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Student Investigated For Sexual Assault Sues University of Pennsylvania

Bryan Y.W. Shin

The University of Pennsylvania has become the latest college sued by a student fearing expulsion over what he calls an unfounded sexual-assault complaint. 

The lawsuit says the Ivy League school in Philadelphia could expel him if it concludes he had sex with a fellow senior without her permission.

The accused student calls the sex consensual. 

Federal guidelines instruct schools to hold students responsible if there's more evidence than not that an assault occurred. 

That "preponderance of the evidence'' standard is much lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt'' standard used in criminal court. 

Many schools are facing litigation over their internal procedures for handling sex-assault complaints. 

Neither Penn student is named in the lawsuit filed last week. 

Penn filed a response asking the judge to let the school disciplinary process play out before the lawsuit moves forward.