A federal judge is ordering a trial in a case that challenges Grinnell College’s handling of sexual misconduct reports.

A male former student at the school argues Grinnell discriminated against him on the basis of gender, in finding he committed non-consensual sex acts. Andrew Miltenberg is representing the student. He’s known nationally for defending students accused of sexual misconduct.

“Allegations that have very life-changing significance of this nature, meaning essentially what could be a crime, we’d like to think that they’d be handled by law enforcement,” Miltenberg says. “They’re not, they’re handled on campus.”

Schools that receive federal funding are required to protect students from sexual harassment and assault under Title Nine. Advocates say school discipline can be more accessible and effective for victims than the criminal justice system. Miltenberg disagrees and says it’s becoming an epidemic.

“It’s developed to such a point to where there are literally hundreds and hundreds of these cases all across the country and the flow is not stopping,” he says. The student’s lawyers say they hope the case challenges how schools judge these allegations.

A Grinnell College spokeswoman was out of the office and could not be reached for comment.

(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)