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NH federal judge to hear Brown rape suit

March 15, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A federal judge from New Hampshire will hear a lawsuit brought by a former Brown University student who says he was falsely accused of rape and unfairly pressured to leave school.

Mary Lisi, chief judge for the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island, ordered the case sent for assignment to a judge in Concord, N.H., Tuesday.

The move comes after Judge Ronald Lagueux (Lah-GUEH') recused himself last week, citing his close ties to a defense lawyer, Joseph Cavanagh (KAV'-uh-naw). Cavanagh represented Lagueux in judicial proceedings in 1988 and may have to take the witness stand to answer allegations he pressured the plaintiff, William McCormick III, into signing a settlement agreement that included him leaving Brown.

Lisi and the other federal judge in Rhode Island, William Smith, have also recused themselves.