UCSF fired the head of its sexual harassment prevention office last spring after determining that she ordered an employee to falsify dates on complaints to make it appear that they were handled more efficiently. In June 2016, someone called UC’s whistle-blower hotline and said Perez-Abelson had “repeatedly instructed staff to cover up and put inaccurate dates” on the cases they were investigating. Perez-Abelson denied the findings and called the investigation process inadequate. [..That’s calling the kettle black]
sfchronicle.com By Nanette Asimov
Monthly Archives: December 2017
A California appellate court has approved a ballot effort to go forward against Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, but now the local legal community is speaking out against the organized campaign against him. SCCBA heard presentations by both the recall and anti-recall organizers, and it voted to side with the latter stating, ‘Judges have a duty to apply the law to the facts and evidence before them, regardless of public opinion or political pressure. … If judges fear direct, personal repercussions as a result of their decisions in individual cases, the rule of law will suffer. Our judicial system and the freedoms it guarantees will be critically undermined if judges must test popular opinion before ruling.’
John Doe says the university refused to provide him with a copy of the complaint against him, failed to prepare him adequately for the hearing and conducted a biased investigation. Doe says he and ‘Mary Smith’ both consented to sex, and claims that Mary was pressured into reporting their consent sex as assault by her boyfriend. Mary’s boyfriend then acted as her advisor duing the sex assault hearing. Doe’s suit further alleges that Johnson and Wales University conducted a “fundamentally flawed” investigation and denied him “the most basic elements of fairness promised to him” in the school’s student handbook. The suit seeks a reversal of the university’s findings and sanction and calls for other measures that would allow him to continue his education at the school. Read the court filed JWU complaint.
Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson passed a three-hour, third-party polygraph test regarding his denial of a rape accusation, according to a report released from Derek Chance, Anderson’s attorney. “This week we have worked to demonstrate Mr. Anderson’s innocence- that work included a polygraph examination of Mr. Anderson, and as expected the results showed Mr. Anderson is honest and truthful in his denial of the allegations. As our work continues toward a final resolution, Mr. Anderson is incredibly thankful for the generous and overwhelming outpouring of support he has received from friends and family.”
tulsaworld.com By Stavenhagen
As more and more schools (72 since the Dear Colleague letter) have found themselves on the losing end of due process decisions, a handful of institutions have resisted in a troubling manner. Rather than acknowledge that court decisions showed the need to reform their unfair procedures, schools instead have maneuvered to neuter an accused student’s efforts to go to court…Regarding a Pomona case, Judge Strobel set aside Pomona’s guilty finding, stating that the lack of any opportunity for cross-examination raised “serious fairness questions,” and was so “prejudicial” to the accused, that the college denied him a “fair hearing.” Pomona has the right to appeal an adverse ruling, but instead, Title IX coordinator Sue McCarthy informed the accused that Pomona was going to re-try him, using a different adjudicator but the exact same evidence from the original case, and under the same procedures that had produced the decision Judge Strobel set aside. The university did not inform Judge Strobel of this rather startling decision, which appears to violate existing Pomona procedures.
academicwonderland.com By KX Johnson
“There’s an old saying among lawyers: Justice is not the result, it’s the process.” Attorney Miltenberg says, “We give ourselves over to a system. We lose, we win. We hate losing, but you are able to at least say: ‘I couldn’t have asked the judge to do more than he did. He listened, he thought, he read.’ Here, [in campus Title IX proceedings] you are not having that experience.”.. In the past six months, two different professional attorneys’ associations have reviewed campus sexual-misconduct policy, and a third’s assessment is underway. They’ve come to different conclusions — one proposing higher standards of proof, another access to all evidence for accused students.
Brock Turner, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a female is applying for an appeal. His lawyers called the initial trial “a detailed and lengthy set of lies.” Turner’s legal adviser, John Tompkins said they are appealing because the facts do not reflect the verdict. In the 172-page appeal, Turner’s legal team claims that they were at a disadvantage for three reasons: The jury did not get a lot of evidence that represented Turner’s character; The jury was not allowed to consider a lesser offense; The jury was subjected to “extensive ‘behind-the-dumpster’ propaganda.”
This afternoon, campus due process returned to the 6th Circuit. The facts of the case which originated from Denison University were unusually strong for the accused student. Denison’s lawyer, Natalie McLaughlin, got off to a difficult start and never really recovered. The heart of the oral argument revolved around an off-the-record statement by university housing official Kristan Hausman, that her fellow panelists needed to weigh the “future of 1000 girls” as they adjudicated the case. Judge Thapar pressed McLaughlin on how that statement couldn’t indicate bias…”It’s your comment, if you don’t find him responsible, you’re still putting people at risk.- How can that be?” Judge Thapar was incredulous. Audio excerpts are at the link below.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
“I never in a million years thought that I would be doing this kind of work, but it’s important to me to do it because my clients’ lives are being destroyed by false allegations,” said Eric Rosenberg, who nine years ago founded a nonprofit to help sex-trafficked women. “I have zero tolerance for sexual assault, but there’s got to be a ramification for destroying someone’s life. Sometimes the only way to remedy the harm done in these cases is to sue the accuser.”…”I would like to start holding the students who make false accusations responsible by including them in a lawsuit if they outright lie,” said Michelle Owens, an attorney who works with accused students. “If it’s a misunderstanding then no,” Owens would not sue the accuser, “but if you’re lying and you’re trying to destroy somebody’s life, then you should be held accountable.”
buzzfeed.com By Tyler Kingkade
Recently, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Republican members introduced legislation called the PROSPER Act to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The PROSPER Act includes several elements that were influenced by or were taken directly from a model bill offered by the due process group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, or SAVE. One of the most important requirements is that colleges ban “commingling of administrative or adjudicative roles” in proceedings. This would seem to ban so-called single-investigator models in which the same person who investigates also makes a finding and recommendation, sometimes without a hearing where accuser and accused can make their own cases.