On a factual basis, the Amherst case is one of the most egregious since the Obama administration implemented its policy in 2011. The lawsuit revealed documents that the public almost never gets to see, such as the full investigative file, the transcript of the disciplinary hearing and other material from the campus process. As laid out in the legal complaint and subsequent filings, the controversy over the investigation has focused mostly on a string of texts that the accuser sent the night of the incident. The texts suggest that she had initiated the sexual encounter and that she was in search of a “good lie” to avoid fallout for having hooked up with the accused student, her roommate’s boyfriend. After the judge expressed strong skepticism toward Amherst’s investigation, the two sides came to a settlement.
washingtonpost.com By KC Johnson
Court Rulings & Settlements
Pennsylvania State University knows that it’s supposed to “believe the survivor,” but a federal judge just told the public university it has to verify her claimed evidence… John Doe alleged that Penn State refused to require his accuser to provide a written statement with specific allegations throughout the nine-month investigation, preventing him from giving an informed defense. Because the outcome of the proceeding depended on “credibility-based determinations,” the university was wrong to block “almost all” of Doe’s 22 questions for Roe. Judge Brann had particular scorn for Katharina Matic the Title IX investigator.
A Drake University student who was expelled for sexual assault despite evidence he was the party assaulted, received a win in court when a judge refused to dismiss his lawsuit. His accuser admitted during Drake’s campus hearing that she sexually assaulted him, performing oral sex without his consent. Yet she was never punished, while he was expelled based on her accusation.
thefederalist.com By Ashe Schow
The sexual assault charges brought against former Cornell basketball forward Xavier Eaglin ’19 in March 2016 have been dismissed. Although Eaglin no longer faces criminal charges, he will not be able to return to Cornell. After his arrest, Eaglin was dismissed from the basketball team and banned from campus. He spent seven days in jail before he was bailed out by his parents and then returned home. “We are just thankful justice prevailed and that we can start repairing our lives,” said Eaglin’s mother Clara Eaglin.
cornellsun.com By Anna Delwiche
Campus courts don’t necessarily give weight to evidence that favors students accused of rape. Fortunately for those students, real courts aren’t so flagrantly biased. A California Superior Court judge in Los Angeles tossed the state’s case against USC student Mr. Premjee, citing surveillance video from throughout the evening he spent with his female accuser.
University of Cincinnati is desperate to claim the nation’s most unfair campus sexual assault process. In this case, two students met on the Tinder app. The female later claimed the sex wasn’t consensual; the male said it was. At the hearing, neither the accuser nor the Title IX investigator, bothered to appear, denying indirect cross-examination. Panel Chair:’ OK, so the complainant is not here…Respondent, do you have any questions of the Title IX report?’ Accused Student: ‘Well, since she’s not here, I can’t really ask anything of the report.’ The student was found guilty and then sued. UC maintained that its denial of any cross-examination didn’t violate the student’s due process rights.The accused’s attorney Josh Engel faced no skeptical questions from the sixth circuit appeal panel, and made important points about why due process matters.
6th Circuit Summary w Audio Excerpts By KC Johnson
A lawsuit filed by a former Augustana University student who claimed the school unjustly expelled him following a rape accusation has been dismissed. “It was resolved to the satisfaction of the parties” lawyers said, “That is all I can say.” The school’s investigation failed to take into account that his accuser had also accused other students of sexual misconduct, including threatening a prior boyfriend with a false rape allegation. Crucially, the complaint said, Tsuruta was physically incapable of committing the rape as alleged because he had lost his feet in a motor vehicle accident.
argusleader.com By Jonathan Ellis
Police at a junior college in Wyoming have closed a sexual assault case involving a member of the University of Oregon’s 2017 Final Four basketball team, and no charges will be filed. The case came to light this summer after Bigby-Williams already announced plans to transfer to Louisiana State University from UO. “We had sex, she took a shower, came back and we were laying in bed, talking to each other,” he told police.
registerguard.com By Dylan Darling
It would seem fairly self-evident that when a college establishes procedures for handling sexual misconduct claims, it should actually follow them. That, however, was not the case in Matter of John Doe v. Skidmore College, a recently issued decision by the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. Given what it termed “multiple failures that . . . taken together, demonstrated a lack of substantial compliance” with Skidmore College’s investigatory and adjudicatory protocols, the court nullified the plaintiff’s expulsion for sexual misconduct, once again demonstrating the obvious difficulty some colleges and universities have in implementing the most elementary procedural safeguards in student-on-student sexual harassment cases.
A rape charge has been dropped against one former Lindenwood University men’s basketball player, and a second former player pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Asked about the dismissal and the plea, Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said, “Any time you’ve got what appears to be a credible allegation of date rape, you’ve got to take it seriously.” But Lohmar said that further investigation showed the case was “not as it first appeared.”