Friday, May 20, 2016

“Pro-Due Process ≠ Pro-Rape.”

"Sexual Assault Rally Prompts Counter-Protest: Organizers Demand Stricter Policies, Opponents Say Not School’s Place"


About a dozen University of California, Santa Barbara students gathered on the lawn between the Arbor and library on Monday to call for hastened fulfillment of all 13 demands issued to the university administration last year after a 13-hour sit-in in Chancellor Henry Yang’s office. The peaceful demonstration also drew a few counter-protesters with objections to the university’s jurisdiction over sexual assault cases in the first place.

Off-Campus Sen. Alejandra Melgoza and UCSB alumna Lexi Weyrick organized the protest to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the sit-in and remind administrators of their commitment to reforming university policies on sexual assault. A written update by Now UC SB — the movement initiated by Melgoza, Weyrick and alumna Melissa Vasquez prior to the sit-in last year — alleges that administrators have so far “completely ignored” demands calling for immediate suspension of students found responsible for assault by the university court, as well as their immediate removal from housing.

In an interview with The Bottom Line, Melgoza pointed to a persistent lack of resources and diversity within the UCSB Campus Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) office and broader administration — another shortcoming the Now UC SB demands sought to address. “I think every single administrator that I’ve met regarding sexual assault has been white,” she said.

The Now UC SB update is an annotated version of a document issued May 11 by the group of administrators tasked with handling the demands. Though the task force has so far held eight public meetings, Melgoza and Weyrick argue that poor advertising has resulted in “limited student involvement and input” on policy adjustments and hiring decisions made over the past year.

The original task force update reports three new hires in the Office of Judicial Affairs and CARE, along with an unspecified number of new female appointments within the UC Police Department. New faculty and staff training programs are highlighted, as well as student resources like a survivor fund and a feedback program for complainants and respondents who undergo judicial proceedings.

One of the most substantive strides for the movement could be a decision from further overhead, though Melgoza and Weyrick are skeptical of the specifics. In January, UC President Janet Napolitano implemented a system-wide policy with a two-year minimum suspension for students found responsible for violating sexual assault policy — “in most cases.” Inquiries by the activists into UCSB’s evidentiary criteria for those cases have reportedly gone unanswered by the administration.

Yang passed through the Arbor about an hour into Monday’s demonstration — which lasted from just after 10 a.m. until around 2 p.m. — and was stopped by Melgoza and Weyrick to hear their complaints. The chancellor “acknowledged that he has not fulfilled the promises of the demands yet,” according to Weyrick, and proceeded to warn the Division of Student Affairs of potential counter-protests in the interest of maintaining civility.

Shortly after Yang’s appearance, three members of UCSB’s Young Americans for Liberty crossed the walkway from where they’d been sitting near the Arbor store to occupy an adjacent portion of the library lawn. Fifth-year history major Andrew Cavarno and fourth-year political science major Jason Garshfield held printed signs disputing the right of universities to adjudicate sexual assault cases, Garshfield’s reading: “Pro-Due Process ≠ Pro-Rape.”

YAL President Dominick DiCesare, a second-year computer science major, told The Bottom Line that the group takes issue with the preponderance of evidence standard used in university courts to determine academic sanctions. The standard requires that 51 percent of the evidence presented to a judicial body favor a complainant’s claim before a ruling is made against the respondent, according to the Legal Information Institute.

DiCesare argued that UCSB’s judicial process undermines the due process owed a defendant in criminal court, where guilt must be proven without a reasonable doubt before conviction.

“Essentially, when we say preponderance of evidence is enough, we’re equivalating rape cases with a common civil case,” DiCesare said. “If anything, we’re diminishing the level of that crime by saying that we don’t require the same amount of evidence.”

DiCesare and Cavarno also disputed the commonly cited statistic that one in five women are sexually assaulted during their college years. The figure dates back to a widely-discussed 2007 study by the National Institute of Justice that has held up in more recent surveys by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, as well as the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

But Cavarno pointed out that within the same 1,000-student sample polled by the Post and Kaiser, only 38 percent of subjects believed the one-in-five statistic to be true. He and DiCesare emphasized that the disparities in these numbers and lack of consensus among researchers should warrant discussion of both sides.

“All of us agree that rape is an extremely prevalent issue, but it is not by any means an epidemic,” DiCesare said.

Efforts by Melgoza, Vasquez and Weyrick recently won the support of California State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who wrote in a letter to Yang that she hopes to collaborate “to ensure that UCSB is as responsive as possible to the unique needs of students” and believes “their experiences should reflect our action and progress.”

Around noon, the Now UC SB supporters formed a line facing the Arbor walkway, displaying handwritten signs with messages including “We Support Survivors” and — among the more specific — “Since demands have not been met, we will not be silent yet.” Generally vocal in her activism, Melgoza chose to keep things on the quieter side due to the change in campus climate she said she’s seen over the past year as a senator.

“Last year it was easier, I think, to speak out,” she said. “And now with a lot of the hostility, the harassment, the stalking, the online attacks, I feel that it is a lot harder for students to speak out on what their true beliefs are — which is a very interesting paradox, just because a lot of students are encouraging free speech.”

Neither group of demonstrators ventured to interact with the other, though several administrators gathered on the sidelines to ensure things remained civil. Among them was Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Margaret Klawunn, who arrived early in the afternoon to ensure that the groups maintained a respectful distance from each other.

“I want to make sure that everybody has a chance to have their demonstration without infringing on anybody else’s right,” Klawunn told The Bottom Line.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I am having some problems with the way the Grant Neal college rape case is being reported

Colorado State University-Pueblo expelled a male student athlete named Grant Neal for an alleged rape, and there is a lot of outrage about the case on the part of people concerned about the academy's hostility to the due process rights of men accused of sexual assault. The problems with the university's handling of the case have been discussed by other writers, see, e.g., here, and I won't repeat them.

The principal outrage is over the fact that the alleged victim declared the accused did not commit rape, yet a friend of the alleged victim "noticed a hickey on the woman’s neck. When she learned the woman had sex with a prominent football player, she surmised her friend had been raped and reported that to university authorities." See here.

The case is being talked about as an absurd example of a university bent on expelling a male student even when the "victim" says she wasn't raped. Megyn Kelly of Fox News reportedly said this: "Tonight, we have the story of two college students who had consensual sex, a third student who decided it was really a case of rape and a campus system of so-called justice that kicked the young man out of school despite the fact that there is no evidence of any crime." One writer asked, "What responsibility does a college have to move ahead with a third-party complaint if the supposed victim says she consented?"

I am having some difficulty with this case, and I invite anyone with information about it to write to me to explain what I'm missing: I have no doubt that there were serious due process infirmities in the way the case was prosecuted, but the blanket assumption that this was consensual sex seems unwarranted.

The woman's conclusory characterization that she wasn't raped should not necessarily be the end of the case. Nor does it means, as Megyn Kelly of Fox News apparently said, there was no evidence of rape. What the pundits seem to gloss over is the following:
According to CSU-Pueblo’s internal investigation, obtained by CBS4, the woman told an investigator, “Grant was lying on top of me and I told him that I did not want to have sexual intercourse with him that is unprotected because I am not on any birth control. Although I told Grant no, Grant ended up penetrating me … and I told him to stop. He stopped and pulled out from me immediately. Grant then said to me that if he used a condom, would I be okay with that. I told Grant yes to the condom. Grant placed on the condom and we began to have protected sex at this point which I was okay with it.”
. . . .
. . . CSU-Pueblo’s Title IX investigation found the preponderance of evidence substantiated a finding of sexual misconduct on the part of Grant Neal for participating in non-consensual sexual intercourse on Oct. 25 for the moment when he didn’t have a condom on during that sexual encounter. The university suspended Neal from campus, ruling he could not return until the woman graduates.
See here. She claims she outright told him "no," but he penetrated anyway. That doesn't sound like an accident or a young couple exploring boundaries. If a woman says she doesn't want to have sex but the man proceeds to penetrate her--if that is what really happened--it is rape. A woman's conclusory characterization that no rape occurred should not override her specific account of the facts of the alleged incident.

Someone can say he did not enter into a contract, but if the facts show the legal elements of a contract were present, there was a contract.

