Why the Trump Administration Is Rewriting Campus Sexual Assault Rules: 5 Men Who Were Falsely Convic
"One university leader was rightly appalled when he was asked by an Office for Civil Rights official: 'Why do you care about the rights of the accused?'" – Betsy DeVos
One of the many disasters the Obama Administration put in place was a reinterpretation of Title IX that led to colleges setting up kangaroo courts that were heavily stacked against men in rape cases. Men were not given due process; the standard of guilt was changed from beyond a shadow of a doubt to “a preponderance of the evidence;” men were denied meaningful counsel; men were not allowed access to information gathered by the college proving their guilt and allowing men to cross-examine their accusers was discouraged. In other words, if you’re a man charged with rape on a college campus, you’re essentially guilty until proven innocent by a hostile system.
Unsurprisingly, this system has produced a significant number of false convictions. Now, some people might say that’s impossible because “women never lie about rape.” Of course, many women would never lie about rape, but A LOT of women HAVE lied about rape. Tawana Brawley, Emma Sulkowicz (Mattress Girl), the Jackie Coakley Rolling Stone case and the Duke Lacrosse case are some of the most famous examples, but depending on the numbers you believe, it can be quite common,
According to the FBI, a higher percentage of rape claims are false than any other criminal complaint - 8 percent compared to 2 percent for other crimes. More detailed studies have found much higher rates of false rape charges. A study of all rape allegations in a midwestern city over nine years found 41 percent were false and a study of more than a thousand rape allegations on Air Force bases over the course of four years concluded that 46 percent were false. In 27 percent of the cases, the accuser recanted.
Rape is a terrible thing and if it were up to me, men who are convicted of it would be impaled on a sharp spike. However, because rape is such a terrible thing, it is extremely important that we don’t falsely label men as rapists. It’s very true that when a woman is raped, she has been victimized and that incident can have devastating consequences for her life. However, men can also face devastating consequences if they’re falsely branded as rapists.
Here are five examples of men who could tell you all about that. Once you read their stories (many of which were covered by my friend Ashe Schow who does great work on this issue), you’ll understand why the Trump Administration is doing the right thing by addressing these rules (PS: I could have easily done a lot more than five, but because of space limitations, I had to keep the number down).
1) “John Doe” at Swarthmore: “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” kissed. A week later, after a date, “John Doe” engaged in some sort of sexual activities with a “Jane Doe” that DID NOT include intercourse.
Later on, by her own account, “Jane Doe” initiated sexual intercourse with “John Doe.”
Nineteen months later, “Jane Doe” claimed she had been “coerced” into the FIRST TWO ENCOUNTERS (the kiss and the activities that did not include intercourse).
The university investigated and decided to drop the incident without filing any charges against “John Doe.” After two other students filed complaints unrelated to John Doe with the Department of Education, Swarthmore’s President announced a “zero tolerance” policy for its sexual assault policy (I should hope it was zero tolerance before). “John Doe’s case was then reopened and he was convicted of “sexual misconduct.” Afterwards he was expelled. Eventually, the school settled a lawsuit with “John Doe” and admitted that it unfairly charged him.
2) “John Doe” at Brandeis University: This one involved two gay men who were in a 21-month long relationship. After they broke up, the “victim” claimed his boyfriend once awakened him with a kiss while encouraging him to have sex and on another occasion, patted his groin without permission. After he filed a claim, Brandeis gave “Doe” a disciplinary warning and ordered him to attend mandatory training despite the fact that he wasn’t given a hearing. “Doe” then claims that this information was leaked by Brandeis, which cost him an internship along with multiple job offers which were withdrawn. “John Doe” eventually dropped his lawsuit (But not his Title IX complaint) against Brandeis after a judge tore into Brandeis for the unjust way it handled the case.
3) Justin Brown and Alphonso Baity at the University of Findlay: Both men, separately had sex with a woman who accused them of rape. Their roommates were around. They said it was consensual. Other women visiting the house said it was consensual. In fact, some of them noted that they could HEAR HER loudly consenting to sex. The woman herself said the encounter was consensual….before she changed her mind 10 days later. The university refused to interview Brown and Baity’s roommates, threatened the visiting women who corroborated their stories and didn’t even hold an official hearing. Forty eight hours after the accusation was made, both men were expelled and an email was sent out to the student body telling them why. This led to news stories that noted the men were accused of sexual assault. Neither student has ever been charged with a crime and they’re suing the university.
4) “John Doe” at Amherst College: John Doe was blackout drunk and his roommate’s girlfriend performed oral sex on him. Even the university said that it considered Doe’s claim of being blackout drunk to be “credible.” Immediately afterwards the “victim” sent exculpatory texts to a female friend,
“Ohmygod I jus did something so f*ckig stupid" [sic throughout]. She then proceeded to fret that she had done something wrong and her roommate would never talk to her again, because "it's pretty obvi I wasn't an innocent bystander."
She also had consensual sex with another man AGAIN THAT SAME NIGHT. Later, when Doe’s girlfriend found out about her friend’s encounter with her boyfriend, their friendship ended.
TWO YEARS later the “victim” accused John Doe of sexual assault. He was then expelled. Later, after his lawyer came across the texts that the university never bothered to run down, Amherst refused to reopen the case. There’s currently a court case working its way through the system.
5) "John Doe" at the University of Colorado Boulder: “John Doe” met “Jane Doe” at a frat party. They were both drinking, made out and eventually had sex. A few days later, “Jane Doe” told the Boulder police that she was sexually assaulted. As the police investigated, she lied to them several times and admitted she was angry at “John Doe” for rejecting her and wanted “the s*** to be scared out of him.”
Bizarrely, despite the fact that the police found no evidence of sexual assault and “Jane Doe’s” ADMISSION to the university that she lied to the police, “John Doe” was found guilty and suspended from campus. “John Doe” sued the university and it chose to settle the case.