Attorney for former Amherst student defends client against sex assault allegations
The attorney for a former Amherst College student accused of sexual assault defended his client Wednesday night.
Max Stern, the attorney for the former student identified only as John Doe, told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly that evidence shows his client was too intoxicated to commit the alleged crime.
“The fact that she willingly consented at the beginning at a time Mr. Doe was incapacitated, should have left the panel to conclude she had committed sexual misconduct, not him," Stern said.
The expelled student’s attorney is suing the school in federal court. The suit seeks $75,000 and claims the school, President Carolyn Martin and several officials moved “with enormous speed to expel John Doe, eject him from campus and destroy his reputation.”
The alleged victim, the roommate of his then-girlfriend, complained about 21 months after the incident and despite text messages that appear to show consensual sex.
“It became clear she was the moving force behind the sex behind the entire event,” Stern said.
The student’s ex-girlfriend said she told the investigator there were text messages they needed to follow up on. The texts show the alleged victim texting a friend and admitting that the accused student was too drunk to even come up with a good lie to tell his then-girlfriend to cover himself.
When the expelled student brought the texts to Amherst, Stern said the school didn’t do anything about it after a year of considering it.
“There was no fair procedure here,” Stern said. “He was told he was charged with an offense that occurred almost two years before. Within six weeks, there was a hearing, he was expelled and he was labeled a sex offender. His future was in ruins.”
Stern said the former student wasn’t allowed to investigate his own case because he was barred from speaking to anyone about it.
Another witness, identified as L.R., told an investigator that the former student confessed. However, no one believed L.R., according to Stern. The student was so intoxicated that investigators discredited the claim he confessed to another student, he said.
Stern said his client is still not doing well after continuously trying to clear his name.
“He was a wonderful student,” Stern said. “He was doing so well at Amherst and in a six-week period of time, his life was in complete ruins.”
Critics say the Amherst case is one of many where the accused are automatically guilty even after proving their innocence.
“Essentially the procedure there works under the assumption that the accused is guilty and needs to use the hearing to prove his innocence,” K.C. Johnson, author of “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case," told "The Kelly File" Tuesday. “But he isn’t given the tools to do that. He doesn’t have discovery, he can’t get the relevant evidence he needs, he doesn’t have an attorney representing him [and has] limited right of cross examination.
"So there’s virtually no way, once an accusation is made and gets into the system at a place like Amherst, and Amherst is not unique, that the accused can be exonerated,” Johnson said.