Please understand, I am not suggesting that the woman's account of the alleged incident should be believed (nor am I suggesting she should be disbelieved). This appears to be a classic "he said, she said" case because the accused's account shows the sex was consensual. Add to that the woman's adamant (albeit conclusory) denial that he did anything wrong and the fact that immediately after the "rape," she consented to have sex with her "rapist," and we must wonder, yet again, how the scales tipped in favor of guilt.

But all that goes to the weight, not the sufficiency, of the evidence (there's a big difference in criminal law). Any suggestion that there was no evidence to find this student guilty of rape seems to be incorrect, if the news story quoted above is correct. Again, I invite anyone who knows better to write to me.

The academy's hostility to due process is blatant, chronic, and unjust. The Department of Education is fomenting witch hunts against young men on campus, and its motivating impulse is misandry. Few have written about it more than this blog. But all that should not give us license to ignore evidence in a given case. We ill-serve the community of the wrongly accused when we lose our objectivity.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

'Men accused of sex crimes striking back at colleges'

From the Associated Press
After years of complaints that they weren’t taking sexual assault reports seriously, colleges are finally doing so, and finding themselves slammed with lawsuits from men who say they were unfairly suspended or otherwise punished.

The schools are feeling caught in the middle.

“We’re trying to walk the razor’s edge between being more attentive to the issue but still being fair to all our students,” said Dana Scaduto, general counsel at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, who has testified before Congress on the issue.

At least 75 men have sued their schools since 2013, complaining largely of reverse discrimination and unfair disciplinary proceedings. Most were never charged with a crime because the accuser didn’t go to police, or authorities decided there wasn’t enough evidence.

In March, former Yale University basketball player Jack Montague said he planned to sue after he was expelled over a sexual assault allegation, and two University of Oregon basketball players suspended over 2014 rape accusations sued for $10 million each after prosecutors declined to bring charges.

A federal judge in Rhode Island allowed a case to move forward by a Brown University student suspended for 2½ years over a sexual assault accusation.

Two former University of Findlay athletes who were expelled in 2014 are suing the university in U.S. District Court, Toledo, for allegedly conducting a “sham investigation.”

Alphonso Baity, who was a junior basketball guard, and Justin Browning, who was a sophomore football defensive back, were dismissed from the university after they were accused of sexually assaulting a freshman student in a university-owned house on campus in September 2014.

Baity and Browning each said they had consensual sex with the female student. No criminal charges were filed. Each former athlete is apparently seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

The get-tough approach by colleges is attributed largely to a 2011 letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The letter told schools they must promptly investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment, even if the accuser does not make a complaint to the institution.

It instructed schools to rely on the preponderance-of-evidence standard used in civil cases, instead of the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard employed in criminal trials. That means a student can be disciplined if the college finds it more likely than not that an assault occurred.

Schools that do not comply can face an investigation and a cutoff of federal money. As of mid-March, the Office for Civil Rights was conducting 219 such investigations at 173 schools.

Known as the “Dear Colleague Letter,” it has been hailed by advocates who say many schools are now moving in the right direction to address campus sexual assaults.

“For a very long time, there was no due process for victims. Victims were told to withdraw from school. Victims were told to take the semester off,” said Colby Bruno of the nonprofit Victim Rights Law Center.

Now, Bruno said, “yes, there are more decisions against perpetrators. Yes, perpetrators are being held accountable. And that is going to bother people.”

Advocates for the accused say that school disciplinary panels are unequipped to handle such serious allegations and that colleges have gone so far to accommodate alleged victims that they are trampling on the rights of the accused.

Under the federal guidance, when a school learns of allegations of sexual assault or harassment, it must take immediate steps to ensure the victim’s learning environment is free of hostility.

The accused can be removed from a class, dorm or campus even before a disciplinary hearing is held so that the accuser does not have to cross paths with her alleged attacker. Disciplinary proceedings can take months, meaning the accused can miss a year of school before the case is decided.

Advocates for both accusers and the accused say college disciplinary processes are often vague and applied inconsistently. Some schools have a single investigator. Others have a panel with faculty members. Some include students. Some allow lawyers, others don’t.

Some critics have said that universities should not be handling such cases at all and that sex crimes should instead be reported to police.

But victims’ advocates and many schools oppose that, saying it would discourage women from coming forward. Also, police investigations can take months, and prosecutions longer, meaning some cases might not be resolved before graduation.

Andrew Miltenberg, who represents the Brown student and close to 100 other male students accused of campus sexual assaults, said schools have become “hyper-aggressive” since the Dear Colleague Letter.

A common thread in his cases, Miltenberg said, is that they had some element of a consensual encounter, in which the two were dating or knew each other. Alcohol is often involved, sometimes a year or more has elapsed, and there are rarely witnesses.

“Part of the problem is they’re redefining what consent means,” he said.

“Now all of that adds up to more cases, more allegations and more hearings, and this is where the schools are in a tough spot and can and should be doing better.”

Such accusations can brand a student for life or put his education on hold for years, Miltenberg said.

“I even have Ivy League students who’ve been suspended who can’t get into a local community college during their suspension,” he said.

Miltenberg represents Paul Nungesser, who sued Columbia University, saying it violated his rights when it allowed fellow student Emma Sulkowicz to obtain class credit for her “Mattress Project,” in which she carried around the mattress on which she said he raped her. Nungesser denied the accusation and was found not responsible by the school disciplinary process.

Nungesser said in his lawsuit that he was branded a “serial rapist” and forced to return to his native Germany because he couldn’t get a job in the United States. A judge this month dismissed the lawsuit but said Nungesser may refile some claims.

Sulkowicz went to police with her allegation against Nungesser, but they did not bring charges. She has said the campus disciplinary process was badly mishandled.

In a 2014 essay in Time magazine titled “My Rapist Is Still on Campus,” she wrote of crying and hyperventilating when she learned he had asked permission to work in the darkroom during a photography class she was taking.

“As long as he’s on campus with me, he can continue to harass me,” she wrote.

Scaduto, of Dickinson College, questioned whether colleges are equipped to handle such matters.
“I don’t want to step away from the issues,” she said, “but I don’t know that we have the training, the skill, the resources to do it in-house anymore.”

In addition to the Dear Colleague Letter, federal legislation tells colleges to take action in response to a report of sexual assault on campus.

At the time the two University of Findlay athletes were expelled, the university said it was following the federal Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which requires allegations involving sexual crimes or domestic violence to be investigated by a panel of four university officials.

These investigators interview witnesses during a hearing and gather evidence. School officials must conduct their review as soon as possible, regardless of any police action, the University of Findlay said. They cannot determine whether police will bring criminal charges.

Buy this book

New book that talks about our issues: Rape Culture Hysteria: Fixing the Damage Done to Men and Women by Wendy McElroy.

Buy it here.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Fraternity banners raising awareness about sexual assault condemned as 'poor taste' because fraternities are rape pits

Chalk up another victory for the campus PC loons. Fraternities at Northwestern University have been attacked over banners displayed outside fraternity houses for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

What offensive message did the depraved banners contain? The banners featured the chapter’s name along with messages such as, “XYZ supports survivors,” “XYZ stands against sexual violence” and “This is everyone’s problem.”

If you are scratching your head wondering what's wrong with that, read on.

The usual suspects from the sexual grievance cartel bellyached that the banners were in poor taste due to the pervasiveness of sexual assault in fraternities.

You read that right. Poor taste. The fraternities' reward for trying to raise awareness about sexual assault was to be condemned. The campus sexual grievance cartel used the fraternities' noble impulse as just another excuse to paint fraternities with a broad brush as rape pits.

Are we shocked? Don't forget that the campus sexual grievance cartel used Rolling Stone's imaginary rape exposé in 2014 as an occasion to call for fraternities to be banned.

So how did the fraternities respond to this outrage? Did they defend their actions and decry the condemnation of their banners as political correctness run amok?

They did not. They apologized. And they announced plans to create a four-year sexual assault education program.

