OED finds student responsible for policy violations following Title IX investigation

The Office of Equity and Diversity has found junior Armaan Premjee responsible for charged policy violations after a nearly yearlong investigation into sexual assault charges from last April. A hearing will be held on Friday to determine sanctions.

In July, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office decided not to continue pursuing a criminal case against Premjee after a judge ruled that Premjee would not be held to answer.

“There is no indication of any withdrawal of consent,” the judge wrote in his ruling in July. “There is a very strong indication that the alleged victim in this case was the initiator of any conduct between the defendant and the alleged victim.”

USC’s Office of Equity and Diversity began its own investigation as well.

“Despite my case being dismissed [by a criminal court] … [the OED] still went ahead and found me responsible, which is quite preposterous and very disappointing,” Premjee said.

However, USC is required to conduct its own investigation due to federal regulations. Title IX investigations are done independently of any court proceedings, according to a USC statement emailed to the Daily Trojan.

“Student disciplinary records, student conduct proceedings and outcomes are confidential to protect all parties involved,” USC’s statement said.

The woman involved in the situation, who wished to remain anonymous and will be referred to in this article as Jane Doe, said she was satisfied with the outcome of the OED investigation and that she never wished to press charges in criminal court.

“I couldn’t have possibly gave consent, but I personally feel like he shouldn’t go to jail for something like this,” she said. “I don’t want to feel guilty for something like that.”

Premjee and his attorney Harland Braun have argued that the alleged victim initiated the sexual contact, referring to a video shown in court by Braun, which showed Premjee and Doe standing outside Banditos Tacos & Tequila. Braun argued the video shows the alleged victim seemed to indicate through hand gestures her intent to pursue sexual relations with him throughout their time together.

While Braun acknowledged that the woman involved in the case was intoxicated, he says she had the intent of having sex throughout the night. Premjee said that the woman made hand gestures to her friends that indicated that she intended to have sex with Premjee.

Doe said that she did not report any incident and had not wished to press charges.

“That’s the thing that bothers me psychologically,” Doe said. “A lot of people think I was the one who forced, who wrongly accused him of something he didn’t do, when I didn’t accuse anyone of anything in the first place.”

Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested Premjee after the incident occurred in Fluor Tower in April 2017. Premjee pleaded not guilty to one count of rape by use of drugs and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object in May.

Premjee said that he and his attorney had been speaking with Matt Boermeester, a former USC football player who also faced a Title IX investigation last year that resulted in his expulsion.

“If any unfair action is taken against me, and if USC goes above the law we would take action against the University,” Premjee said. He later said that he and Braun were considering filing a lawsuit against USC.

Premjee wrote an email to President C. L. Max Nikias claiming that Gretchen Means, the executive director of OED, had been biased against him during the investigation. Premjee claimed that Means unfairly disallowed him from having Braun as his adviser during the Title IX investigation.

During a Daily Trojan interview in November, Braun said that Means was dishonest, that she had not allowed Premjee and him to record an interview and had called Braun a physical threat to USC.

“If this b-tch is going to go forward on [the case], it just [shows] how sick she is,” Braun said in the interview. “I have a case where consent is on tape. What more does USC want?”

The University addressed Premjee’s claim that Braun was removed as his adviser.

“USC did not disallow attorney Harland Braun from serving as an adviser,” the statement from USC read. “However, due to his disruptive behavior, Mr. Braun was informed that he would need to send another lawyer from his firm or another individual of his client’s choosing to attend in-person investigation meetings. This occurred after repeated warnings that his disruptive and unprofessional behavior was violating USC policy and impeding the process.”

Now that the investigation has concluded, Premjee could face sanctions that range from counseling and community reparations to suspension and expulsion depending on the gravity of the actions that he was found responsible for, according to USC Title IX policy.