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U.C. student claims gender bias in rape probe

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- A University of Cincinnati student claims university administrators were biased against him because of his gender when they investigated two female students' claims that he raped him.

The freshman students made the claims against Ethan Peloe in March 2014. Attorney Mike Allen said Peloe met the two students at a party and they came on to him. Peloe and the girls had sex in a dorm room. The next day, the students reported they had been raped. UC police investigated and turned the case over to the prosecutor's office.

"They did present it to the Grand Jury and the Grand Jury returned a no bill which means 'we don't believe this guy did it'. That wasn't enough for the University of Cincinnati," Allen said.

Despite being cleared by the Grand Jury, Allen said UC administrators pursued a Student Code of Conduct violation against Peloe and sought to have him expelled from UC. Allen said Peloe was not allowed to defend himself and his attorney was not allowed to speak at the hearing. He called it a "Kangaroo Court."

"If you want to kick my client out of UC then fine. But you better afford him a hearing with due process and they didn't do that and that's why we're in federal court," Allen said.

In the federal lawsuit, Peloe claims a Dean of Students who investigated the matter for the administrative hearing was biased against him from the beginning because he was a male accused of assaulting two female students. Allen believes universities are under pressure from the U.S. Dept. of Education to crack down on sexual assault allegations and that UC wanted to make an example of Peloe. He said the unfair treatment against Peloe violated Title IX, which bars institutions that get federal funding from discriminating against students on the basis of sex.

Local 12 News contacted UC for a comment: 
"The University of Cincinnati takes seriously our obligations under Title IX and makes every effort to ensure that our campus is safe for all students, faculty and staff and our processes respect the rights of all students," said M.B. Reilly, director of Public Relations for the University.

Meanwhile, Mike Allen said Ethan Peloe wants his name cleared.

"Ethan is a fine young man. He's never been in trouble in his life. He loved going to the University of Cincinnati," Allen said. He added, "This young man who's just starting out his life cannot have on his permanent academic record that he was thrown out of a major public university for sexually assaulting two women when he didn't do it."

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