I can't make this up. Don't read this on an empty stomach. The Interfraternity Council issued a statement: “We recognize now how this campaign may have been emotionally triggering for survivors, and we want to make a deep, genuine apology for anyone that may have been affected. This was not our intent, but it is our fault for not being cognizant enough and not considering how it might affect others in our community.”

If that's not bad enough, the Council plans to launch another program to teach fraternity men not to rape. IFC president Will Altabef said this: “People come in here with 18 years of being socialized to think a certain way is masculine. We’ve got four years to try and correct any wrongs that might come in and hopefully to just make a more positive community.”

It's very difficult to fight a battle when the people you're trying to speak up for go ahead and surrender. The rights of college men are under assault all across America. The current administration has manifested a blatant hostility to their due process rights, and their brothers are being wrongly expelled in droves. Yet college men, so fearful of being perceived as hating women, kowtow to the tyranny of PC group-think. They don't seem to give a damn that they are in the middle of a witch hunt and that they are the witches.

The real villains here are the usual suspects, the crusaders of the campus sexual grievance cartel. The cartel spends obscene amounts of tax and tuition dollars pumping out vapid and ineffective public service announcements "raising awareness" about sexual assault that will not stop a single sexual assault. When fraternity men follow their cue, they are attacked and forced to apologize--just because they are fraternity men.

The campus sexual grievance cartel isn't interested in promoting safe and healthy sexual relationships, they are out to punish an entire gender. If that sounds harsh, try and explain idiocy like this and a thousand other incidents any other way.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

What Happens When Prosecutors Get Into Bed With Crazy?

The risk that an innocent man is indicted increases exponentially.

Victim Advocates have bemoaned criminal defense attorney's ability to gather the mental health records of complaining witnesses who have accused a man of sexual assault.  They say that the release of those records are an invasion of privacy.  They say that if criminal defendants are able to access those records, then those who are in need of mental health treatment might not seek it out of fear that it will be disclosed.

However, prosecutors have no qualms about employing forensic psychologists to explain why a complaining witness might act in such a way that seems crazy, or "counterintuitive."  Dr. Veronique Valliere has been employed by the district attorneys in Pennsylvania, as well as Special Victim Prosecutors in the Army, to do just that.  Even Dr. Valliere, a prosecution witness, admitted under oath at a Court-martial resulting in a full acquittal that studies have shown that women who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorders have a higher risk of making false allegations in a child custody situation during a divorce.  (52:17)

So, when Congress passes laws that prohibit defense attorneys from accessing mental health records, then one has to ask, "Why?"  The simple answer is that prosecutors can more easily obtain convictions if defense attorneys cannot show that the complaining witness has a borderline personality disorder or mental illness.  Over the past 10 years of defending those who have been falsely accused of sexual and physical abuse crimes and following the news regarding the plight of those unfortunate men, I have noticed an absence of any legislator standing up for the rights of the falsely accused, except most recently by a Georgia Legislator.

For instance, the most famous case of a false allegation where the accused had a mental illness was the Duke Lacrosse case.  Thankfully, at least one of the accused players had a solid alibi, and none of the players' DNA matched the DNA from the accuser's rape kit, so charges were dismissed and the DA was disbarred.

Some recent cases have been reported that should make one raise an eyebrow and wonder, "Why is the prosecution pursuing this case?"  Take for instance, the case of ex-49'r Dana Stubblefield.  He was taken down and arrested in front of his children's school, which has to be the worst place to conduct a perp walk.  Two months ago, he was questioned and cooperated fully with the police, which makes his arrest at his children's school seem overly aggressive.  The DA indicated that the complaining witness was developmentally delayed, but she has been arrested and convicted for crimes in the past and has sued people, acting as her own attorney.  Stubblefield alleges that he took a polygraph test showing no deception when stating that the acts between he and the complaining witness were consensual.  Is the DA getting into bed with crazy?

Take the curious case of Major Kit Martin.  His assumed "wife" told her oldest son that his father was decapitated in a logging accident.  Turns out that the man is alive and still is in possession of his head.  She then married another man, did not obtain a divorce, then married MAJ Martin.  She pleaded guilty to felony bigamy, but entered a pretrial diversion program where the charges will be dismissed if she stays clean.  She made no allegation that she was physically or sexually abused by Martin, initially, but rather she concocted a story with her alleged lover that MAJ Martin was a spy.  When MAJ Martin was cleared by Army counterintelligence after a 3 hour polygraph, she then stated that Martin physically and sexually abused her.  When her alleged lover, her alleged lover's wife, and their neighbor were found murdered in Pembroke, Kentucky, she told the news that MAJ Martin murdered them.  Considering her criminal record and her chaotic lifestyle filled with lies that she has lived, one might wonder why the Special Victim Prosecutor (SVP) at Ft. Campbell would feel that she was credible enough to have MAJ Martin charged with the most heinous crime short of murder.  Is the SVP getting into bed with crazy?

The results of these cases will be quite interesting, indeed.

Friday, April 15, 2016

On the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, its lessons about gender still resonate

On the 104th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, it is well to remember it for a number of reasons, not the least of which are its lessons about gender that still resonate today.

For the uninitiated, the disaster struck men much harder than women, because the men aboard Titanic were expected to sacrifice their lives for women. The startling demographics from the disaster are as follows:

114 women died, 324 women survived: 72% of the women survived.
1339 men died, 325 men survived: 19% of the men survived.

In 1912, chivalry was a powerful, overriding social influence, just as it is today. But here's the difference: in 1912, both chivalry's practitioners and beneficiaries knew and acknowledged that chivalry was an important societal force. In 2016, both chivalry's practitioners and beneficiaries know it doesn't comport with modern notions of gender relations, so they rarely acknowledge it exists. We were more honest about gender in 1912.

Here's an example of the honesty back in 1912: the giant front page headline of the April 16, 1912 Arizona Journal-Miner read as follows: “1800 ARE LOST IN OCEAN . . . Report is That Most of Saved are Women And Children Indicating Chivalry On Part of Adult Male Passengers.”

While the overwhelming consensus at the time was to salute the brave men who gave their lives, the sentiments of one group, the suffragettes, were decidedly less laudatory. The suffragettes seemed to understand that special, undeserved privilege for women did not comport with the gender equality they championed, so they simply refused to acknowledge that the treatment women received was either special or undeserved.

Some of them declared that the propagation of the human race depended on chivalry, but their reasoning had more leaks than the famous ship that sank. According to the New York Times, April 19, 1912:

“English Suffragettes of prominence, when questioned as to what they thought of the men who died on the Titanic in order that women might be saved, seem to have manifested a disposition, possibly significant, almost to resent the inquirer’s obvious belief that the display of chivalry was magnificent. While the strenuous ladies did not deny that the behaviour of the men was rather fine, they hinted that after all it only fulfilled a plain duty and therefore had not earned any particularly enthusiastic praise.

“As one of the suffragettes put the case, by natural law women and children should be saved first, the children because childhood is sacred, and the women because they are so necessary to the race that they cannot be spared. Another said: ‘It must be admitted that the lives of women are more useful to the race than the lives of men.”

(New York Times, April 19, 1912)

In claiming that women were spared because of their child-bearing duties, the suffragettes never bothered to explain why the many women beyond child-bearing years were also spared while their male counterparts, who were able to produce sperm throughout their lives, condemned themselves to an icy grave and the worst kind of death.

Another suffragette went so far as to suggest that men and women aboard Titanic were, in fact, treated equally, even though the men largely died and the women largely were saved. This was so because the “women, though saved through the noble sacrifice of men, were in the equally hard situation of having to see the ship go down” (New York Times, April 20, 1912) (You see, there was no qualitative difference between the sacrifice of the persons who actually gave up their lives and the persons for whom that sacrifice was made. Who would have guessed?)

In short, the suffragettes wanted their equality but weren’t prepared to give up their belief that women were entitled to special treatment, for reasons they couldn’t rationally explain.

But most everyone else understood that women were singled out for special treatment on the Titanic, and it was apparent to those who thought about it that such special treatment did not comport with gender equality. Following the disaster, Clark McAdams, columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, contrasted women’s desire for the vote with what occurred on Titanic. In significant respects, the poem’s words still speak to us:

“Votes for women!”
Was the cry,
Reaching upward to the Sky.
Crashing glass
And flashing eye-
“Votes for Women!”
Was the cry.

“Boats for women!”
Was the Cry.
When the brave
Were come to die.
When the end
Was drawing nigh-
“Boats for women!”
Was the cry."

The men’s chivalry was widely acknowledged, and applauded. The views trivializing the sacrifice of the men did not play well. The headline for an April 20, 1912 New York Times story was openly disdainful of the suffragettes:

“Women first” Is the Universal Rule, says Sylvia Pankhurst, and This Is No Exception
Jangling Note Disgusts English Nation, Proud of the Way Men Died

Consistent with the prevailing sentiment, and fittingly enough, a 13-foot tall statue in Washington, D.C. erected in 1931 by the Women’s Titanic Memorial Association honors the brave men who gave their lives on Titanic. The inscription reads:


The memorial was not without its detractors. “Some feminists criticized the memorial, saying it was inappropriate to not only commemorate but perpetuate the notion of chivalry. Margaret [Molly Brown] responded that she thought it was very brave that some men had chosen to step aside and let women and children live — but the gesture should never have been required by law or custom.” (Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth, by Kristen Iversen, Muffet Brown at 226 (1999).)

J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of the company that owned Titanic, famously survived the disaster synonymous with the name of the ship, 104 years ago today. Ismay was widely accused of cowardice because he took a seat in a lifeboat that, many believed, should have gone to a woman.

A newspaper article written shortly after the Titanic disaster talked about the “armchair hero” who would sooner sit in judgment of the men who did not lose their lives on the ill-fated ship than applaud the contributions of those who did. The article explained:

“‘Women and children first,’ is the rule of the sea. In the case of the Titanic, it was ‘Women, children, and pet dogs.’ But the armchair hero would press this rule so far as to veto the escape of any man at all. It is probable that many men died rather than face the armchair hero, who would demand explanations from them of their cowardice in daring to be alive. Perhaps this explains why some of the boats were not filled. The armchair hero is not appeased by the appalling death-roll of men. He asks for more. Surely this is sentiment gone mad, chivalry gone to seed.”

Now, more than 100 years after Titanic, in important ways, we are far less honest about gender than we were when the mighty ship sank. In 1912, society freely acknowledged the chivalry at work on Titanic. Today, we claim to embrace gender equality, yet chivaly is alive and well and manifests itself in countless ways — and we pretend it doesn’t exist. Like the elephant in the room, it leaves its imprint on virtually every institution, but it’s entirely too politically incorrect to acknowledge. It manifests itself in family law proceedings; the objectively proven gender disparities in criminal sentencing; the lopsided government funding asymmetry favoring diseases affecting women over diseases that affect men; the requirement that only males must register for selective service; the special government programs that assist girls in school but not boys even though boys need more help; and the fact that there are numerous programs that assist women breaking into the the business world while there are no programs that assist men breaking into the domestic world. And we could go on and on and on, but you already know this.

Like the suffragettes, deep down we are certain that chivalry can’t be reconciled with our enlightened notions of gender equality, so we do what the suffragettes did — we deny it exists, or we rationalize it away. In 1912, such denial was limited to one marginalized group and was disparaged by society as a whole. Today, denial of chivalry is so widespread it’s the norm.

It is no epiphany that the chivalry that manifests itself in our modern institutions is wholly inconsistent with gender equality. This isn’t something concocted by men’s rights groups; it was apparent even when Titanic sank. In the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, a smart woman writing about the astounding chivalry of the Titanic’s men also couldn’t help but notice the decline of chivalry in everyday life. She well understood that chivalry must give way if true equality is to flourish. Here’s what she wrote, less than one month after Titanic sank:

“‘Men are not what they were.’ The phrase falls from the lips of every woman. In it’s train falls the stereotyped indictment: Politeness is a forgotten art; deference to womankind is unknown. In a packed tram, the woman is allowed to stand while the man sits; in a rush for the boat, the woman is shoved aside by the more muscular man; in offices or shop, the girl worker receives no consideration from the man; and so on and so on. The grievance is lengthy . . .

“Yet it may all be true. Very likely ‘men are not what they were’ because, you see, women are not what they were, and things have to balance themselves. We decline altogether these days to have a sphere of our own; we walk triumphantly into man’s. We not only want, we insist on having, his privileges, his pleasures, his work, occasionally ousting him out of them, in any case sharing them willy nilly…

“But we must remember what Nursie taught us long years ago; you cannot have your cake and eat it, much as you wish to. And if man finds you persistently invading his domain, sharing his pursuits, working as a man, acting as a man, aping man’s free and easy arrogance, he is apt to forget, despite your apology for petticoats, that you are not a man. You want to be a free and independent comrade? Well, then, accept the penalties as well as the pleasures of comradeship.”


Hillary Clinton's hostility to the community of the wrongly accused

The current administration has manifested an unprecedented hostility to due process for college men accused of sexual assault. We've written literally hundreds of posts about it since April 2011 when the the Department of Education issued its infamous "Dear Colleague" letter. For a long time, it was difficult to fathom that any administration could be worse on these issues, but we have every indication to believe that a Hillary Clinton administration would be worse.

Hillary Clinton has unequivocally expressed her hostility to college men accused of sexual assault: "I think that when someone makes the claim, they come forward, they should be believed . . . ."  She also said this: ". . . in our country and on every college campus . . . any woman who reports an assault should be heard and believed . . . ."  In a major address on the issue, she told survivors of sexual assault the following: "You have the right to be heard, You have the right to be believed. And we're with you as you go forward." Clinton made it clear she believes that men accused of sexual assault should be presumed guilty until they are proven innocent: ". . . everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.” Clinton made that statement with a huge grin on her face, and the line drew applause.

Clinton has stated that the issue of college sexual assault is "deeply important" to her. She buys into the one-in-five canard. She has called campus sexual assault an epidemic, has pledged to "build on the progress" the Obama administration has made, and has made clear she wants a national conversation about it--as if the issue has been ignored until now. She plans to take the Obama administration's work to the next level: "The Obama administration has begun to shine a spotlight. I just want to make it a very broad and bright spotlight . . . ." She wants to "end" campus rape by broadening the war on sexual assault. She proudly admits that when she says this, she is "playing the gender card"  and "that's exactly where I want to be."

Clinton recently hired Zerlina Maxwell who has written this: “Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” Maxwell said that false accusations "can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly."

As Secretary of State, Clinton made one of the most heinous false rape claims imaginable. In 2011, Clinton was trying to justify regime change in Libya–a goal not authorized by either the U.S. Congress or the UN. "Clinton told the press that Gaddafi was passing out Viagra to his troops so they could go out and rape dissidents en masse, and that the troops were indeed engaging in mass rapes." The problem? Amnesty International later reported "that there was absolutely no factual support for these accusations. As Amnesty International reported, 'Not only have we not met any victims, but we have not even met any persons who have met victims.'”

It is ironic that Hillary Clinton has not always exhibited fidelity to the decidedly unAmerican principles she now espouses. Much has been written about Mrs. Clinton's two-facedness on this issue--she did not automatically believe her husband’s sexual assault accusers, and, in fact, she actively worked to destroy their credibility. We won't repeat those arguments as they could fill a book.

Mrs. Clinton is, sadly, a product of the modern Democrat Party, which foments division by playing group identity politics. Last night, Mrs. Clinton made clear who her constituents are: ". . . I’m putting together a very broad-based, inclusive coalition from the South to the North, from the East to the West, with African-American, Latinos, women, union households, working people and I am very proud of the campaign we are running."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Now available: "Convicting the Innocent: Death Row and America's Broken System of Justice"

Buy it here.

"Every day, innocent men across America are thrown into prison, betrayed by a faulty justice system, and robbed of their lives—either by decades-long sentences or the death penalty itself. Injustice tarnishes our legal process from start to finish. From the racial discrimination and violence used by backwards law enforcement officers, to a prison culture that breeds inmate conflict, there is opportunity for error at every turn.
"Award-winning journalist Stanley Cohen chronicles over one hundred of these cases, from the 1973 case of the first ever death row exoneree, David Keaton, to multiple cases as of 2015 that resulted from the corrupt practices of NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella (with nearly seventy Brooklyn cases under review for wrongful conviction). In the wake of these unjust convictions, grassroots organizations, families, and pro bono lawyers have battled this rampant wrongdoing. Cohen reveals how eyewitness error, jailhouse snitch testimony, racism, junk science, prosecutorial misconduct, and incompetent counsel have populated America’s prisons with the innocent.

