Judge blocks Ohio State from expelling female student accused of 'nonconsensual' group sex

In a rare Title IX ruling, a federal judge blocked Ohio State University from expelling a female student accused of two separate instances of sexual misconduct -- fondling and kissing a drunk student and having nonconsensual group sex.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus, a Clinton appointee, ruled Tuesday that OSU violated “Jane Roe’s” constitutional right to cross-examine her accusers. The incidents occurred in 2016.

The public university in Columbus, Ohio is one of the first schools to be on the losing end of a due-process challenge by an accused female student, The College Fix reported.

OSU suspended Roe for two years as a result of the first incident of alleged sexual misconduct, and two months later, it changed the action to an expulsion for a second, independent charge.

In court documents, Roe said because she was unable to cross-examine witnesses during the disciplinary hearings, OSU violated her Sixth Amendment right to due process.

Sargus agreed with Roe and said cross-examination plays a “central role” as a “truth-seeking device in our justice system.”

In the first case, Roe was accused of sexually touching her accuser at the movies. Both had been heavily intoxicated, according to the report, and eyewitnesses claimed the alleged victim said she was “felt up by [Roe] while floating in and out of consciousness.” Roe testified she did not remember kissing or touching her.

OSU’s hearing officer found Roe’s statements “not plausible or credible” but said the alleged victim and other witnesses “presented a consistent and credible account…and together outweighed the contradictory information…”

Sargus rejected OSU’s claim that two absent witnesses were “duplicative” of in-person testimony by the accuser, who refused to answer questions at the hearing.

In the second incident, two new accusers alleged, after “drinks and dancing,” they went to Roe’s house and had “nonconsensual” group sex, but Roe said she “obtained consent from them for every sexual act she performed” after they took her clothes off and that none them were “substantially impaired.”

In statements made to the hearing officer, one of the accusers said she “agreed to intercourse” but was “too drunk to consent,” while the other was “forced” to perform oral sex on Roe while “severely intoxicated.”

Unlike Roe’s first proceeding, the accusers did not attend or testify at the hearing, but a witness who wasn’t present that night did. The result was the same – the officers found the accusers had credible statements, whereas Roe did not. According to the university’s Title IX office, Roe should’ve noticed the alleged victims’ impaired state and obtained “clear, knowing, and expressed consent before and during each sexual act.”

Sargus rejected Ohio State’s claims for a refusal to give Roe her right to cross-examine, adding if the school wants to discipline her, they need to start a new proceeding that includes her constitutional due process but are not obligated to let Roe back on campus.

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke