A federal judge has ordered two Temple University officials to stand trial for allegedly attempting to have a former student involuntarily committed to the school's psychiatric ward nearly five years ago.
(PRWEB) May 30, 2004 -- A federal judge has ordered two Temple University
officials to stand trial for allegedly attempting to have a former student
involuntarily committed to the school's psychiatric ward nearly five years ago.
The complaint (Michael Anthony Marcavage vs. Board of Trustees of Temple University of The Commonwealth System of Higher Education, ET AL., NO. 00-CV-5362) filed on behalf of Michael Marcavage claims that, in the fall of 1999, the Christian student was unlawfully restrained and taken to Temple's psych ward because he was organizing a campus event to counter Corpus Christi, a play that portrays Christ and his disciples as homosexuals. Marcavage was attempting to offer a Christian alternative to the play.
Brian Fahling, Senior Trial Attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law and Policy says Temple University's Vice President of Operations, William Bergman, and its director of campus safety services, Carl Bittenbender, made false statements about his client's behavior. Both are named individually in the suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages against them.
Fahling says the amazing thing about the case is that the two defendants acknowledge that they never had proof of any grounds for detaining Marcavage. Nevertheless, in order to satisfy the psychiatric ward's requirement for involuntarily commitment, the school officials claimed Marcavage had inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily harm on another person, that he had attempted suicide, and that there was a reasonable probability that he would repeat the attempt unless treated.
"When I deposed these individuals," the attorney says, "they admitted that they had no evidence that Michael had ever attempted to hurt anybody or ever attempted suicide. And yet, under the threat of criminal punishment, Bittenbender went ahead and asserted as fact that those things had taken place -- and he did that in order to get Michael involuntarily committed. It's just a profound abuse of power."
Fahling says he has no doubt that anti-Christian bias came into play during Marcavage's detention. He contends that the university officials displayed such bias by mocking Marcavage for his faith in God and for his biblical stand in opposition to the play.
Although Michael Marcavage was treated despicably and "the wheels of justice turn very slowly," the AFA Law Center's senior trial lawyer says he remains confident that justice will be served.
"It seemed to us to be not even a close case," Fahling adds, "but you never know what a judge is going to do. The good news is, these two high-level Temple officials are going to be held to account for what they did to Michael."
For additional information, please visit: http://www.RepentAmerica.com
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Source : http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/5/prweb129990.htm