"Readers embark on journeys with men who were arrested, convicted, sentenced to life in prison or death, dragged through the appeals system, and finally set free based on their actual innocence. Although these stories end with vindication, there are those that have ended with unjustified execution. Convicting the Innocent is sure to fuel controversy over a justice system that has delivered the ultimate punishment nearly one thousand times since 1976, though it cannot guarantee accurate convictions."

America apparently isn't ready for a woman president

Hillary Clinton is running for president again, which means the usual suspects are ready to manufacture sexism from whole cloth to gain an advantage for their champion.

You may not be aware that when Senator Bernie Sanders called Hillary Clinton “unqualified” last week, he was speaking in "hidden codes" and launching a "gendered attack" on her by using a word that is a "subtle, pernicious form[ ] of sexism." It not only was unfair to Clinton's "impeccable resume," it served to do nothing less than "suppress women's political ambition." Women politicians, you see, are "more qualified" than male candidates based on their terms of political service, yet they face a constant struggle to prove their qualifications to others and themselves.

The charge is utter nonsense, of course. Numerous male Republican candidates have been attacked in this election cycle as unqualified and that's among the lesser charges. One was compared to a child molester; another was continually branded as "low energy"; another was ridiculed for sweating during a debate. One has been called a "draft dodger" for obtaining student deferrals during the Vietnam War.

Does Clinton have an "impeccable resume"?  Put aside the whole email scandal, the Benghazi lie, and the other-worldly fabrication about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire, Clinton's "qualifications" for being president are based on the fact that she served in the Senate and in the cabinet with little to show for it. One of her most fervent supporters, Sen. Diane Feinstein, couldn't name a signature accomplishment of Clinton's while she was in the U.S. Senate. The State Department's own spokeswoman couldn't name one tangible achievement of Clinton's as Secretary of State. Clinton herself had difficulty mounting a coherent response to a question about her accomplishments.

And while Donald Trump's success as a businessman is often minimized because he inherited a large sum of money from his father, somehow it is off-limits to suggest that Hillary Clinton's political career was made possible by her marriage to a charismatic U.S. president.

When Hillary stands in front of very sensitive microphones and shouts at the top of her lungs as if she's screaming at a guy with a jackhammer, it's "sexist" to point that out--because each of the 20 male candidates who've run for president in this election also shout like loons. Actually, I take that back: none of the male candidates have done that, at least not on a consistent basis the way Clinton does. No matter. Why let the facts get in the way of a good gender harangue?

It's going to be a long seven months until the general election. Anyone daring to criticize Clinton--no matter how appropriate the criticism--will be attacked, marginalized, and silenced by being branded as "sexist." Media pundits will walk on eggshells to avoid giving the sexual grievance industry ammunition to call them women-haters. Bernie Sanders has already walked back his statement. The sexual grievance industry doesn't care that it's bullshit--they want to get Hillary elected so they'll play the gender card as much as possible.

Which raises the bigger question: I have been "ready" for a woman president for as long as I can remember, but is America? Apparently not. We can't be electing a president who is immune from criticism solely because of her genitalia. When the people who control the public discourse transmogrify legitimate criticism into sexism--who insist you can't call an unqualified female candidate "unqualified"--that can't work.

There is one ray of hope. Donald Trump's incredible popularity is, at least in part, a reaction to this sort of inane political correctness (full disclosure: I am not a Trump supporter). Most Americans who don't live in the rarefied Northeast Corridor--to use an Amtrak analogy--are fed up with being reduced to vile caricature by the thought police on the left. They think America has been taken over by a bunch of bullies who worship at the altar of group identity politics, and they've had enough of it. It is my guess that the old guard feminists who think they can trot out their usual "sexism" tropes are in for a rude awakening this election cycle. That would be a good thing for America. And maybe then, America will be ready for a woman president.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Most famous wrongly accused man in history

Today is Good Friday, the day Christians around the world observe what they believe to be the central fact of history: that God's son, sent to live among us, willingly offered himself as a sacrifice for the transgressions of all mankind. In order to vicariously atone for mankind's sins, Christ allowed himself to be subjected to trumped-up charges, a wrongful conviction, and an unjust death penalty. He was brought before the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, who promptly declared him innocent. But to appease the angry mob, Pilate ordered Christ to be flogged. When that wasn't enough for them, Pilate allowed Christ to be crucified.

Jesus is the most famous wrongly accused and wrongly convicted person in history, and his death holds lessons for modern men and women.

The sacrifice of innocents to answer a public outcry, fomented by persons with a political agenda, is a phenomenon likely as old as civilization, and it still happens today. Prof. Mark A Godsey of the Innocence Project said that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases."

It is well to remember that with Jesus, the mob used the state to carry out its vile deed on Good Friday. God allowed his son to be tried, convicted, and executed by the state in order to make a critical point. Being subjected to a vile deed by individuals acting on their own would not have manifested the community's rejection of the Messiah. The Divine Plan recognized that, all other things being equal, misconduct by the state in punishing an innocent is qualitatively different from, and more significant than, misconduct by miscreants acting on their own. That, of course, is one of the bases for celebrated English jurist William Blackstone's assertion that it is better that ten guilty men escape punishment than that one innocent suffer at the hands of the state.

Just as Christians believe that all of us ultimately bear responsibility for Christ's death, all of us, figuratively speaking, have blood on our hands for the mistreatment of the modern day wrongly accused. We are the mob shouting "Crucify him!" and leading an innocent man to Golgotha.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This sums up everything wrong with American colleges

The Washington Post reports that the president of Emory University in Atlanta had to meet with 40 to 50 students who were "concerned and frightened" about something that happened on campus.

A terrorist attack? An outbreak of swine flu?

Nope. Someone wrote “Trump 2016” in chalk on campus sidewalks and some buildings.

I'm not making that up. According to the Washington Post: "Jim Wagner, president of the Atlanta university, wrote Tuesday that the students viewed the messages as intimidation, and they voiced 'genuine concern and pain' as a result."

Read it again: "Genuine concern and pain." The Onion might as well shut down--this is more absurd than anything its writers could possibly conjure up.

College has become a place where callow minds march in lockstep to the orthodoxy of their moral superiors, where dissent and critical thinking is not tolerated if they deviate from a far left world view.

When the post-millennials start to run things, folks, the Republic is doomed. In this instance, even calling these children--this hysterical dross--"special snowflakes" isn't fair to real snowflakes, which are sturdier and have far more substance than these dopes.

And sure enough, the president of the University kowtowed to the tyranny of nitwits. The students chanted, “You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!” shortly before President Wagner agreed to meet with them. Wagner then wrote a letter acknowledging that he heard their pain about the nefarious chalk. Writing "Trump 2016" sends "a message about values regarding diversity and respect that clash with Emory’s own.”

Trump = bad; people who don't like Trump = good. Got it.

We're finished, folks. They couldn't get any stupider or more pathetic if they tried. And, no, I'm not a Trump supporter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dictator lectures Obama on the gender wage gap

For the better part of six decades, the Castro brothers in Cuba have run a totalitarian, repressive, and murderous regime that has sponsored state terrorism and that is the architect of a long list of human rights atrocities. See, e.g., here.

Yesterday, President Obama, seen in the photo above posing in front of the image of Che Guevara, met with younger Castro brother and present Cuban dictator Raul.

Raul Castro lectured President Obama that Cuba honors human rights but the U.S. doesn't. Of special interest is that Castro parroted the U.S. far left's mantras about the gender wage gap. Castro said this:
We have many other rights — a right to health, the right to education. Do you — and this is my last example that I will mention. Do you think that for equal work, men get better pay than women just for the fact of being women? Well in Cuba, women get same pay for same work.
It is not difficult to see why Castro thinks this about the U.S. The far left in this country routinely preaches that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar men earn for doing identical work. This, of course, is dishonest on a multitude of levels. It is a gross exaggeration of the actual gender wage gap, and to the extent it suggests the small wage gap that actually exists is clearly attributable to discrimination, it is a bald-faced lie.

