Georgia State Rep. Earl Earhart has won committee approval for legislation that would remove the adjudication of felony sexual assault from campus administrators and return it to law enforcement. The bill would require any college or university employee who is told about a sexual assault that falls under the definition of a felony to report the crime to law enforcement. The actual text of the legislation is quite short, and takes less than a minute to read. Yet still it has been mischaracterized. Ehrhart has made campus due process one of his pet issues and this bill would go a long way toward establishing a system that could produce real justice.
watchdog.org By Ashe Show
Court wins, settlement agreements, positive legislation
The University of Minnesota panel cleared four students, eased the sanctions on one player and upheld the punishments for the other five. “Green, McCrary, Shenault and Winfield Jr. are very pleased to be vindicated by the panel’s rulings,” attorney Hutton said. “The allegations against them were unwarranted and could have greatly harmed their bright futures. They look forward to putting this incident behind them and moving ahead in their academic and athletic pursuits.” Hennepin County authorities twice declined to charge any of the players, citing a lack of evidence, but Title IX accusation hearings carry a significant lower burden of proof.
Cheers go out to investigators at the University at Buffalo North Campus. A female student claimed she was sexual assaulted. The investigators were unable to find evidence to support her claim. The student admitted that her claim was false. Thank God this young girl realized her mistake in making a false accusation, and admitted her mistake before she could ruin an innocent young man. This is why due process and fact finding is essential when an accusation of an assault is made.
buffalo.edu By Kate McKenna
Many parents have no idea what is happening to our young men on college campuses today, the innocent are being falsely accused, and families are being destroyed. At the heart of the problem is a legal system that has created broad definitions, weakened due process, and removed the presumption of innocence. Attorney Cynthia Garrett, Co-President of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), and Board President of Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) describes the devastating impact that the 2011 “Dear College” policy has had on young men who have been falsely accused of sexual misconduct
politichicks.com By Sonya Sasser
A “rape culture” does not pervade our campuses. Nevertheless, our universities have curtailed basic civil liberties and perpetrated gross miscarriages of justice. Those who doubt due process has been degraded in college disciplinary proceedings should read “The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities” by KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. The authors of the indispensable “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” have once again performed an outstanding public service. In tale after harrowing tale, they expose “a system on our nation’s campuses in which accused students effectively have to prove their innocence, often under procedures that deny them any meaningful opportunity to do so.”
realclearpolitics.com By Peter Berkowitz
The Obama administration was a boon to the nascent industry of Title IX consultants. The University of Virginia spent half a million dollars on a single law firm to investigate how it handled the soon-discredited gang-rape allegations by Jackie Coakley that Rolling Stone “reported” with no scrutiny. It spent another $660 and $550 per hour for two lawyers from a different law firm “to help revise campus policies in the wake of the article and to advise on the university’s response to a continuing federal investigation.”
thecollegefix.com By Greg Piper
A federal judge has denied a motion from lawyers representing St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict to seal documents filed in a Title IX lawsuit against the schools. Judge Brisbois denied the motion, saying that the right of access by the public is “far higher than the deminimis nature of that right which the defendants have argued…Lawsuits similar to the present action are being filed across the nation, and they are the basis for a national debate regarding what procedures ought to be required for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct on campus; such as the sexual misconduct investigation underlying the present complaint,” he wrote.
www.sctimes.com By David Unze
Lawmaker Rep. Earl Ehrhart wants to limit the ability of Georgia’s public colleges to investigate and discipline alleged campus rapists. Ehrhart is worried about the lack of legal protections for those accused of sexual assault. In hearings last year, Ehrhart grilled officials from Georgia Tech. Several Tech students have sued, arguing they were forced out of the school unfairly after being accused of sexual assault. “I want to treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve,” Ehrhart said. “But I am not going to sacrifice due process to get there.”
Every defender of due process rights should take heart. Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos was asked whether she would uphold the Education Department’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter regarding campus sexual assault. DeVos didn’t give a “yes” or “no” response, but instead said she knew there were “a lot of conflicting ideas and opinions” surrounding the document. “If confirmed, I look forward to understanding the past actions and the current situation better and to ensuring that the intent of the law is actually carried out in a way that recognizes both the victim -the rights of the victims – as well as those who are accused.”
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow
Kentucky state Rep. Wesley Morgan introduced two fantastic pieces of legislation, and soon students at public institutions of higher education may enjoy important new rights. The first bill, the Student and Administration Equality Act, HB 126, would ensure that students facing potentially lengthy suspensions or expulsions from campus have the right to hire lawyers for representation during campus proceedings.
thefire.org By Joe Cohn