POMONA : Judge OKs College Hearing for Student Accused of Rape

A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that Pomona College may proceed with a disciplinary hearing that was stalled last month when a student accused of rape sued the school over its disciplinary procedure.

In March, a female student filed a complaint with the school's disciplinary panel, accusing a graduating senior of date rape 2 1/2 years before. Although she conceded she never indicated any objection to sex, school rules against sexual assault require explicit consent for intercourse, and provide a maximum penalty of expulsion for students "convicted" by a disciplinary panel made up of 10 students.

The hearing was scheduled for April 22, but Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne issued a stay that postponed the hearing and allowed the student to graduate May 15.

On Tuesday, Wayne ruled that the hearing may proceed. But she decided that the accused man is entitled to legal representation during the proceedings, despite school rules that bar attorneys from student hearings. The judge left open whether the attorney may cross-examine witnesses and speak on the accused student's behalf, or merely be an adviser.

Pomona College spokeswoman Nina Ellerman said school officials have not decided when the hearing will take place, but added that it will not happen until after students return from summer break.

The accused student's attorney, Howard Rosen, said his client will appeal to the court again if the panel finds him guilty. He is also seeking monetary compensation from the school for emotional and academic damage from the stigma of the rape charge.

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