Laura Kipnis, the Northwestern University professor who faced down a Title IX investigation after writing an essay about sexual relationships between students and professors, is now being sued for defamation. The lawsuit contends that Kipnis’s book misrepresents ‘Jane Doe’ as “litigious.” But how is that a misrepresentation? Doe has used both the Title IX process, and a lawsuit, to adjudicate her dispute with Kipnis…There’s a sense in which this lawsuit actually proves the central ideas of Kipnis’s book – that sexual paranoia pervades the modern university campus, where messy relationships are treated like assault, women are presumed to lack agency when it comes to consent, and tribunals are seen as the solution to every dispute.
reason.com By Robby Soave
Monthly Archives: May 2017
Two Michigan State University students ‘Nathan and Melanie’ began a consensual sexual tryst in the backseat of a car in 2014. A passerby interrupted them, and Melanie revealed that the incident brought up unpleasant memories of a previous abusive relationship. Later that night Nathan tried to resume the encounter, but stopped after she rejected him. Sixteen months later, Melanie who now identifies as a man – made a formal complaint to MSU officials for the “one-time, non-consensual touching.” Melanie cited being transgender as a key reason for coming forward, and claimed to fear encountering her ex-lover in the male bathrooms…“The so-called sexual harassment is not really sexual harassment. The breast touch occurred in the summer, off campus, the school was not in session, it had nothing to do with the school – Title IX does not require you to take cases when they don’t involve the school.” Deborah Gordon, Nathan’s attorney
foxnews.com By Hollie McKay
Researchers behind the 1-in-5 statistic explain how their results are misinterpreted. “Taking the 1-in-5 statistic and applying it universally, or using it politically, is a misleading representation. People have taken our work from previous studies and used 1-in-5 from it. They create statistics that they then want to use as if they’re a national average, or that this is the magnitude of the problem everywhere. We’ve never said that. But that’s how it gets used..Reductive, one-size-fits-all data leads to policies that might not help much.” Dr. Krebs.
weeklystandard.com By Alice B. Lloyd
A former student is suing Vanderbilt university alleging he was wrongfully expelled three days before his planned graduation a year ago. The plaintiff “Z.J.” alleges that Vanderbilt officials violated his rights of due process and equal protection after he was accused of sexual assault by a female student. The university’s investigation found Z.J. at fault and expelled him; an internal appeals board upheld the findings and expulsion. ZJ’s lawsuit claims the investigation was biased, that the alleged victim’s testimony was inconsistent, and that the spotlight on the administration following the much-publicized rape trials might have affected the university’s decision to expel him. ZJ is seeking $10 million in damages, in addition to an expungement of the assault, an admission of fault by the school and a conferring of the plaintiff’s degree.
nashvillescene.com By Cari Wade Gervin
He’s innocent…Following a day long trial, a jury took thirty minutes to acquit Zimbabwean student Ezra Zigarwi who had been accused of rape and aggravated sexual battery by a fellow female student. The following month, Zigarwi also was cleared at an on-campus sexual misconduct hearing and he has since re-enrolled at the school. That same month he filed suit against the female who wrongly accused him. Zigarwi’s suit alleges that after his acquittal, his accuser intentionally published false statements about him on social media and in an online petition. He also seeks to restrict the defendant from making statements about her allegations, and asks that she be forced to remove any online statements or posts about it. In an amended complaint filed Tuesday Zigarwi’s suit claims defamation and negligence and asks for $500,000 in damages.
roanoke.com By Neil Harvey
A UCF male student expelled last year over allegations he raped a female student after a night of drinking is fighting in court to return to school. “I didn’t do this,” he testified at his school discipline hearing, I want my student life back.” Prosecutors did not pursue a criminal case against the male student because of problems with the accuser’s credibility and a missing key witness. The male passed a polygraph test. According to the lawsuit filed against UCF, the man said the sex was consensual and that she made up the allegation because her boyfriend had caught her cheating on him. The man also disputed the fairness of his hearing because he was not allowed to bring up her previous sexual assault allegations against his roommate…Since late 2015 at least three others -a Rollins lacrosse player, a UCF ROTC cadet and a UCF freshman – have sued after they said they were unfairly punished for sexual assault allegations they denied committing. The courts rejected one case while two are still pending.
orlandosentinel.com By Gabrielle Russon
A former Indiana University of Pennsylvania student who was acquitted in separate trials last year of rape, alleged in a federal lawsuit that his expulsion by the school’s disciplinary board violated his constitutional right to due process. Jose Aponte, 24, of Philadelphia seeks unspecified civil damages against the university and IUP officials. The lawsuit alleges that Aponte’s Hispanic heritage contributed to his treatment and resulted in a “smear campaign” against him. “Aponte was deemed guilty from the moment of his arrest, and the stories of his accusers were taken as gospel because of their sex and prevailing stereotypes, even though the accusations made against Aponte were not true. The (disciplinary) hearing was simply a formality…by virtue of this suspension, Aponte was barred from finishing his finals and attending graduation.” He is asking the court to order IUP to confer upon him a Bachelor of Science in criminology.
triblive.com By Paul Pierce
College settlements with the wrongly accused take place more than you know. But 95% of the time settlement terms demand confidentiality, and insist that counsel remain silent. Luckily this is not the situation with Lynn… Lynn University decided not to take its chances with a jury after a federal judge gave the green light to a lawsuit against it by a student accused of rape. One day ahead of a scheduled hearing on Lynn’s motion for summary judgment, the university reached a confidential settlement with Doe according to his lawyer Angel Castillo.
thecollegefix.com By Kaitlynn Critchfield
Senior “John Doe” won a preliminary injunction against the school Monday, ensuring that he will be able to complete his final exams this semester. When asked at the preliminary injunction hearing why an attorney is not allowed to participate in the hearing, a university official said it’s because the proceedings are “educational.” According to a federal judge that just ruled against the university, being thrown out of school, not being permitted to graduate and forfeiting a semester’s worth of tuition is “punishment“ in any reasonable sense of that term. Most importantly, the judge wrote: “The public has an interest in fundamentally fair and sound educational discipline that is not imposed arbitrarily or capriciously.”
thecollegefix.com By Greg Piper
In recent years, critics of the Obama administration’s approach to sexual assault reporting have charged that colleges are denying the rights of the accused. Two lawsuits – one involving Thomas Klocke an accused student who committed suicide, and another about a Cornell student’s attempt – have added fire to the continued debate over how colleges handle complaints of sexual assault. These two cases have been held up as examples of a flawed system that some say should require colleges to rely on a higher standard of evidence in investigating and punishing students for sexual assault.
insidehighered.com By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf