The sexual assault conviction against former Baylor football player Sam Ukwuachu has been overturned by Texas’s 10th Court of Appeals. The appeals court overturned Ukwuachu’s conviction because text messages between the victim and a friend of hers on the night of the alleged assault were improperly excluded from evidence. Ukwuachu claims the texts show that he had consensual intercourse with the woman. The court ruled that Ukwuachu be given a new trial.
Court wins, settlement agreements, positive legislation
Three Minnesota football players have been cleared of sexual harassment allegations in the final round of appeals at the school and will be allowed to return to spring practice. “These couple of months have been nothing short of a nightmare for me and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me and shown nothing but love,” Winfield posted on Twitter. “Today I have officially been cleared and I am excited to tear up the field for my brothers and my gopher fans.”
reviewjournal.com By Jon Krawczynski
AMHERST JUDGE: Male student expelled for sexual assault may have been victim himself
CALIFORNIA JUDGE: Disparity in campus tribunal ‘enough to shock the Court’s conscience’
CORNELL: Caused ‘actual harm’ to student accused of sexual assault
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY PUEBLO: School’s sexual assault proceeding suggests ‘bias and inaccuracy’
OHIO JUDGE: Accused students have right to cross-examination
watchdog By Ashe Schow
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)
Georgia state representative Earl Ehrhart has won committee approval for legislation that would remove the adjudication of felony sexual assault from campus administrators and return it to law enforcement. Ehrhart’s bill HB51 would go a long way toward establishing a system that could produce real justice. watchdog By Ashe Schow
Here’s a video of the bill’s discussion. SOS is very grateful to Attorney Charles Jones for supporting HB51 and for speaking out (in the midst of jeers) on behalf of the falsely accused who must remain silent due to college settlement agreements.
San Diego State University violated “procedural fairness” by refusing to let a student accused of rape have an advocate “with the same or substantially similar skills, training and experience” as his accuser’s advocate, ruled California Judge Wohlfeil. Wohlfeil also denounced the university’s “well-intentioned, but deeply flawed, administrative system to investigate and review complaints of student misconduct,” which stacks the deck against accused students. “The disparity of these circumstances is enough to shock the Court’s conscience,” the judge wrote.
“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