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'Permanently Altered': Former Yale Student Acquitted of Rape Allegations Says

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A former Yale student who was acquitted of rape says his life was “permanently altered” by the accusations leveled against him.

Saifullah Khan, 30, told the IJR his life “has been permanently altered” after he was charged and later acquitted of four sexual assault charges in 2018 and then expelled from Yale University in 2019. Khan was cleared by the Connecticut Supreme Court in June to sue his accuser, “Jane Doe.”

Since 2019, Khan, a native of Afghanistan, has had a $110 million defamation lawsuit pending against Yale University and “Jane Doe.” Khan confirmed to IJR that discovery would be starting “soon” again in the case.

“My life has been permanently altered negatively,” Khan said. “I can never be made whole again. I get called horrible things all the time.”

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Khan was accused of raping another student in her dorm room on Halloween night in 2015. Following the accusation, Khan, who was in his senior year of undergraduate school, was suspended.

In its ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court argued that “Jane Doe” should not be allowed to receive “qualified immunity” from her testimony to Yale accusing Khan of rape because it “lacked important procedural safeguards” for Khan’s defense. Due to the lack of safeguards for Khan, the Supreme Court found that the university-wide committee was not considered to be “quasi-judicial.”

The high court of Connecticut explained the “doctrine of absolutely judicial immunity, or absolute privilege, which shields judges, parties, and witnesses from liability for their testimony in judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings, has its origins in English common law.”

“For absolute immunity to apply under the Connecticut law,” the justices wrote in the ruling, “fundamental fairness requires meaningful cross-examination in proceedings like the one at issue.”

Do you feel that Saifullah Khan was treated unfairly?

During the disciplinary hearing at Yale, Khan listened to testimony from “Jane Doe” from another room. His lawyer had been unable to cross-examine her during the university hearing, which ultimately led to his expulsion.

Khan told IJR that being expelled during “such a precarious time” in his life “completely upended everything” and resulted in him losing many of his friends.

“It felt jarring having two disparate outcomes from what ought to be one truth,” Khan told IJR. “The truth is that I did not rape ‘Jane Doe.’”

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