Francisco Sousa was 20 years old, happy, studying what he wanted at San Diego State University on a foreign exchange from Portugal. He was then accused by his then-girlfriend of sexual assault on December 9, 2004. He got kicked out from the university after being wrongly accused of rape. Finally, the courts have ruled in his favor against the school and the charges.
Sousa was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting and imprisoning a woman near campus. After the arrest, the school suspended him and sent email to university students warning them that Sousa was a sexual predator while the investigation is not yet completed.
In January 2015, the charges against Sousa but the suspension against him is not lifted until September that year. For Sousa, even though the university allowed him back, the damage has already been done to his name and reputation.
He told Fox5 that it was very hurtful for him and also for his family and friends. It hurts him more that one day, his kids will Google their father’s name and this will pop up.
Sousa sued the university against their actions during the wake of the initial allegation and seeking financial damages and an apology.
The university agreed to pay Sousa $10,000 and also agreed to send staff on additional training to help deal with similar situations in the future.
Sousa wants to have his name vindicated and he believed the university was able to accomplish that.
Sousa has already transferred to another college and is due to graduate this semester. He hopes false allegations are confronted because it damages the victims. It did not only hurt him, it also hurts other real victims, other sexual assault victims who may not want to report the crimes because of these cases.
San Diego State issued a statement that read: 'San Diego State University takes the issue of sexual assault very seriously.’ ‘It is our institutional responsibility to investigate all complaints to ensure the safety of our students. The university is committed to preventing sexual violence through education, training and accountability.'
Wake up, folks. There are cases like this.