A stalled proposal to impose new rules and limits on how Georgia colleges handle sexual violence cases was given a new chance Tuesday in the legislature, though the measure’s author said he no longer sees a pressing need for it. On the second day of the 2018 session, the state Senate voted without debate to move House Bill 51 to a new committee after the Senate Judiciary Committee left it in legislative limbo without a vote last year. The measure’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Earl Ehrhart said last year that safeguards were needed to prevent campus disciplinary proceedings from tarnishing the reputations of students accused of sex assault while denying them due process.
Positive legislation, Charges Dropped Against Males, Girls Charged for Making False Accusations
The fight for due process has never really gone away. Today, the most serious attack on our right to be treated fairly under the law is executed outside of the realm of politics and the courtroom, in the kangaroo court of moral-panic feminism and on the more intolerant sections of social media… The point about due process is that it treats people like human beings. It recognizes that no matter how important it might be to ‘speak out’ about sexual violence, the fact is that at the heart of an allegation there is both the accuser and the accused, and both deserve fair treatment. The rise of hashtag justice speaks to a society that is moving away from its humanity. If you do not consider people to be worthy of a fair hearing, you are unlikely to consider them to be capable of redemption.
spiked-online.com By Luke Gittos
Nearly four years ago, Mr. Robinson was [falsely] accused of sex assault at the College of Charleston after a night of drinking. He was arrested, labeled a rapist and thrown out of the school…But it took a jury about 28 minutes to acquit Robinson recently, and cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing. In his lawyers’ eyes, his case illustrates how an intense nationwide focus on sexual assault and harassment, particularly involving college students and celebrities, is breeding ignorance of due process standards. “It felt like a cloud over my head was lifted,” Robinson said of his experience. “Finally, somebody listened to me and believed me.- My emotions unleashed, and I just cried,” he said.
postandcourier.com By Andrew Knapp
In New York federal court, Rolling Stone wrapped up the last remaining piece of litigation emanating from its retracted 2014 article about a rape [of proven liar Jackie Coakley] at a University of Virginia campus fraternity. The settlement is the third for Rolling Stone over the Sabrina Rubin Erdely article, titled “A Rape on Campus,” which prompted a commissioned investigation by the Columbia School of Journalism over its faults. The first settlement came after R.S. lost a trial with Nicole Eramo.(Eramo received a $3 million verdict at trial.) Rolling Stone’s second settlement came to a $1.65 million deal with the fraternity itself. And now comes the third settlement. Per the agreement, “some of the fraternity members become beneficiaries of a settlement whose terms were not provided in court.” The stipulations of the settlement included a confidentiality clause.
The district attorney’s office for Cleveland County, Oklahoma, determined that criminal charges were not warranted against University of Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson after a police investigation into whether he sexually assaulted a woman who filed an emergency protective order against him. The accuser was hoping to have a romantic relationship with Anderson…”she then began to brag about the relationship that she was having with him,” said Assistant DA Susan Caswell. Anderson’s attorney Derek Chance said in a statement. “The investigation reveals what we have maintained, Mr. Anderson is innocent of these allegations.”
UCSF fired the head of its sexual harassment prevention office last spring after determining that she ordered an employee to falsify dates on complaints to make it appear that they were handled more efficiently. In June 2016, someone called UC’s whistle-blower hotline and said Perez-Abelson had “repeatedly instructed staff to cover up and put inaccurate dates” on the cases they were investigating. Perez-Abelson denied the findings and called the investigation process inadequate. [..That’s calling the kettle black]
sfchronicle.com By Nanette Asimov
A California appellate court has approved a ballot effort to go forward against Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, but now the local legal community is speaking out against the organized campaign against him. SCCBA heard presentations by both the recall and anti-recall organizers, and it voted to side with the latter stating, ‘Judges have a duty to apply the law to the facts and evidence before them, regardless of public opinion or political pressure. … If judges fear direct, personal repercussions as a result of their decisions in individual cases, the rule of law will suffer. Our judicial system and the freedoms it guarantees will be critically undermined if judges must test popular opinion before ruling.’
Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson passed a three-hour, third-party polygraph test regarding his denial of a rape accusation, according to a report released from Derek Chance, Anderson’s attorney. “This week we have worked to demonstrate Mr. Anderson’s innocence- that work included a polygraph examination of Mr. Anderson, and as expected the results showed Mr. Anderson is honest and truthful in his denial of the allegations. As our work continues toward a final resolution, Mr. Anderson is incredibly thankful for the generous and overwhelming outpouring of support he has received from friends and family.”
tulsaworld.com By Stavenhagen
This afternoon, campus due process returned to the 6th Circuit. The facts of the case which originated from Denison University were unusually strong for the accused student. Denison’s lawyer, Natalie McLaughlin, got off to a difficult start and never really recovered. The heart of the oral argument revolved around an off-the-record statement by university housing official Kristan Hausman, that her fellow panelists needed to weigh the “future of 1000 girls” as they adjudicated the case. Judge Thapar pressed McLaughlin on how that statement couldn’t indicate bias…”It’s your comment, if you don’t find him responsible, you’re still putting people at risk.- How can that be?” Judge Thapar was incredulous. Audio excerpts are at the link below.
academicwonderland.com By KC Johnson
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.