Australia: UQ faces legal challenge over sexual assault allegation against med student - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia UQ faces legal challenge over sexual assault allegation against med student

16:20  01 october  2019
16:20  01 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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For years, students have filed sexual assault complaints under pseudonyms, which allow them to seek justice without shame or fear of being targeted. It said that its demands were in line with those of many other colleges and universities , and that it took all allegations of sexual assault seriously.

A male medical student being accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour against a woman has launched legal action against the University of Queensland (UQ).

Lawyers for the male student have filed proceedings in the Supreme Court in Brisbane after he was invited to attend a UQ disciplinary board hearing about the sexual assault allegation.

"[UQ and its disciplinary board] do not have jurisdiction to hear and make findings about such allegations," the application for judicial review states.

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The assault allegedly took place last year.

According to documents tendered as part of the civil case, the student is alleged to have digitally penetrated the complainant's genitals without her consent.

"[The complainant] told [the student] on several occasions to stop his actions, that he was hurting her, and told him to leave the room," a UQ document states.

"He did not comply and continued to touch [her]..."

UQ 'has no jurisdiction'

UQ documents allege the woman cried and asked him to leave, but that the male student refused and stayed there until the next morning.

Last month, the student was issued with an "allegation notice" from UQ's disciplinary board, outlining claims that he had "sexually assaulted" a woman by "subjecting her to unsolicited acts of physical intimacy" in a breach of the student charter, and inviting him to attend a disciplinary board hearing.

In correspondence with UQ, the student's lawyer Wendy Mulcahy said the key issue in the Supreme Court case was whether the allegation in the disciplinary proceedings was one of criminal behaviour.

"We apprehend from your correspondence, and from the policies of the university, that the university accepts that it does not have jurisdiction to hear allegations of criminal behaviour," she said.

The maximum penalty the student could face is expulsion.

The case is listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on October 11.

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