A student filed a lawsuit against the elite Riverdale Country School claiming he was wrongfully expelled over a bogus rape allegation, the Daily News has learned.
The teen, a junior referred to as “John Doe” in court papers, says the $ 52,000-per-year school “ignored the overwhelming evidence in the record” that cleared him.
This evidence included his accuser’s statement to cops that he “did not rape her or force her to do anything,” according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Court.
“It didn’t make any sense,” he said of the allegation in an exclusive Daily News interview. “I’ve always been a very good student. I’ve never been in trouble before. I just want to go back to school.”
Riverdale “made an arbitrary and capricious decision” in kicking him out on Nov. 21 — and the boy is suing to get back into school, his lawyers claimed in court papers and at a proceeding Wednesday afternoon.
The teen maintains he and his accuser were friends who began a consensual sexual relationship in summer 2015, the suit claims.
He ended things in late 2015, but she “did not take it well,” the suit claims. He says he cut off their friendship entirely until this past February.
Mutual friends told him at the time that she was struggling emotionally and he reached out, the suit contends. As summer neared, they resumed their relationship, according to the suit. He left the country to spend the summer with his dad, but they kept chatting via whatsapp, court records show.
The teen thought things were fine until he was abruptly removed from class on Oct. 27. School officials called the boy’s mom and told her the girl had “made serious allegations” against her son.
The accuser’s psychologist, according to court papers, claimed the girl had disclosed a sexual assault from summer 2015. This psychologist then told the school about the disclosure, court papers charge.
When police interviewed the girl, referred to in court papers as “Jane Doe,” she allegedly “stated on the record that plaintiff John Doe did not rape her or force her to do anything,” the suit claims.
“The NYPD’s investigation concluded with the finding that the allegations against plaintiff John Doe were baseless. The NYPD forwarded their findings to defendant Riverdale Country School and closed the case,” the suit charges.
A Riverdale staffer told the boy’s mom on Nov. 3 that cops had cleared him of assault allegations.
Still, Riverdale honchos called the mom and son in for a meeting on Nov. 6 and said he had been accused of harassing Jane Doe, including “name-calling, kissing (her) on the cheek, unsnapping her bra and touching (her) butt,” his lawyers claim.
They ultimately expelled him for the alleged harassment, according to the suit, filed by lawyers Abadir Barre and Rafael Urena.
A lawyer for the school insisted in court that the expulsion was based on credible allegations of harassment — not rape.
“What sparked the investigation was finding the girl crying and distressed in the cafeteria,” the lawyer said.
School officials declined comment on the lawsuit.
“We can’t comment because the judge has sealed this case, a decision we respect because of the teenagers involved,” Riverdale said in a statement. “We always put the best interests of all our students first, and expect their behavior to meet our high standards for mutual respect.”