Both the accused and the accuser should have due process protections when colleges and universities resolve allegations of campus misconduct. Both parties should receive written notice before a formal investigation begins, both parties should be allowed to participate in an investigation, both parties should be allowed to review a school’s initial investigative report and to respond to the final report, and both parties should have a right to appeal, according to the report by the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on College Due Process Rights and Victim Protection.
abajournal.com B D.C. Weiss
Positive legislation, Charges Dropped Against Males, Girls Charged for Making False Accusations
As Columbia University settles a case with a student found innocent of sexual assault, the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is now calling for OCR to return “to its role as a neutral, impartial, investigative agency…[because it] had descended into a pattern of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than work with them to correct civil rights violations and of ignoring public input prior to issuing new rules.” That is, she will allow colleges to use a higher level of proof before finding someone guilty of a crime or offense. That’s not “enabling” sexual predation or excusing misbehavior, it’s making a flawed system better. There is no conflict between due process and treating victims of sexual assault with the care and consideration they deserve.
reason.com By Nick Gillespie
Allegheny College recently settled the federal civil-rights lawsuit brought by “John Doe”…Doe alleged that Allegheny consistently kept him in the dark throughout the 2015 proceeding. “Allegheny engaged in a pattern of conduct and employed methods, including arbitrary deadlines, unreasonable notice, and unfairly withholding information, which violated its own policies, all of which denied John a meaningful opportunity to defend himself against Jane’s false claim,” and gave him no “meaningful appeal” of his expulsion, the most severe sanction a college can impose.
A University of North Georgia student is in jail after she made up a story that she was raped during an evening run, the sheriff’s office said. Cellphone logs and video surveillance showed Lim “had falsely reported that she had been raped on the Reservoir Trail and further indicated she was never at or on the Reservoir Trail during the time she alleged the crime had occurred,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Sherry Warner Seefeld’s son was found to be innocent after being accused of sexual assault. The woman who accused her son was charged with lying to police. It took more than a year before before his school, the University of North Dakota, agreed to let him back on campus…Now she’s on a mission to help other families in that same “horrific” spot, as the co-founder and president of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), a support group for the accused.
startribune.com By Maura Lerner
The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a U.S. District Court decision, the panel ruled Friday that a former athlete’s suit against Columbia University, which suspended him for a year for “sexual assault: nonconsensual sexual intercourse,” may go forward based on his claim that university officials acted with anti-male bias, in violation of Title IX.
washingtonpost.com By Fred Barbash
One of the things about this rape culture ideology is this argument that constantly gets made: that by questioning the existence of a rape culture, you are perpetuating rape culture…It’s an extremely circular argument, and it reminds me a little bit of arguments that were being made during the Salem Witch Hunts.
A Cathy Young Interview allthink.com
COURT ORDERS LA SIERRA UNIVERSITY TO HALT EXPULSION OF STUDENT IN TITLE IX SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CASE
Riverside, CA – La Sierra University has been ordered to stop the expulsion of an international student pending court review of the university’s Title IX sexual misconduct disciplinary process. The stay order, issued July 15, 2016 by Riverside Superior Court Judge John D. Molloy, allows the student to stay enrolled and register for classes for the Fall term. John Doe, as student is identified in court records, claims that the university sought to expel him and to revoke his student visa status on May 10, 2016, without any hearing and without identifying the witnesses against him or disclosing any evidence to him. A court hearing on John Doe’s appeal is scheduled for September 16, 2016.
Over 4,100 colleges and universities, with 20.6 million undergraduate and graduate students, are impacted by efforts of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to withhold federal education dollars in order to compel colleges and universities to address sexual violence on their campuses. According to court filings, La Sierra University, a private college founded by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, receives some $30 Million in federal education funds annually.
Case is filed as John Doe v. Marnie Straine, Interim Title IX Coordinator, et al., Riverside County Superior Court Case No. RIC 1606115.
CPI launched an initiative to combat false reports of sexual assault and the overcriminalization of sexual conduct. The program aggregates research on the rate of false accusations of sexual assault, noting that it is the second-most-common crime of which people are wrongfully convicted. The program places particular emphasis on the state of due process protections for those who are accused of sexual assault on college campuses. washingtontimes.com By Bradford Richardson