“Procedures that most colleges and universities use in sexual assault cases are so structurally unfair to accused students- it calls into question the schools’ commitment to pursuing the truth.” “The lower threshold as articulated in guidance in 2011 by the Office for Civil Rights provides the foundation for a likely outcome of responsibility”… “It’s not about finding the truth, or administering justice. The purpose of the guidance is to make it more likely that accused students are found responsible, whether or not they have done anything wrong.” Excerpts from ‘The Campus Rape Frenzy: Attack on Due Process at American Universities’
washingtonpost.com By Johnson and Taylor
Earlier, I wrote about how the Trump administration should end the Obama-era micromanagement of college discipline by the Dept. of Ed. But I overlooked one form of federal meddling that needs to be fixed…that colleges not allow students or faculty accused of sexual harassment to appeal findings of guilt unless they also allowed complainants to appeal not-guilty findings -a position that some critics viewed as akin to double jeopardy. This demand ignored OCR’s own past agency rulings to the contrary, even though “unexplained departures from precedent” violate the Administrative Procedure Act, and are arbitrary and capricious.
libertyunyielding.com By Hans Bader
A federal judge refused to dismiss most claims from a former Colorado State student who accuses the school of gender bias in suspending him and stripping him of his athletic scholarships after what he calls a false accusation of rape. Grant Neal sued Colorado State University, Pueblo on eight causes of action, including breach of contract, breach of faith, violations of Title IX and due process, and procedural matters. The school had suspended him and took away his wrestling and football scholarships. U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer wrote that the school’s investigation was wrought with “bias and inaccuracy.”
courthousenews By Emma Gannon
Nikki Yovino, of NY has been charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in connection to an incident at a Sacred Heart University football party. Two college football players who were suspended from their team last year and saw their scholarships revoked after rape accusations have been cleared by police after authorities say their accuser recanted her story…“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against (the football players) because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose (another male student) as a friend and potential boyfriend. She stated that she believed when (the other male student) heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her,” according to the affidavit.
nypost.com By Joshua Rhett Mille
One of the strongest critics of the disciplinary process in the sexual misconduct case involving soccer player Ciaran McKenna has been Duke law professor James Coleman, Jr. Throughout the process, Coleman has made statements arguing that McKenna has been mistreated by the University’s disciplinary process. “I seriously doubt that the Office of Civil Rights, which I once advised as Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Education, would agree with the process that is being contemplated,” he wrote. “I hope the University will step in to avert this unfairness.” (The University did not step in to stop the unjust treatment of McKenna.)
dukechronicle.com By Gautam Hathi
Something is gravely amiss at Drake University in Iowa. According to a recent lawsuit filed against Drake University AND Drake’s Board of Trustees, Plaintiff Tom Rossley (A Drake Board of Trustee Member) claims that Drake selectively chooses which staff and students are deserving of fair and ethical treatment. And in doing so, Drake openly discriminates against their students. According to the lawsuit, Drake’s Board of Trustees engage in vicious attacks against those who speak out for the rights of Drake’s students. Tom Rossley (Plaintiff) was one who dared to speak out for the rights of Drake’s students, most notably for his disabled son.
Here are a few points detailed in his lawsuit below:
Mr. Rossley’s disabled son accused a female of sexual assault at Drake University. This female accused his son of sexual assault. Drake refused to investigate his son’s complaint under Title IX but investigated the female’s complaint. Drake knew this male had a life long language-based disability, ADHD, and anxiety, which had been accommodated in the classroom. But during the nine hour hearing Drake forced Rossley’s disabled son to be his own advocate and lawyer, while denying disability accommodations. During the hearing, the female ‘accuser’ admitted she sexually assaulted the disabled male without his consent. Incredibly after her confession Drake refused to investigate her, and instead found the male guilty of sexual assault and expelled him. He was a senior, and shy of one month from graduating and obtaining his diploma.
Out of concern for student’s rights at Drake University, Tom Rossley (A Drake Board of Trustee himself for 23 years) had informed the Board about Drake’s potential violations of federal law, especially with regard to his disabled son. Board Chair, Zimpleman and Board of Affairs Chair David Miles intimidated and verbally attacked Mr. Rossley, trying to silence him, and told him to step down as Trustee. Upon Mr Rossley’s refusal to step down, they led the charge to remove him as a trustee in July 2016.
The student, identified as John Doe, alleges that he attempted to present evidence that made it clear his accuser was only angry because they were no longer speaking and wanted him expelled out of spite. He says this evidence and witness testimony was ignored by Allegheny. John also claims information was withheld from him during the investigation, and that investigators attempted to “coerce a statement from him in response to allegations that had not been fully disclosed to him.”
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow
Males, get out of Mississippi. Leave and don’t look back. A bill in the Mississippi Legislature could codify a controversial federal mandate that could reduce due process rights for those accused of sex assaults at the state’s public universities and community colleges. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Democrat Angela Cockerham, would require the state institutions of higher learning to implement a comprehensive policy toward allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking that goes a step beyond one proposed by the federal government in 2011.
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow and Steve Wilson
A judge has ruled that Cornell acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner by refusing to follow its own anti-discrimination policy, which caused the male accused student “actual harm.” Even though both students’ claims should have been investigated per Cornell policy, only Jane’s was looked into. John alleged in his complaint against Cornell that the investigator looking into Jane’s claims showed a clear bias against him. For example, the investigator asked “misleading, prejudicial and slanted questions only of John Doe,” and refused to require Jane and her witnesses to preserve and produce text messages that could have helped John’s complaint against Jane.
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow
Judge Orlando Hudson issued a ruling on a preliminary injunction allowing a suspended men’s soccer player to remain at Duke. “He selected Duke,” argued his attorney “When he came to Duke after doing that research and deciding on Duke, he agreed that he would play soccer for them and live by their rules. And Duke has to live by the rules too.” Judge Hudson responds: “I also agree that he has established and carried his proof on his claims that his hearings were fundamentally unfair, the mandatory injunction will be allowed.”
dukechronicle.com By Frances Beroset