How did Obama respond? Predictably:
President Castro also addressed what he views as shortcomings in the United States around basic needs for people and poverty and inequality and race relations, and we welcome that constructive dialogue as well because we believe that when we share our deepest beliefs and ideas with an attitude of mutual respect that we can both learn and make the lives of our people better.
We've seen this sort of response many times. The fact that the leader of the most civilized and most just nation in the history of the world thinks the U.S. can have "constructive dialogue" in a spirit of "mutual respect" with a murderous thug tells us everything we need to know about our present administration's values, moral compass, and common sense. Is it any wonder this administration has jettisoned due process for college students accused of sexual misconduct in fealty to group identity politics?

Please note, Senator Benie Sanders, socialist presidential candidate and darling of the generation of nitwits on the left, is even worse--he's spoken glowingly about Cuba. Enough said.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reporter who spread vile false rape story is quickly condemned--the alleged rapists were Muslims

This is a tale of two major rape hoaxes reported by two major media outlets, and why the reactions to them was so different.

In the first, a predominantly white fraternity at a major university was singled out in connection with a made-up gang rape. Most of our readers are familiar with this story.

In the second, a group of unspecified Muslim men were falsely accused of violently raping a nurse.

Both stories quickly unraveled to reveal catastrophic journalistic lapses. But defenders of one of the imaginary victims stuck by their hero while defenders of the other immediately jumped ship. The unspecified falsely accused men in one story were treated as victims while the falsely accused men in the other story were not.

You can easily guess which story was which. Let's recap the first story--which is well-known to our readers--before telling you about the second.

In 2014, "journalist" Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote a sensationally reckless Rolling Stone article about a gang rape of a woman called "Jackie" that never really happened on the campus of the University of Virginia. The alleged rape was violent and callous:
"Grab its motherfucking leg"' she heard a voice say. And that's when Jackie knew she was going to be raped. She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement.
The tale was immediately believed by almost everyone--#IStandWithJackie resonated on campus and beyond to much of America. Fraternities were suspended. Gender extremists masquerading as journalists unflinchingly demonized fraternities as campus rape pits, parroted 1970s radical feminist mantras about automatically believing women. and preached that due process for college men accused of rape is a luxury college women can't afford.

When the story started to unravel, they had no hesitation sticking by "Jackie"and insisting that any blame should fall squarely on Rolling Stone for failing to jump through pro forma journalistic hoops. Few acknowledged that the victims of the story--the men of the unfairly maligned fraternity--were actually victims.  Jezebel's Anna Merlan called wrote a column that branded writer Robby Soave an "idiot" in the headline for daring to question "Jackie's" story. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said that "Jackie" ought to be beyond criticism: "Victim blaming or shining the spotlight on her for coming forward is not the right approach." On CNN, a legal analyst named Sunny Hostin clucked: ". . . the suggestion that ["Jackie"] just sort of made this entire thing up flies in the face of statistics." A writer for a college newspaper decried criticisms of "the testimony of a traumatized victim who is trying to live with the effects of her trauma." And leave it to Jessica Valenti to pen a thing called this: "Inconsistencies in Jackie's story do not mean that she wasn't raped at UVA." The inanity speaks for itself.

Fast forward to today. Australia has just experienced a similar journalistic debacle about a rape that never happened. On February 21, 2016, a seasoned newspaper writer named Paul Sheehan reported an alleged sexual assault of a woman who went by her middle name of Louise. She told Sheehan she had fallen asleep in her car near a cathedral and awoke to a man pulling her leg before she was punched in the face. Then, she claimed, she was beaten and raped by six men of Middle Eastern appearance before several homeless men found her. She claimed she suffered a broken jaw, 79 fractures, a broken ankle, a broken back vertebrae and broken nose.

It didn't take long for this story to unravel, as most of them do. Only this time, the reaction was much different than the Rolling Stone falsehood because the victims of the false rape claim weren't "privileged" white men. There was no hand-wringing trying to salvage Louise's sordid tale, nor was there any question that the victims of the false claim, Muslim men, were actually victims because they'd been unfairly stigmatized.

The newspaper quickly apologized: "In a column published on February 21 headlined The story of Louise: the hidden scale of the rape epidemic in Sydney, Fairfax Media reported the details of an alleged sexual assault. A subsequent column published below acknowledged key elements of the original story were unable to be substantiated. The original story included aspersions against the Middle Eastern community and raised untested allegations of inaction against the NSW Police. Fairfax Media sincerely regrets the hurt and distress the reports caused to these groups, and our readers, and unreservedly apologises." The writer acknowledged that his story wronged Muslims: "In the story recounted to me by Louise, she made insulting references to rapes committed by Middle Eastern men. I had wrongly amplified this insult by including her words in the column."

The story was used to spark a national dialogue about how Muslim men are unfairly stigmatized. The writer was branded a reckless journalist with a supposed racial animus and a history of writing things trashing Islam and Muslims. Academic Randa Abdel-Fattah decried the “racialised discourse” that stigmatizes Muslim men as criminals. “According to Sheehan … sexual assault is foreclosed as a Muslim/Middle Eastern crime,” she wrote. Further:
The thread that Sheehan uses to stitch together his story is a racist, matter-of-fact, common doxa that constructs a taken-for-granted figure of the Muslim/Middle Eastern/brown man as rapist. This figure reifies a racialised discourse that stigmatises and maligns Muslim men wholesale via the rhetoric of criminalisation.

And it works. Because these have become the acceptable terms of how the media presents any story connected (even wrongly) to Muslims. And they are acceptable to a readership that largely takes their truth value for granted.

The production of this image of the Muslim man to be feared depends on what Goldsmiths' academic Sara Ahmed calls ‘past histories of association’. The label rapist becomes a metonym that slides between words, remakes connections and stirs a history of Islamophobic narratives.
. . . .
When it comes to Muslims, professional practice, critical faculties, editorial checks and journalistic integrity are suspended.
A columnist for The Canberra Times and Daily Life wrote this to the writer of the false rape story:
Paul, a word to you now.

If only you could sit in a room with . . . all the . . . Muslim women and men who are devastated every time you write about Muslims.

If you were really sorry, you'd apologise to them, and to us.
Another writer explained the problem: "One of the reasons we need to be wary of adding weight to Islamophobia is because it is on the rise: Islamophobic attacks spike after news breaks of Islamic extremist terrorism."

In short, the real lesson from the false rape story about "Louise" is not that journalists need to exercise restraint and objectivity when writing about unconfirmed rape allegations. The real lesson was that anti-Muslim hysteria is wrong.

This blog was pointed out that rape lies often include a "scary" black or Hispanic male suspect in an attempt to lend plausibility to the fabrication. Add Muslims to the list. In 2011, a Brooklyn "nun" from a fringe Christian sect falsely claimed "that she was choked and raped by a black man." The New York Daily News reported that black men in the neighborhood were angered, but not surprised. According to the Daily News: "Cops even released a sketch of the phantom suspect and pleaded for the public to help catch him. After more questioning, [the accuser] admitted she concocted the assault to cover up her sexual shenanigans with a bodega worker." The men in the neighborhood were "pissed," as one man put it. "I don't know why they must accuse falsely like that. I think it must be prejudice," said a 56-year-old advertising worker who lived across from the house where the "nun" lived.

In 2010, WABC weather forecaster Heidi Jones invented a Hispanic man as her attacker. Many expressed outrage on behalf of the Hispanic community.

A rape lie is all the more despicable when it is seasoned with racial animus because it stokes awful stereotypes. But a rape lie is sufficiently despicable without racial animus  to warrant our outrage. Sadly, for too many commentators in the mainstream media and for practically all who write for progressive Internet news outlets, if the particular rape claim doesn't present a morality play about a perceived victim group--and young white men don't qualify--the injustice isn't treated as an injustice.

