Drake University in Iowa has fired a trustee board member after expelling his disabled son, who alleged he was the victim of a rape by a female student. Both students filed complaints, but only the male was investigated. The son’s lawsuit alleges that both he and the female were intoxicated, and she initiated oral sex on him. It added that he wasn’t “in a state to be with her” and “not able to give consent that night.” Trustee Tom Rossley, who had been on Drake’s board for 23 years, accused the college of failing to accommodate his son’s “ADHD, anxiety, and language-based learning disabilities” and claimed that the female said “on the record” during a hearing that she indeed has initiated sex without the son’s consent. Rossley was told to stop complaining about the process and eventually was asked to step down from his position.
heatst By Lukas Mikelionis
Title IX Lawsuits
Falsely accused are fighting back with Title IX and other lawsuits. Some wins, some losses.
Of all the campus cases since the Dear Colleague letter, the Amherst case is the worst. This case featured a student (JD) who not only could use his accuser’s own words to prove his innocence, but could demonstrate from the college’s own findings that he was, plausibly, a sexual assault victim—and yet the college culminated a biased process by expressing disinterest in his evidence. If Amherst could get this lawsuit dismissed, it would be hard to imagine any set of facts in which an accused student could be certain of prevailing. On Tuesday, however, Judge Mark Mastroianni, an Obama appointee, allowed the lawsuit to proceed. There’s little reason to believe that Mastroianni was eager to make this decision. This is a judge who didn’t appear ideologically inclined to side with the accused student. (In a case at UMass, he sided with the university, despite ample grounds for doubting UMass’ fairness)
Farrer didn’t want to have sex with her. He had been taught in his ROTC program that “drunk people aren’t supposed to sleep together,” and while he didn’t think either was drunk, he wanted to play it safe. Zerfoss, “seemed fully cognizant,” she wasn’t slurring her words or fumbling, and she was insistent that they have sex. “She kept calling my name,” grabbing his hands and putting them on her body. When Farrer tried to spurn her advances by making small talk she rejected. “Eventually, I gave in.” The following week, Farrer was told that a female student had filed a sexual-assault allegation against him with the Title IX office. In spite of a police investigation that found “inconclusive evidence” and numerous inconsistencies in his accuser’s story, Farrer was still ruled responsible for sexual assault and expelled by Indiana University-Bloomington. “If you’re a male and you’re accused, you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Farrer said.
thecollegefix By Toni Airaksinen
Barbara Snyder, President of Case Western Reserve University is being sued along with The Board of Trustees, and staff for not following the University’s own disciplinary guidelines, for male discrimination and for refusing John Doe to review witness testimony prior to his disciplinary hearing. “Without receiving a notice of investigation, a discussion of his rights and responsibilities or the CWRU policies and procedures, and without an advisor or support person to accompany him, John Doe was blindsided when he arrived to attend a mandatory meeting with the CWRU Title IX investigator,” Doe says from the outset, he was presumed guilty. Case Western Reserve University suspended him for three years and kicked him out of his dorm based on false allegations of sexual assault with his then-girlfriend that were not supported by factual evidence.
courthousenews By Kevin Koeninger
A lawsuit against Williams was delayed until the accused student exhausted his appeals at the college.The result is an amended complaint which raises four new areas of concern with how Williams handled this case: (1) Credibility issues don’t matter, at least when the accuser’s credibility is in question. (2) Playing fast and loose with sexual assault definitions. (3) Limiting information. (4) Reports from a Williams whistleblower don’t inspire confidence.
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
As per this Title IX lawsuit: A female college student walked into John Doe’s dorm room, jumped in his bed and came on to him. He was drunk. Both consented to mutual kissing and more. In the middle of [alleged] oral sex she asked him to stop. He did. He stopped. She cried assault. She actually believes she was assaulted, even though she initiated their contact, and he stopped when she asked. After a biased kangaroo court T9 hearing he was kicked out of Miami University for sexual assault. Currently John Doe continues to receive treatment for psychological and emotional trauma related to this false accusation.
A Texas Tech athlete, is asking a Lubbock court to reverse a decision by a Title IX hearing panel that found him responsible for violating the school’s code of conduct by having sex. He is suing Tech and university President Lawrence Schovanec, claiming his rights to due process were violated, and he is alleging there were “procedural and substantive errors that significantly impacted the outcome” of a Title IX hearing.
amarillo.com By Sarah Rafique