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.”
Due Process Rights
Articles relating to due process rights for our College boys
“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.
The last two times a due process case came before the 6th Circuit, it was clear by the end of oral argument which side would prevail. But in November’s hearing for Doe v. Miami, the oral argument left the final outcome uncertain. This case appeared teed up to determine whether the 6th Circuit would adopt the 2nd Circuit’s important standard in the Columbia decision, which makes it harder for judges to dismiss Title IX complaints by accused students. But the judges scarcely engaged with that issue, focusing more attention on procedural due process, questions of selective enforcement under Title IX, and the factual specifics of the case…In perhaps the most intriguing section of the hearing, Judge Moore noted how the severity of a sexual assault guilty finding might justify more rigorous procedures under the Constitution. Court room audio excerpts are at the link below.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
Emboldened by the federal government, South Carolina students accused of sexual misconduct are taking colleges to court over disciplinary procedures they call unfair. Colleges have been using a “preponderance of the evidence” standard for judging guilt, which essentially requires a 51 percent likelihood that an accusation is true. Critics said the policy had come at a cost to suspects’ civil rights because its low burden of proof bred false accusations. Tommy Brittain, a Myrtle Beach lawyer for a student at the center of the Coastal Carolina case, said the lawsuits are likely just the beginning of a push against a disciplinary process that can plague students forever, stating, “The policy is a complete mess, it’s an absolute nightmare. A guilty finding is not like a violation of a little school rule. It’s a life-changing decision.”
postandcourier.com By Andrew Knapp
The Education Department’s civil rights unit recently determined that Catholic University failed to uphold the rights of an accused male student, in violation of the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX. The report from the Office for Civil Rights is the result of a four year investigation into an incident that involved two students, alcohol and a dispute over sexual consent…The Trump administration has declared a shift in federal guidance on Title IX, saying it wants to work more closely with colleges to ensure the due-process rights of all students -including the accused – are protected in sexual violence cases.
washingtonpost.com By Nick Anderson
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute attempted to punish a male student from a different school, and a recent court ruling against RPI sheds light on their appalling behavior. The story begins in 2015 when Doe, a graduate student at a school that is not RPI, was in a relationship with an RPI student. When their relationship ended the RPI student filed a Title IX complaint with RPI against Doe. As the court would later observe, the alleged conduct at issue “took place off campus and was not in anyway related to an educational program or activity of RPI.” Despite this, RPI launched an investigation of Doe and interviewed him. Doe’s attorneys argued that RPI had no jurisdiction over Doe and that, even if it did, its disciplinary process was flawed. Doe-v-RPI The court ruled that RPI went too far in asserting jurisdiction over Doe and subjecting him to its disciplinary process. Per the ruling, a New York state court judge stated RPI’s interview of Doe constituted “a clear violation of Doe’s constitutional rights,” deemed RPI’s conduct “arbitrary” and “capricious,” and annulled RPI’s finding that Doe had sexually assaulted an RPI student.
John Doe’s lawsuit says the accuser claims she was groped at an off campus party, and identified her groper by nickname only. The University of Vermont searched for a picture of John Doe on Facebook and showed it to the accuser. She said the person in the picture was the student who groped her. John Doe told the investigator that he was at the off campus party with his girlfriend and that he had never met or danced with the female student/accuser, stating that he would not touch a woman without her consent. According to John Doe’s lawsuit, “Jane Doe’s false accusations against John Doe were accepted as fact and upheld by Defendants using a Kafkaesque process that denied John Doe due process of law in violation of due process.”
Great news. Innocent John Doe will return to the University of Texas. Doe’s finding of innocence by the hearing examiner in February stands and the Univ. of Texas can attempt no further appeals.Read plaintiff’s response to UT’s motion to dismiss the due process hearing A settlement was reached after 45 minutes of closed-door negotiations that has spared UT President Gregory L. Fenves from having to testify about the school’s [biased] sexual misconduct policy. Brian Roark, a lawyer for Doe, told reporters that the student’s reinstatement last week by the university will remain in effect and that there will be no further review of the matter by the school. UT agreed to drop its plan to turn the matter over to an unnamed third party.
statesman.com By Autullo and Haurwitz
Recently Biden criticized the Trump Administration and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for revisiting Title IX policies for sexual assault investigations on campus. But having represented more than 100 male students on campuses across the country, in both blue and red states, I have seen firsthand how wrongfully accused male students are being unfairly punished, with no opportunity to defend themselves. Recognizing the need to restore due process rights on college campuses, Secretary DeVos and the DoED announced major improvements to a broken system, including providing reasonable interim measures, eliminating double jeopardy, and requiring the consideration of exculpatory evidence. Unfortunately, her announcement was met with divisive political rhetoric and on-going protests.
www.nj.com By Andrew Miltenberg