Iowa Supreme Court affirms school's firing of dean

Sept. 4, 2013 at 2:42 PM
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DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Iowa Supreme Court ruled the University of Iowa acted properly in firing its dean of students for improperly handling sexual-assault allegations.

Phillip Jones was fired after a female student claimed she received little help from school officials in 2007 after she was sexually assaulted in a dorm room by a student, and later learned she was assaulted by a second student while she was unconscious.

The assailants, both Iowa football players, were convicted of assault, and although Jones discussed the matter in the days after the incidents, he took no action, the Courthouse News Service reported.

School regents hired a law firm to investigate how the university handled the allegations. The report criticized Jones for failing to remove the two football players from the victim's dormitory and found his response to the victim's claim she was harassed and threatened for the rest of the school year "insufficient and ineffective."

Jones later sued the school and the law firm for defamation and lost, a Johnson County, Iowa, judge granting judgment for the defendants. The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the decision Aug. 23, the news service said.

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