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Suit Dropped Against Brown University Over Rape Accusation

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- A Brown University freshman dismissed from the college after being accused of raping a fellow student dropped a lawsuit against the school and the family of the alleged victim.

William McCormick III, who was expelled from Brown in 2006 two weeks after he enrolled, and his parents agreed to drop the suit, according to a filing today in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island. No details were given on the dismissal.

McCormick and his parents sued Brown; Marcella Dresdale, the student who said she was assaulted; and her father, Richard, in 2009. They claimed the university falsely accused him of sexual assault and that the Dresdales had libeled him and caused him to be expelled.

“The McCormicks and the Dresdales have resolved all of the disputes between them which are the subject of the lawsuit to their mutual satisfaction,” J. Scott Kilpatrick, a lawyer for the McCormicks, said in a statement over the telephone. “The McCormicks and the Dresdales have agreed to not make any further statements or comments on the matter.”

The plaintiffs had won the court’s approval in October to obtain information from Brown about the fundraising activities for the university by Dresdale, an alumnus.

“The university is not a party to the settlement and did not participate in any settlement negotiations,” Marisa Quinn, a spokeswoman for Brown in Providence, said in an e-mail. “The university stood ready at all times during this litigation to prove in court that it had acted appropriately and in accordance with applicable laws, policies and procedures.”

No criminal complaint was filed in connection with the reported assault.

The case is McCormick v. Dresdale, 09-0474, U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island (Providence).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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