Tuesday, May 31, 2011

By the balls: That's where your son's college has him if he's accused of sexual assault

This blog has written extensively about the Obama administration's April 4 directive to colleges that, to be compliant with Title IX, they must apply the lowest standard of proof for all college disciplinary proceedings involving sexual harassment (which includes sexual assault): a "preponderance of the evidence standard," which means that there need only be a slight probability that the offense occurred in order to hold the accused (almost always a male for sex offenses) responsible. Until the directive, the vast majority of institutions applied the "clear and convincing" evidence standard, which means that to find an accused responsible for sexual assault, the school must produce evidence that unequivocally establishes a very high probability that the alleged assault occurred.
 
Maybe that's too theoretical a concept for some folks. A prominent men's rights advocate wrote to me when we were beating the drum on this issue: "[P]eople are not going to understand this 'preponderance of evidence' thing, unfortunately." 

Great. A lot of our readers would rather talk about "game" and all sorts of other things that, all due respect, don't seem especially important to me when I've got emails from guys facing prison time for rapes they didn't commit.

Alright. Let's be more direct. Let's try a different approach and illustrate how your son is screwed if a girl at college accuses him of sexual assault. Let's say the girl files a complaint with the school and with the police at the same time. The claim is bullshit, and you hire an attorney to defend your son.

First, your son wants to file a claim with the school, a criminal complaint, and a civil action against her for filing a false rape report.  Oops. Under a lot of college handbooks, that could be considered retailiation -- a separate ground for punishing your son. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/02/college-men-who-file-suit-after-being.html  So forget that.

Next, your son's criminal attorney's first instinct is to get the college hearing postponed. Why? When you're accused of a crime, you have the right to remain silent both in the police investigation and in the trial against you. That's often the best advice, because the police are looking to build a case against you and they often take what you say -- even though it may seem innocent to you -- and twist it, and pound it, and make you appear to be a liar. Or a rapist. So, as FIRE has explained: "If you have both a university disciplinary hearing and a criminal trial pending, you will almost always want to get your disciplinary hearing postponed until after the criminal matter is settled.  Holding the disciplinary hearing before the criminal trial can be very dangerous, because what you say at the campus hearing-where you have far fewer protections than in a court of law-can be used against you in the criminal case"

Well, in light of the Obama administration's April 4 directive, forget that. The directive provides that "a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve the school of its duty under Title IX to resolve complaints promptly and equitably." The college might “delay temporarily the fact-finding portion” of its investigation “while the police are gathering evidence,” but the “school must promptly resume and complete its fact-finding” even before charges are resolved in the criminal justice system. So, if your son wants to defend himself by testifying in the college hearing, he runs the risk that whatever he says will be used against him by the government in the criminal proceeding, and that's usually too risky.

Nice catch-22, isn't it?  So your son's college career is finished based solely on her allegation, and he's expelled.

Then the police finish their investigation, and they determine her claim wasn't credible. In fact, they charge her for filing a false report. Does your son get reinstated at college?  Forget it. The school won't even reopen his case. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/03/male-student-expelled-from-college-for.html

Your son's college -- to which you've paid tens of thousands of dollars -- has just destroyed him solely because some woman made a bullshit rape accusation against him. Maybe he'll get a job at a convenience store, but his life will never be what it should have been. 

The anti-male crusaders on our college campuses finally have your son where they want him: by the balls.  In fact, they've got 'em in a vise, and they're tightening it, slowly but surely.

Is that direct enough for you?