlement comes as the Department of Education is considering reforms of Title IX sexual assault investigations, which Reason and others have taken to task for numerous violations of due process. In an emailed statement to Reason, Neal's attorney Andrew Miltenberg says his client "is pleased that this matter has been resolved and is looking forward to moving on with his life."

Neal's troubles began in the fall of 2015, when he and a fellow student and athletic trainer—identified only as "Jane Doe"—had repeated consensual sexual encounters.

Relationships between trainers and athletes were frowned upon (though not prohibited), so the couple tried to keep their encounters covert. News of their relationship eventually leaked out, however, and quickly escalated into a probe by the school's Title IX investigator, Roosevelt Wilson.

Wilson, who interviewed Neal multiple times, never advised Neal to seek legal counsel, gave contradictory instructions on contacting Doe, and refused to hear from witnesses who supported Neal's version of the events.

None of this, unfortunately, is out of the ordinary for Title IX investigations. What was out of the ordinary was the alleged victim's repeated statements that their sexual encounters were consensual. At one point she told a college administrator, "Our stories are the same and he's a good guy. He's not a rapist, he's not a criminal, it's not even worth any of this hoopla!"

Nevertheless, Neal was expelledfor his alleged misconduct in December 2015, an event that cost him numerous scholarships and has prevented him from being accepted to other schools.

"One day I woke up and I had all my dreams in front of me," Neal told Reason's Robby Soave back in February. "For that to be yanked away from me for no justifiable reason…that's hard to cope with."

The university has agreed to pay an unspecified monetary amount in exchange for Neal dropping his lawsuit. Nonmonetary terms of the settlement are still being negotiated. The school admits no wrong-doing.

No one settlement will produce sweeping change to Title IX investigations overnight, says Justin Dillon, a lawyer who specializes in campus discipline cases. But he thinks Neal's case sends a message.

"If schools don't treat both sides fairly they're going to pay a price," Dillon tells Reason, saying he would like to see a number of changes to how campuses handle sexual assault cases, including legal rights to counsel for the accused and the ability to cross-examine witnesses. You know: basic due-process stuff.

He might get what he wants: Candice Jackson, the top civil rights official at the Department of Education, has said the way current Title IX investigations treat the accused is "a red flag that something's not right." What reforms will eventually come down the pike remains to be seen, but Neal's case illustrates how much the current Title IX system is an affront to due process and equal treatment under the law.

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  1. Grant Neal’s girlfriend told school administrators repeatedly that he didn’t rape her. They expelled him anyway.

    And here I was thinking that all girls were supposed to be believed.

    1. They believed that he must have also raped her mind. It was excusable that she didn’t remember that part.

      1. He wasn’t very memorable when he was inside her.

    2. No, the line is that you are supposed to believe the victim.

      According to her statement she wasn’t a victim. So they have no obligation to believe her.

      1. Congratulations, you’re in line for the Franz Kafka award for understanding fascism. May God have mercy on your soul.

        All snidery aside, the horror of it is, that may likely be what the officials thought.

  2. News of their relationship eventually leaked out, however, and quickly escalated into a probe by the school’s Title IX investigator, Roosevelt Wilson.

    Perhaps we should be thankful the evil clone of FDR and Woodrow only rose as high as Title IX investigators.

  3. Take these fuckers to the bank.. the blood bank.

    1. Damn straight. Good for Neal getting a slice of that progtard fat money cake.

  4. ” The school admits no wrong-doing.”

    I get it. They throw money at you. But in all the times this has happened, can’t we get someone who says “no, you wronged me and someone has admit it”?

    Nothing, ever, will change by paying people off with other people’s money.

    1. guessing the settlement agreement contains a no-fault clause.

      1. I, um…I…think maybe that was the point. Maybe.

        1. if TIPD knows the only solution to his problem is “goto trial”, sure…

          >>>can’t we get someone who says “no, you wronged me and someone has admit it”?

          he’s not going to get “someone has [to] admit it” and “settlement agreement” in the same room, ever. if TIPD’s asking *that* question, I assume he does not know…

    2. You know who else admitted no wrong doing?

      1. Emperor Hirohito?

      2. Orenthal James?

      3. Tony?

  5. Roosevelt Wilson…yikes.

    1. Is Roosevelt a woman’s or man’s name?

      I suspect just asking the question would be enough for Roosevelt to have me expelled from school.

      1. i know I’m triggered.

      2. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Roosevelt Wilson is not only a man, but a black man. “Roosevelt” as a first name is fairly common in the black (African American) community, and pretty much unknown elsewhere. And AFAIK, it’s always used for males. As for Wilson, I’ll give them a pass on that, neither Mr. Wilson nor his parents chose their last name. I do wonder if they realize just how bad Woodrow was for blacks.

        1. sexier girl’s name.

    2. Maybe he goes by Rosie.

  6. “The school admits no wrong-doing.”

    So the scumbag Mr. Wilson will get his retirement benefits instead of losing his job?

  7. Yet another example of abuse; not requiring full disclosure of the settlement.
    These (pick your own worst expletive) administrators need the bright light of truth shone on the court findings. The public pays for the court system, we have a right to see what the results of any adjudication.

    1. These fagaloon administrators…

  8. Don’t wanna be a thug, don’t not rape older chicks.

  9. A really awful thing about this is that women who have actually been sexually assaulted on campus are harmed by this as well, because the universities have undermined the legitimacy of the process.

    1. It’s even worse. Someday soon – it may even have happened already – an actual rape will take place on campus, and the idiots in the administration will condemn the rapist with the usual kangaroo court. In doing so they will bollux up the ‘presumption of innocence’ so badly, and taint the evidence so thoroughly that the rapist will not be convicted, because an impartial trial will no longer be possible.

      I would say that College Administrations should stick to doing their actual jobs – administering the college – but on the evidence they are usually no good at that either.

      1. Another crazy thought: in encouraging women to go to their university administrator for justice rather than police due to the lower standard of proof and a more “supportive” environment, the worst penalty an actual rapist sees is being kicked out of school. He’s out on the street to do it again

  10. “News of their relationship eventually leaked out, however, and quickly escalated into a probe by the school’s Title IX investigator, Roosevelt Wilson”

    I really hope Roosevelt Wilson’s termination was part of the settlement. No reason to settle for anything less.

  11. According to the previous Reason article:

    The hickey was indeed noticed by another trainer, described as the “Complainant” in the lawsuit. When confronted, Doe confessed to the Complainant that she and Dean had engaged in sex. According to the lawsuit, the Complainant “presumed” this sex was nonconsensual, and reported it to the director of the athletic training program.

    That smells fishy as hell. What did Doe tell this other person that made them think it was nonconsensual?

    1. And why did this person feel the need to be a moral busybody?

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  13. Well, you know what? I don’t really like news like this one. I work with students and provide them with help writing an essay. So that i should always be aware of everything in our educational system. But every time i write “education” in the search bar i want to read some positive news about reforms and changes. But i have to read this one… Probably i am wrong but i still want our educational system to become much more improved. So anyway, thank you for sharing.

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