A former student government leader at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is accusing the school of wrongly expelling him over allegedly false accusations of sexual wrongdoing.
In a suit against the University filed June 28 in Pinellas County Circuit Court, “John Doe” says that he and the female student — identified as “Jane Roe” — had “entirely consensual” vaginal and anal sex Sept. 28, 2016, in his on-campus dorm room.
Roe later called the USF student hotline, accusing him of forced (or coerced) intercourse.
During the investigation, Doe says he told campus officials that Roe did not object to the sexual encounter, and she had continued contact through texting — and even had breakfast with him and friends the following morning — until he declined her request for a date and after she allegedly saw a social-media photo of him with another woman.
Despite Doe’s claims of consensual sex, USF expelled Doe May 10, 2017, denying him a subsequent appeal.
Doe’s 100-page suit says the university denied him due process and unfairly destroyed his “lifelong dreams and aspirations … all because [Roe] made a false allegation for an unknown reason.”
Doe is asking the court to “quash [USF’s] denial of [his] appeal.”
While the lawsuit does not explicitly name either party — “John Doe” or the female “Jane Roe” who accused him of rape — there was sufficient public information to identify both parties in the suit.
While court documents show Doe blacking-out all references to his name, it was not as thorough with his accuser’s name in the Final Investigative Report which gives the last name of the woman.
In a series of text messages supplied as evidence of “consent,” the exchange — time stamped after the alleged rape — shows a conversation between the two containing various small talk and questions about plans for the evening.
As for the identity of “John Doe,” an article published April 25 in the Crow’s Nest — the USFSP student newspaper — reports that Samuel George “Sam” Goetz, the 19-year-old vice president-elect of the University’s student government, resigned just seven weeks after his election.
The Crow’s Nest piece suggests a possible explanation for his resignation: Goetz was “named in an allegation of sexual assault filed by a female student last semester.”
This report seems to correlate with the facts Doe presents in his lawsuit.
Goetz is described as a “freshman global business major” and, at the time, the female student who accuses him “did not file a criminal complaint with university police or the St. Petersburg Police Department, according to those agencies.”
Goetz ran for the vice president position on a ticket with presidential candidate David Thompson.
An earlier report from the Crow’s Nest on the campaign, dated Feb. 23, 2017, said Goetz had pledged the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity and had worked on a political campaign for State Sen. Daryl Rouson.
At the end of the suit, Doe also includes a “closing statement” — possibly addressing the internal disciplinary body at USF — where he is somewhat complimentary toward his accuser, calling her an “intelligent adult,” but questions what was in her “heart and mind.”
Doe concludes with a plea for his future, saying: “I am 19 years and I stand before you literally fighting for my life. Please don’t end it before it even begins over allegations that are absolutely not true.”