A Marshall University student who remained enrolled despite a conviction for a 2016 attack on a female classmate has now been expelled after being accused of two sexual assaults.
Joseph Hardin, jailed last week as the new allegations surfaced, was thrown out of the West Virginia school on Tuesday.
“We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive steps to make sure the entire Marshall community is safe,” President Jerome Gilbert said in a statement on Wednesday. “I have zero tolerance for inappropriate, illegal behavior, and pledge that we will always treat sexual misconduct and violence with the utmost gravity. The safety of our students is our first obligation.”
Officials at the Huntington campus said that Hardin was expelled in accordance with its student conduct disciplinary procedures.
Hardin had entered a Kennedy plea in the 2016 battery case, which allowed him to be convicted without admitting guilt. However, he had initially been accused of raping the woman, who filed a federal lawsuit against the university.
He was expelled from the university following the 2016 attack, but was allowed to stay on campus during the appeal process. Officials would later suspend Hardin from campus grounds again, but he was allowed back at school after pleading to the lower battery charge.
Hardin, 19 at the time of the 2016 assault, was given a one-year jail sentence that was suspended by the judge. The woman’s lawsuit, which is ongoing, alleges that the university botched the disciplinary process.
The 22-year-old Hardin is facing second-degree sexual assault charges. He made a court appearance on Wednesday, and was ordered to remain behind bars for violating probation related to his earlier conviction.