The real lessons from both the "Jackie" and "Louise" disasters and from every other high-profile false rape claim is that it is never right to rush to judgment and treat an accusation as tantamount to a conviction even where the accuser "seems" credible. It is both journalistic malpractice and morally grotesque to refuse to concede even the possibility that there might be another side to the story. And men who belong to minority communities are often treated unfairly, but, yes, white men can be victims, too, even when they belong to fraternities.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Boy and girl, both 16, have consensual sex--only the boy faces statutory rape charges

A 16-year-old boy had consensual sex with a 16-year-old girl. She told her parents, who objected to the boy, and they had him taken into state custody and charged with statutory rape. He's out on bail, awaiting another court date. She was never taken into custody, because under the applicable law, she did not commit a crime.

It happened in Ireland where the age of consent for both males and females is 17, and boys under that age can be prosecuted for statutory rape but girls can't. The applicable statute provides: "A female child under the age of 17 years shall not be guilty of an offence under this Act by reason only of her engaging in an act of sexual intercourse."

The judge said this about the young male "criminal": "Someone has to guide him and be firm, someone has to give him love. His parents have let him down."

Notice that no one has to "guide" the girl, or be "firm" with her--and her parents did not let her down. Only the boy requires such assistance, and he did exactly what she did. He is guilty by reason of penis.

Throughout the civilized world, laws that favor males--either as written or as applied--are condemned as grossly unjust. But when the genders are reversed, we often hear little outcry. For example, in the U.S., do you know the penalties when teenage men fail to register with selective service? Nothing to see here, the feminists tell us, move along! You see, males can't be victims even when they are.

This Irish case is reminiscent of the awful Milton Academy case out of Massachusetts several years ago. A 15-year-old girl engaged in group sex with five teenage boys in the boys’ locker room. They were 16. The boys, and only the boys, were expelled and charged with statutory rape, and the court ordered the boys to publicly apologize to the girl and her family, and to do community service.

Alan M. Dershowitz, the famous Harvard law professor and criminal defense lawyer, had a daughter who attended Milton Academy. Prof. Dershowitz said it plainly: "This represents the most senseless use of prosecutorial discretion I’ve seen in a long time.” He added: ”The idea that these youngsters should be branded rapists and the girl should be labeled a victim is preposterous.”

Read on only if you want to get your blood boiling.

The 16-year-old boys read their sickening apologies to the girl and her family, in open court, as part of their plea bargain. One boy read this: "Not a day has passed since the incident that I don’t wish I had shown more respect for you, myself, and everyone involved. I understand that by taking part I put myself in a very dangerous situation with consequences none of us had dreamed of.”

Another boy read this: ”Every day I am sorry, so sorry, for what happened. And every day I think of how hurt you must be and how upset your family must be. More than anything in the world I wish that I could turn back the clock. . . . All I can do at this point is truly and sincerely apologize for my actions and wish you happiness.”

The girl's family sat there stony-faced as the boys were publicly humiliated. They got what they deserved . . . because they were born male.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

'Farmington man beats rape accusation with tape'

The false rape news story, below, underscores this reality: who the hell cares how often it happens, the fact that it happens too often--it happens time and time again--is enough to make false rape reporting a serious social pathology.

The story below has all the earmarks of stories we've been writing about here for years: a woman lies that she was raped to cover up a consensual affair. Prof. Eugene Kanin's much unfairly maligned false rape study said this is the most common reason for false rape claims. Even feminist gadfly Amanda Marcotte once wrote that "the idea that it's shameful to just have sex because you want to" is "the reason that you have false rape accusations in the first place."

Beyond that, the only reason the woman in the story below recanted was because the guy had videotaped the encounter. What did wrongly accused men do before videos?

How many stories like this must we report--yet still we are forced to endure the sexual grievance cartel trivializing the importance of due process for young men accused of sexual assault. And they justify their hostility to fairness by insisting that women essentially never don't lie about rape.

It happens, and it happens too often. And that's why we need to be vigilant in insisting that men and boys accused of sexual assault be afforded due process.
Girlfriend charged with perjury, filing false report

FARMINGTON – A 38-year-old Shiprock woman is accused of perjury on allegations she falsely accused her boyfriend of rape. The boyfriend told detectives he was able to disprove the allegations because he videotaped the encounter, according to a police report.

Dana Woodis was charged Thursday in Farmington Magistrate Court with perjury — a fourth-degree felony — malicious criminal prosecution and making a false report, both misdemeanors.

She has not retained an attorney, according to court records. Woodis is set to make an initial court appearance on March 28.

Farmington police detectives interviewed Woodis on Jan. 26 at the Farmington Police Department after she allegedly reported she was raped by her boyfriend, Malcolm Thompson, at his residence on Alpine Avenue in Farmington, according to the police report. Woodis reported the rape at the department with her ex-husband, the report states.

Woodis told detectives she met up with Thompson, whom she had known for approximately a month, on the night of Jan. 25, and they kissed, but she told him she was not ready to have sex with him.

Woodis then claimed Thompson stripped her pants off and sexually penetrated her against her will, according to the complaint. She said she told him to stop, but he choked her and slapped her face, the complaint states. Detectives noted in the report Woodis did not have any markings on her face or throat, the report states.

Thompson told detectives the sex was consensual, but Woodis became upset when he told her afterward he was not ready for a relationship, according to the report.

During the investigation, Thompson further told police he filmed the entire sexual encounter with Woodis, the report states.

Detectives told Woodis about the videotape, and she then allegedly backtracked and said the sex was consensual, according to the report. Woodis said she lied because she did not want her ex-husband to know she was having sex with Thompson, the report states.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said the public should be aware that false rape reports are not typical, despite the charges against Woodis.

"You don't want something like this to have a chilling effect or to make a jury believe that false reports are common, but they do happen," O'Brien said.

The FBI stated in its Uniform Crime Report in 1996 that approximately 8 percent of rape claims were determined to be false or baseless after further investigation.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Law sweeping the nation under the radar makes young men accused of rape presumed guilty

"Affirmative Consent laws and policies are making their way through the states," an advocacy group correctly points out, and if you don't believe it, check out the state-by-state listing of legislative activity to make affirmative consent the law.

"Affirmative consent" is repugnant to notions of due process and makes innocent college men presumed rapists solely on the say-so of college women. One court candidly explained how it works after a young man is accused of sexual assault:
[The accused] must come forward with proof of an affirmative verbal response that is credible in an environment in which there are seldom, if any, witnesses to an activity which requires exposing each party’s most private body parts. Absent the tape recording of a verbal consent or other independent means to demonstrate that consent was given, the ability of an accused to prove the complaining party’s consent strains credulity and is illusory.
Mock v. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, No. 14-1687-II (Tenn. Ch. Ct. Aug. 10, 2015).

Exactly how are innocent college men supposed to prove consent? A co-author of California's law, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, said this: “Your guess is as good as mine." That comment is as chilling as it is telling.

The sexual grievance cartel: no concern about innocent college men

When people of goodwill raise concerns about the effect of "affirmative consent" laws on innocent college men, the sexual grievance cartel becomes indignant. Attorney Shelley Dempsey recently testified against Connecticut's proposed "yes means yes" bill and explained that it undermines the fundamental presumption of innocence. This sparked a "heated exchange" with one of sponsors of the bill, Sen. Mae Flexer. Flexer didn't bother to refute Dempsey's argument that the proposed law would flip the "presumption of innocence" but instead played the "rape epidemic" card. She argued that "statistics show one of every five women will be a sexual assault victim on campus." Her implication was that because rape is a problem, we shouldn't worry about the wrongly accused, who are necessary collateral damage in the far more important war on rape.

Attorney Dempsey challenged Flexer's premise by correctly refuting her statistics. Dempsey explained that, in fact, data from the U.S. Department of Justice shows the real number is 6.1 students per 1,000.

Flexer responded with indignation that Dempsey would dare to cite actual statistics to correct Flexer's fabricated statistics. Flexer accused Dempsey of "reframing the debate in a way that was not conducive to solving the urgent problem of college sexual assault." Flexner added: “It’s frustrating to be debating the criminal justice statistics on this issue when everyone in this room can recognize that there are clearly far too many young women in this state and across the country that are sexually assaulted on our college campuses.”

