“We are extremely proud of Paul for graduating, even more so because of the harassment campaign he was subjected to. For over two years, he had to fight false accusations and a public witch-hunt, even though Columbia and the NYPD exonerated him.”
www.washingtonexaminer.com By Ashe Schow
“How can the University fairly evaluate a case in any circumstance if a complaining witness is not even part of the University community?…innocent in the eyes of the law, how much more information did the University need in order to make a decision…”
www.cavalierdaily.com Victor Zheng’s story
“…it’s just you by yourself – cold, dark and alone,” … “You’re trying to figure out where to go next, and you’re trying to put one foot in front of the other, just trying to go day to day and make it through, and just somehow find the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s how it went. That was the world that I lived in.”
www.washingtonexaminer.com By Ashe Schow
I cannot begin to describe how exasperatingly difficult it has been to try to explain to people what an informal complaint is and how there was never any evidence — nor any effort made to discover evidence — to substantiate the claim made by my accuser.
www.bostonglobe.com By Patrick Witt
Paul Nungesser was cleared of a rape charge but faced a harsh trial-by-media. Now, as new details come to light, he’s speaking out and fighting back.
www.thedailybeast.com By Cathy Young
In October 2013, I was sexually assaulted by a female student on campus.
This week SOS received these thoughts from a mother of a falsely accused son.
As parents, we can’t help but keep trying to salvage something out of the emotional wreckage – we are wise to sidestep details of the incident itself because we know that our sons won’t benefit from rehashing any of it. It’s their deeper, more difficult emotional quagmire we keep trying to see into.
Sharing their (and our) emotional struggles, awkward and hard as it can be at times, brings to light the deep dimensions and commonality of our (and their) plight. Our mutual support pushes the darkness back and offers a hand up to surviving this ordeal.
I smile to realize the truly brave, good, and wise warriors we have become and how powerful a group we are – FACE, (http://www.facecampusequality.org/) gives us the anchor and support we need to push for resolution while we deal with our current challenges.
– Name Withheld
I am Joshua Strange. I am a survivor of false accusations of sexual assault and criminal domestic violence.
In the Spring of 2011, I had just completed my second year at the school of my dreams: Auburn University. I had a large group of friends, I was Chaplain of my fraternity, and I had just watched the Auburn Tigers win the National Championship in football and Cam Newton win the Heisman trophy. It was an amazing time to call myself a Tiger. In late May of 2011, I began dating a girl I met at a friend’s party. We dated through the Summer of 2011 and seemed to be doing very well – she even moved into my apartment. Toward the end of the summer, however, I ended our relationship due to her continued close relationship with her former boyfriend. I was hurt and disappointed – she was my first serious girlfriend – but I had no idea what was about to happen to me.
A couple of months after we broke up, she decided to accuse me of sexual assault/rape both through the legal system, as well as through Auburn University. It was completely untrue and absolutely devastating.
Over the course of the next few months, my world rapidly unraveled. My fraternity deactivated me. I lost most of my friends, and although I was completely cleared of all criminal charges through the legal system, my beloved Auburn University expelled me from school. They gave no care or consideration for the truth, having systematically denied me the opportunity to present my side in a fair and equitable manner.
My world was destroyed by a false accusation from a bitter ex-girlfriend. I lost my self-confidence and I fell into a deep depression as I struggled to come to terms with the injustice of my circumstances. I had committed no crime but I suffered 100% of the consequences.
Things really do get better and with the support of my family and close friends, my life is improving every day. I now realize that I am the only person who can define who I am and what I do with this experience. I am Joshua Strange and I am not a rapist.
If you are a student who has been falsely accused, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I am here to listen. Anything you tell me will always be completely confidential. If you would rather talk on the phone, we can set that up anytime.
If you only take away one thing from my story, please let it be this: you do not have to make this journey alone. I have been there. I get it.
It is painful to go back in time and remember what took place in my heart and mind when my son was falsely accused of sexual assault while attending college. But I feel it’s important to speak out for historical documentation. Our sons are suffocating under the illegal and immoral treatment directed at them from their own beloved college. And because colleges demand confidentially, their injustices against our sons goes unnoticed. Colleges kick our sons to the curb, expediently expelled, and branded with a lie, with little hope of transferring elsewhere for higher education.
Well I’m a mother, and I say Silent No More let’s Save Our Sons together. Let’s speak out and save our sons by telling our own stories of what a false accusation actually looks like. I welcome mothers and their sons to tell their story here. I invite fathers to share their story. And yes, I also ask the brother and/or sister of one whose been falsely accused of a campus sexual assault to speak out in this blog. You have a place to share your true story here.
