A Stony Brook University student, who has been accused of sexual assault by an SBU alumna, is now seeking $10 million for alleged slander and libel.
The male student, who is being sued by alumna Sarah Tubbs, filed a request through his lawyer on March 11 for a trial by jury and for Tubbs’s complaint to be dismissed by United States District Court, Southern District Of New York. Tubbs is also suing the university.
Tubbs filed the lawsuit on Jan. 23, 2015. She is suing the male student for the alleged Jan. 26, 2014 sexual assault as well as Stony Brook University for the manner in which the administration allegedly handled her complaint under Title IX. Title IX is the federal clause that prohibits discrimination based on sex at any federally-funded educational institution.
The Statesman is publishing Tubbs’s name with her expressed permission to do so. However, The Statesman is withholding the name of the alleged assailant as he has not been criminally charged.
The defendant said in the response that while he did meet Tubbs on the night of the alleged assault, he did not assault her. According to the defendant, the two went to his dormitory and engaged in sexual activity. His response to Tubbs’s lawsuit complaint states that Tubbs “knowing[ly] and voluntarily consented to any touching” by him and that the allegations “damaged his professional and personal reputation.”
“Further, the allegations made by Plaintiff [Tubbs] against [name withheld] were so incendiary, that it is was natural [sic], and foreseeable consequence, that the spurious allegations would be repeated throughout the school and the community,” the defendant’s response states. “As a result of the publication of the complaint to third parties accusing [name withheld] of sexual assault and rape, it has become common knowledge at Stony Brook and has greatly injured in his reputation [sic].”
Tubbs’s lawsuit complaint and the defendant’s response both state that during a hearing conducted by Stony Brook’s Office of University Community Standards for Tubbs’s Title IX complaint, Tubbs and the defendant were separated by a paper screen.
“Despite the presence of the screen, nothing could address the trauma of having to question, and be questioned by, this man,” Tubbs’s complaint states.
Both Tubbs’s lawsuit complaint and the defendant’s response also state that the university found him not responsible for sexual assault.
The defendant is seeking $10 million, plus the cost of the suit, in reparations for slander and libel. The Law Offices of Stewart Lee Karlin, P.C., is representing the defendant.
At the time of publication, The Statesman could not obtain any written counterclaims from Stony Brook University in response to Tubbs’s lawsuit through the federal courts’ public records system.
For more of The Statesman’s coverage of and relating to Title IX, click here.
Monday, April 20, 7:52 p.m.: The defendant has amended his counterclaims, which now state that he denies the allegation in Sarah Tubbs’s complaint that “Stony Brook’s response to the harassment Plaintiff [Tubbs] experienced, as alleged herein, was clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances, and, thus was deliberately indifferent.” A previous version of the defendant’s counterclaims stated that he admitted to the aforementioned allegation.
Clarification: March 13, 2015
In a previous version of this story, The Statesman reported that it could not obtain Stony Brook University’s official response to Sarah Tubbs’s lawsuit complaint at the time of publication. The story should have specified that The Statesman sought to obtain such records through the federal courts’ public records system, not the university.