Central Connecticut State Lecturer Snared in Civil Suit Over Plagiarism Charge
A college history professor who assigned a 2006 term paper now at the heart of a civil court case explained Wednesday how he decided to accuse one student of cheating when faced with two strikingly similar papers.
Ronald Moss, who teaches a Western civilization course at Central Connecticut State University, testified that he never inquired whether it was possible to accuse both Matthew Coster and Cristina Duquette of plagiarizing each other’s work. Based on his analysis of their papers on the Holocaust, Moss testified on the second day of the trial, he determined that Coster was more likely to have done the copying.
“I was familiar with student papers and how they tend to go,” he said in response to a question from Coster’s attorney, Brennen Maki, in Superior Court in Waterbury.
Moss’ testimony provided the first glimpse into the reasoning behind CCSU officials’ decision to expel Coster in August 2006 — a ruling Coster appealed unsuccessfully to university officials in October of that year. The now 21-year-old New Milford man insists he is innocent and contends that CCSU officials decided he was guilty before giving him a hearing and without considering all the evidence. University officials have told
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