If you signed a college confidentially agreement, you can still share here without divulging the specifics.
Many stories will sound very similar. I myself have heard stories from mothers that sound as if they are talking about my own experience. Rest assured, your story is unique and your anonymity is safe.
All personal narratives will be published anonymously (or with your name if requested) and are verified by Alice True and two credible sources.
Lets begin. This is my own story of what happened when the phone rang late one night.
..”don’t worry Mom, I’m fine but I’ve been taken out of my dorm room and moved elsewhere…. A girl and I had sex a few weeks ago, … she filed a complaint against me…. She agreed to have sex, I have it in writing,… I don’t know why she filed. Also Mom, I’m on suicide watch.”
That’s how my family’s nightmare began.
Initially I wanted to run and be on campus with him. He was a first year student. Who did he know that could be his protector against such an unfounded lie from this college girl?
Well I slowly learned over the months, that the college would do nothing to help my son through their Kafkaesque college investigation and hearing process. But the college would do everything and more, to help the girl in all ways possible, at all times. When we asked to see what the charges were, or other pertinent questions we were met with no comment, or you have to figure that out for yourself. Thankfully, we had an attorney who communicated with the college. Often he didn’t succeed any better than we did in obtaining information about the upcoming hearing, but we could commiserate together at the brazenness and arrogance of the college. In the months leading up to the hearing, I was thinking, this is my 18 year old son and this is how you treat one of your finest and brightest students? How dare you. You trample on his rights, your treat him as dangerous, and act as if he’s guilty before the college hearing even takes place? Before you review the evidence? Shame on you!
I think this was my biggest faux pas. I believed that the college, as an educational institution teaching truth and justice, would do the right thing. Act in a fair and impartial manner, as one would do in a court of law. I actually assumed they would look at the facts, and based on those facts, find my son innocent. I was naive. I didn’t know that the college had already pre-determined that my son was guilty, right at the moment the girl filed her complaint.
So it didn’t matter that a criminal investigation cleared my son, or that the police looked at the evidence and didn’t press charges or that witnesses offered to testify for my son. It really didn’t matter what evidence we had to prove his innocence, because the adjudicator refused to allow most of my son’s evidence into the college hearing. But what did matter at the college hearing was that the girl had as many staff around her as she needed to keep her upright and hold her hand. So that during the daylong hearing, she and her female friends could unleash their hatred at my son for his alleged assault and spew their fear-based, anti-male words at my son. He most certainly got a hysterical feminist tongue lashing from the staff, and also from the pitiful weak minded wounded girls (includes one of her witnesses.) Of course my son was shaken up. Who wants to be trapped in a room with girls yelling vicious lies at you for seven hours?
And of course, he must sit still, listen and take it. No rebuttal.
It is an unimaginable process that these college hearings engage in. Many of my son’s rights were denied. He didn’t have the right to review the evidence, or to question the witnesses, little cross examination was allowed, and he was denied his due process rights. Basically, this was not a fair and impartial college hearing; also his attorney wasn’t allowed in the hearing room; but of course college staff were permitted in the hearing room to sit and coddle the girl. And most of the staff supporting her had law degrees. Many constitutional rights were denied to my son. These are horrific college hearings. They’ll never be exposed properly. But in time I do hope reason and fairness will win and college boys will have their constitutional rights upheld in the future.
When the finding of guilt was emailed to my son, we were shocked. His friends were in disbelief. The sly adjudicator twisted words and logic into a pretzel, and found my loving, generous, handsome and kind-hearted son guilty. This injustice was very hard to take, and my son’s education, and successful future, has faltered because of this girl’s false accusation. She continues her education in college, very much in la-la land, insulated by neo-feminists, and wrapped in her own lie and label.
Today we continue to be in legal proceedings with the college, where their goal is to delay proceedings, and run us into the ground financially. But when you have an innocent son, nothing stops a mother from fighting for truth and justice.
Like I said, Silent No More.
– Mother of a falsely accused son, working to clear his name.
Allison Strange talks weekly with mothers of accused college rapists, who say the system was stacked against their sons
“I walked up and I looked, and Josh said, ‘Mom, I’m gone. They don’t want me here anymore. I can’t stay. They’ve expelled me.'”
“How in the world can we be in a situation where someone’s words – without any evidence, without any witnesses, without anything – how in the world can someone’s life be turned upside down, or basically ruined?” Strange said.
In the aftermath, Allison and Josh Strange formed the group Families Advocating for Campus Equality that pushes for universities to get out of the business of adjudicating sexual assault cases.
america.aljazeera.com by Nicole Grether & Christof Putzel