Former Philadelphia University Student Sues Over Sexual Assault Expulsion
Anthony Villar (left) was a junior at Philadelphia University until January 23rd, when he was expelled by the school after his former girlfriend accused him of sexual assault just five weeks earlier. And now Villar has filed a federal lawsuit against both the school and his ex, claiming that she lied and that the school barely bothered to investigate before kicking him out.
The way Villar tells it, he and the woman had been in a sexually active romantic relationship that began back in 2011. She spent the fall semester of 2013 studying abroad in Denmark, and Villar picked her up at the airport on December 13th upon her return. The couple went to his apartment in East Falls.
According to Villar’s suit, the biopsychology major offered to give his girlfriend a massage and that consensual intercourse followed. Then they drove to her parents’ home in New Hope for dinner. The next day, says Villar, he had another dinner with her parents.
After that second dinner, Villar says that his girlfriend received a text from a fellow Philadelphia University student. Villar grabbed the phone and put it in his pocket. And then he fessed up: He had become sexually active with that fellow student while his girlfriend was in Denmark. He says he apologized and left.
Two days later, according to the suit, Philadelphia University Dean of Students Mark Govoni summoned Villar to a meeting. He informed Villar that his ex had accused him of sexual assault. A hearing was held five weeks after the alleged assault.
After a 60-minute hearing and 45 minutes of deliberation, Villar was expelled. No criminal charges have ever been brought against him.
Villar is suing Philadelphia University for, among other things, breach of contract and discrimination. The suit is one of a handful of “reverse Title IX” lawsuits around the country, including one at Swarthmore College, which reporter Simon van Zuylen-Wood explored in “Rape Happens Here” in the May issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Villar is also suing his ex for emotional distress and defamation. Both the school and the woman declined to comment for this article.
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