Legal action has been withdrawn by a onetime St. John’s University student who alleged gender bias when he sued his school and an affiliated college, claiming they falsely found that he probably sexually assaulted a female student and then suspended him.
Aaron Wildenborg, 21, of Red Wing, sued St. John’s and the neighboring College of St. Benedict in federal court in October 2016, alleging that school officials erred in determinations of whether he had consent for sex and whether the woman was vulnerable because she was drunk.
Wildenborg also contended that the investigation was biased against him because he was prevented from fairly challenging her contentions of what happened that night and that she retreated from her initial allegations.
The suit was dismissed last week under a mutual agreement on both sides, according to court filings that did not address how this conclusion came about. Both sides also agreed there would be no exchange of money by either side.
Wildenborg had sought the immediate lifting of a two-year ban on his attending St. John’s, restoration of scholarships, compensation of at least $75,000, and payment of attorney fees and other costs associated with his filing suit.
His attorney, Andrea Jepsen, said Wednesday that “the parties came to a mutually satisfactory agreement.” Jepsen declined to field questions about how the dismissal came about or whether her client remains suspended.
Wildenborg is no longer enrolled at the school, said St. John’s spokesman Michael Hemmesch. The spokesman said the schools would have no comment on the suit being withdrawn.
Attorneys for the schools have not responded to requests from the Star Tribune for further details about the dismissal.
According to Wildenborg’s suit, the two were at a party on the St. John’s campus in October 2015 and she later approached him at an off-campus “party house,” where she started hanging on his arm. They left together about 12:45 a.m. to her dorm room.
In the lawsuit, Wildenborg alleges he didn’t see her drink alcohol and that she never appeared drunk. School investigators, however, concluded that the woman had consumed eight alcoholic beverages in a three-hour period early that evening, Wildenborg’s suit read.
At first, Wildenborg was “not seeking sexual activity” due to a medical condition making it painful, but the two began kissing. However, he said, they did not have sex that night.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482