Indignation is a new approach for Flexer in responding to queries about "affirmative consent." Last year, speaking at a panel discussion at Yale, Flexer claimed that it is a "false criticism" to maintain that affirmative consent presumes guilt in an accused. Yale's Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd chimed in, explaining that Yale still begins with a presumption of innocence but simply has shifted the question from “was there a refusal” to “was there agreement.”

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall. When you force an accused student to prove there was an agreement, you are presuming guilt based on an accusation. ". . . the rule about burden of proof requires the prosecution by evidence to convince the jury of the accused's guilt . . . ." Taylor v. Kentucky, 436 U.S. 478, 485, 98 S. Ct. 1930, 1934, 56 L. Ed. 2d 468, 475, 1978 U.S. LEXIS 95, *12-13 (U.S. 1978). So, no, it is not a "false criticism" to claim that "affirmative consent" flips the presumption of innocence on its head.

This is about what we should expect from the folks who dominate the public discourse on sexual assault--and don't give a damn about your son. Jaclyn Friedman, editor of the book “Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape,” explained on PBS why "affirmative consent" is a good law:
Q: All right, Ms. Friedman, what about that switch, that the presumption has switched from guilt to — or innocence to guilt? 
JACLYN FRIEDMAN: Well, we don’t say that when we say that a kidnapper, when we ask a kidnapper, like, did you have permission to take them somewhere, right? So that doesn’t create presumption of guilt. So I don’t know see why it would be different in sexual assault.
That Friedman seems to think a "kidnapper" has the burden of proving his innocence is not just naive and absurd, it is frightening. She is a leading light among the feminists who dominate the public discourse on sexual assault.

The goal: legislation that requires colleges to always believe the woman

A few years ago, it would have been irresponsible, even laughable, to suggest that college men are presumed rapists solely on the basis of an accusation. Today, it is law in our two biggest states, not to mention the official policy of many colleges, and the sexual grievance cartel is attempting to make it the law in many states.

If history teaches us anything, we know two things: (1) the progressives who run the sexual grievance cartel never lose a battle, and (2) the sexual grievance cartel will continue to push for more and more legislation until the goal of "always believe the woman" is given statutory articulation across the nation.

If that sounds absurd remember that before April 11, 2011, hardly anyone would have believed that the Department of Education would issue a fiat demanding that colleges lower the standard of proof for sex offenses in all U.S. colleges to "preponderance of the evidence." The Dear Colleague letter issued that date was a shocking display of executive branch hubris and an affront to the presumption of innocence.

Most people assumed the debate from that point on would be over rolling back the Dear Colleague letter's excesses. But the sexual grievance cartel had other ideas. Working under the radar, as it is wont to do, it was busy taking the next step and flipping the burden of proof on its head. It got "affirmative consent" passed in California and New York and enshrined in student disciplinary handbooks in colleges across America.

On college campuses, the debate has taken the expected course: earnest students, ever eager to be perceived as having the correct views, march in lockstep to the PC group-think of their self-anointed moral superiors in the sexual grievance cartel. The outlandish lie that a rape epidemic is sweeping the academy is largely unchallenged, and anyone who seeks to instill balance in the discourse is shot down as a rape apologist.

Whatever happened to liberals?

"Liberalism . . . used to stand for due process of law, but not anymore," wrote Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer at Manchester, Connecticut, lamenting that the anti-due process bandwagon is about to ensnare Connecticut--its legislature is considering making "affirmative consent" the law for colleges in the state.

The presumptive Democrat Party nominee for president shares the belief that men accused of rape are presumed guilty until proven innocent. This unconscionable belief is being enshrined in affirmative consent laws across America.

The "affirmative consent" standard is the easy, but not the appropriate, way to respond to the public outcry about sexual assault on campus. Innocence Project guru Mark A Godsey has said that "the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases."'

The problem is, the progressives leading the charge to enshrine "affirmative consent" into law don't give a damn about your son or the wrongly accused.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Angry, Intolerant Left Shuts Down a Trump Rally--and They've Just Handed Trump the GOP Nomination

Tonight in Chicago, which has raised mindless violence to an art form in recent years, the angry left shut down a Donald Trump rally. Mr. Trump cancelled the rally because of skirmishes among protesters and Trump supporters--the police told Trump it wasn't safe to do the rally.

The protesters were largely the delicate snowflakes of the "safe space" generation who are accustomed to getting their way without accomplishment and for whom political correctness is simply correctness. They did what the left does routinely--they censored speech by silencing someone they don't like.

They picked the wrong person to silence this time. Nothing will energize Middle America to rally around Donald Trump more than the ugly scene last night. People are tired of their moral superiors on the left reducing them to vile caricature and telling them they aren't allowed to have views that don't meet the politically correct litmus test of some far left group. What we saw tonight was a microcosm for the very reason Trump is so popular.

Laura Hollis, a University of Notre Dame business and law professor, explained why Trump is so popular:
Because the left has become an army of bullies, and Americans are sick to death of it.

There was a time, decades ago, when the political left was a movement that defended personal and political liberties. They took pains to argue and persuade that their positions were superior.

No more. The left has become the establishment. They are everywhere, they never rest and there is no escaping their efforts to make all of us over in their image. They are the 'omnipotent moral busybodies' C.S. Lewis warned of.

Worse, they have become so enamored with themselves and so convinced of their inherent moral superiority that it no longer matters whether their positions are demonstrably factually false. Consider what the left now defends with no sense of irony:

*Curtailing freedom of speech and the press on college campuses in the name of "safe spaces"

*Denying due process in the name of "justice" to people accused of sexual assault.

. . . .

But it is not enough for the left, which is on a permanent rampage against aspects of American culture that were once considered admirable and praiseworthy. Police officers are violent racists, stay-at-home moms anti-feminist sellouts, two-parent families a vestige of patriarchal oppression, hard-working entrepreneurs and successful business owners swept up in indiscriminate accusations of being in "the 1 percent."

Americans are fed up. We cannot defend the safety and privacy of our bathrooms, our businesses or our borders.

The United States was set up as a Republic to avoid the tyranny of the majority. What we have now is a tyranny of the minority — a relatively small cabal of academics, media personalities and elected Democrats who have a stranglehold on the national conversation.

This isn't tolerance. It isn't "choice."

Into the ring steps Donald Trump. He says he is willing to do what elected Republicans have not done. Americans have taken enough punches. They want someone who will punch back.

I write this post even though some readers don't like it when I write about politics. Like it or not, the central issue we write about is political--the current administration has waged jihad on college men accused of sex offenses, and the presumptive Democrat Party nominee is a woman at war with the wrongly accused. If you care about the wrongly accused, you can't vote for her.

The nitwits on the left might have done something a hell of a lot of prominent Republicans have been trying to prevent: it's quite possible they've just handed Donald Trump the GOP nomination, and possibly the White House.

And they've also done something I would not have thought imaginable: they've made Donald Trump a sympathetic figure.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Naval Academy Instructor's Conviction Reported by Washington Post

Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox announced online that an upcoming story for the Post next week will center around a Marine Major who was acquitted of sexual assault allegations against two midshipmen with whom he supposedly had a threesome:

At his court-martial, a jury acquitted him of the sexual assault charge but convicted him of five lesser crimes. A year later, amid intense pressure on the military to address sexual misconduct, something remarkable happened: Another group of military officers concluded that he should never have been found guilty in the first place.

Maj Thompson was not dismissed (equivalent of a dishonorable discharge for officers) at his Court-martial, so it sounds like the Marine Corps might have initiated a Board of Inquiry to separate him from the military on the offenses for which he was convicted.  And, it sounds like he fought the charges at the Board of Inquiry who was able to determine that he should have never been found guilty in the first place.  Of course, no media outlet reported about a possible wrongful conviction for two years, so kudos to John W. Cox for putting a spotlight on the injustice of this conviction.

For anyone interested in how military justice is overtaking military intelligence in the oxymoron category, this story will be a must read.  For anyone interested in how one could become a

Here is a link to one of the many previous stories about his conviction. 

Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox reports on Marine who insisted that he was wrongfully convicted, then had the conviction deemed wrongful by a Board of Inquiry.  Through an interesting twist, it appears there was more to the story.