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American Loses Fight in England on College Cheating Charge

March 31, 1990

BRISTOL, England (AP) _ American Francis Foecke on Friday lost his latest bid to clear his name in a four-year fight against charges that he cheated in his final student examination at Bristol University.

But Foecke, 33, who comes originally from South Bend, Ind., said he intends to keep fighting.

″If they think they are going to get away with it, they’ve got it wrong,″ he said after the university’s governing council rejected his appeal.

Foecke, who pronounces his name Faykey, said he will consult his lawyers about taking the case to the Law Lords of the House of Lords, the highest court in the land.

The American reportedly has spent close to $200,000 in legal fees and other costs contesting the university’s refusal to give him a degree in mathematics and computer science.

He lives with his British schoolteacher wife Priscilla at Clifton near the port city of Bristol, western England.

″I will never throw in the towel even if I have to carry on the battle for the rest of my life. I want my integrity back. They have not a shred of real proof against me,″ he said.

″The university has destroyed my whole life professionally. I want a huge amount of compensation as well as an apology and a degree.″

The university refused to give him the degree in 1986, saying he must have cheated.

It said then that although he did first-class work in the examination, he had been a poor student up to that time. It said his answers in two exam papers bore a remarkable resemblance to the examiner’s model answers, including some of the mistakes.

University Secretary Michael Parry said the council met for two hours and resolved to dismiss Foecke’s appeal after studying a 100-page report by an investigatory panel consisting of two professors.

The panel spent 16 days this year hearing Foecke, lawyers, and staff at the university, which has 7,500 students.

Foecke on Friday dismissed the panel’s report as ″a load of garbage.″

″There were similarities to some of the model solutions in my answers. That is because the university is too lazy to rewrite the exam papers. Sometimes the same questions crop up five years in a row,″ he told reporters.

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