George Mason University revamps sexual misconduct hearings

George Mason University is revising the way it investigates and adjudicates allegations of sexual misconduct after a student won a lawsuit challenging the process.

The student won reinstatement after arguing that a consensual sadomasochistic relationship was wrongly classified as sexual misconduct.

A federal judge in Alexandria ordered Mason to reinstate the student, though last week he ruled the university may bring new charges against the student if it chooses.

Julian Williams, the school's vice president for compliance, diversity and ethics, declined comment Thursday on the case. But he said generally that the university expects to have new procedures in place for the fall semester.

Some changes are prompted by the lawsuit. Others are unrelated to the case.

Changes include hiring a full-time sexual misconduct investigator and a revised appeal process.