A federal court has rejected a request to certify to Massachusetts’ high court the question of whether a student charged with sexual misconduct may force the college’s decision-making body to hear live evidence when witness credibility may be key to the matter’s outcome.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson has ruled there is already controlling precedent set out in both Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Massachusetts Appeals Court decisions on the issue. The decision represents a blow to the student’s overall challenge to a Williams College disciplinary proceeding that resulted in him being suspended for a semester based on alleged sexual misconduct with a fellow student.