The Obama administration twice rewrote federal rules governing how allegations must be handled at colleges. In particular, since 2011, when DoED reinterpreted Title IX to require that sexual assault cases be judged by a “preponderance of the evidence” -a lower burden of proof than is used in criminal cases -more than 100 accused students have sued their schools. In most of these recent cases the colleges have lost, as they should have. Colleges are at best incapable of adjudicating allegedly criminal conduct, and at worst hopelessly biased. The vast majority of schools we studied now use procedures that stack the deck against accused students. Recent cases can be divided into two groups. In the first are colleges that considerably broadened the definition of sexual assault. The second group includes schools that violated their procedures, which were unfair to begin with.
latimes.com By KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor
Title IX, DoED OCR
Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights related to Title IX
No matter who Trump nominates, the key task for the next OCR head to do is to reverse its intrusion into campus discipline procedures for students accused of sexual assault. The toxic effects of that intrusion are the subject of a recent book by Johnson and Taylor. In The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities, the authors give a detailed account of the damage wrought by OCR’s “guidance” to colleges. One of the most startling points the authors make is that the use of OCR methods actually undermines an important element of the justice system—Miranda rights. That is because OCR encourages schools to share evidence they’ve obtained without the presence of an attorney with the police, who can then use it if they press charges. “The major effect of this policy,” write the authors, is “an end-run around the accused’s constitutional right not to be subjected to custodial questioning by police without lawyers.”
jamesgmartin.center By George Leef
Since 2012, Yale must document all sexual assault allegations on campus. Yale deputy provost Stephanie Spangler prepared this years report and it provides a peak into the deeply unhealthy atmosphere regarding the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault complaints. Her report portrays a campus in the midst of a terrifying wave of violent crime- or more likely in the midst of a moral panic. Spangler is giddly that there were 81 reports of some type of sexual harassment at Yale in the last six months of 2016…Her report has many insights. One is that a disturbing pattern is emerging where the Title IX coordinators and not the accusers are filing sexual assault complaints against Yale undergraduate students.
mindingthecampus By KC Johnson
This is a terribly tragic story of discrimination and what bystander intervention really looks like. A TIX sexual assault complaint was filed by a nosy 3rd party female…Doe attempted to put an end to the matter at once: Grant Neal (the accused) recorded her making the definitive statement, “I’m fine and I wasn’t raped” to university officials. But no one cared. In the eyes of the university, it was not Doe’s place to determine whether she was a victim of sexual assault—that was the investigators job. The man in charge of investigating whether Grant Neal had raped Doe first told Neal to open emails from Doe his girlfriend, and then later told him he could be disciplined for opening them. “That’s when I immediately knew,” said Neal. “That’s when I really knew that the situation was above my control.”.. After denying Neal any meaningful way to demonstrate his innocence, CSU-Pueblo effectively ended his career, cancelling out his scholarships and opportunities to play football and pursue a wrestling career. Read Mr. Neal’s interview below.
reason By Robby Soave
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
Males, get out of Mississippi. Leave and don’t look back. A bill in the Mississippi Legislature could codify a controversial federal mandate that could reduce due process rights for those accused of sex assaults at the state’s public universities and community colleges. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Democrat Angela Cockerham, would require the state institutions of higher learning to implement a comprehensive policy toward allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking that goes a step beyond one proposed by the federal government in 2011.
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow and Steve Wilson
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
Conviction in criminal trials in the USA requires establishing a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By contrast, in Title IX proceedings allegations of wrongdoing are adjudicated according to a much lower ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard. This article provides a framework for using information regarding false conviction probabilities in criminal trials to model the probability of false guilty verdicts in Title IX proceedings. An innocent person facing a 4% of being found guilty under the beyond a reasonable doubt standard would face a 33% probability of being found guilty under Title IX’s preponderance of the evidence standard…when the burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence, the risks faced by innocent defendants will be substantial.
academic.oup.com A-probabilistic-framework-for-modelling-false By John Villasenor
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
In the years following 2011, students accused of sexual assault have seen their due process rights eviscerated and their presumption of innocence ignored. Meanwhile, the definition of sexual assault has been expanded to include pretty much anything. The panelists who met on Capitol Hill last week aimed to provide fairness in their hearings, but rarely mentioned due process or fairness during the panel discussion….Outside of campus culture, men and women who face the risk of real sexual assault are forced to use the criminal justice system, where both accuser and accused have due process rights -apparently a terrible thing, according to activists, administrators and federal regulators.
watchdog.org By Ashe Schow