I am Joshua Strange. I am a survivor of false accusations of sexual assault and criminal domestic violence.
In the Spring of 2011, I had just completed my second year at the school of my dreams: Auburn University. I had a large group of friends, I was Chaplain of my fraternity, and I had just watched the Auburn Tigers win the National Championship in football and Cam Newton win the Heisman trophy. It was an amazing time to call myself a Tiger. In late May of 2011, I began dating a girl I met at a friend’s party. We dated through the Summer of 2011 and seemed to be doing very well – she even moved into my apartment. Toward the end of the summer, however, I ended our relationship due to her continued close relationship with her former boyfriend. I was hurt and disappointed – she was my first serious girlfriend – but I had no idea what was about to happen to me.
A couple of months after we broke up, she decided to accuse me of sexual assault/rape both through the legal system, as well as through Auburn University. It was completely untrue and absolutely devastating.
Over the course of the next few months, my world rapidly unraveled. My fraternity deactivated me. I lost most of my friends, and although I was completely cleared of all criminal charges through the legal system, my beloved Auburn University expelled me from school. They gave no care or consideration for the truth, having systematically denied me the opportunity to present my side in a fair and equitable manner.
My world was destroyed by a false accusation from a bitter ex-girlfriend. I lost my self-confidence and I fell into a deep depression as I struggled to come to terms with the injustice of my circumstances. I had committed no crime but I suffered 100% of the consequences.
Things really do get better and with the support of my family and close friends, my life is improving every day. I now realize that I am the only person who can define who I am and what I do with this experience. I am Joshua Strange and I am not a rapist.
If you are a student who has been falsely accused, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here to listen. Anything you tell me will always be completely confidential. If you would rather talk on the phone, we can set that up anytime.
If you only take away one thing from my story, please let it be this: you do not have to make this journey alone. I have been there. I get it.