Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Bill Cosby rape allegations do not warrant eliminating statutes of limitations in rape cases

The Bill Cosby rape allegations have fueled the expected calls to eliminate statutes of limitations in sex offenses.

The allegations against Cosby are alarming. That the women speaking out have chosen to wait until it is likely too late even to consider prosecuting him for the alleged crimes raises complicated issues -- issues about their motivations in failing to report the alleged misdeeds in a timely fashion. Would they be "ready" to report their ordeals to law enforcement now, if they were permitted to do so?  Or have they made a decision not to report their ordeals to law enforcement under any circumstances? If the latter, should this be acceptable be society?

These are thorny questions, and we don't have the answers. We do know this: the Cosby allegations do not counsel in favor of eliminating statutes of limitations for sex offenses.

Christine Flowers has an excellent column on this issue here.

Statutes of limitations in criminal cases are designed to protect the innocent, and, yes, sometimes they protect the guilty but not because we want them to. The longer an accuser waits to lodge a complaint, the more difficult it is to fairly defend against it. The horror stories of the repressed memories witch hunts are examples of what can occur. In rape cases, there is a national trend to lengthen or eliminate statutes of limitations entirely. This is a concern to the criminal defense bar, the ACLU, and many others.

Feminist legal scholar Aya Gruber explained the necessity of statutes of limitations in sex cases here.

The ACLU has explained the necessity for statutes of limitations in sex cases:
. . . lost in the consideration of these proposals were the compelling reasons to have a statute of limitations, including protecting the falsely accused person who could be charged with one of these crimes.

The statute of limitations provides important safeguards designed to permit the prosecution and the defense to present a case before the evidence goes stale. Prosecution within a few years of the crime allows a defendant to confront the accuser, and allows the defendant to call witnesses and prepare a defense. As time elapses between the crime and the trial, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for the defendant to prepare a meaningful defense – memories are lost, witnesses have died and exculpatory evidence is no longer available.

Criminal defendants are presumed innocent, and the prosecution must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In highly emotional cases, however, juries usually presume that the defendant is guilty, otherwise he or she would not have been charged with a crime. This dynamic makes it exceedingly difficult for an innocent person to mount a defense decades after the crime occurred.
Every lawyer knows that one's ability to defend against most claims diminishes with the passage of time. “The statute of limitations is more important in sex cases than really in almost any other,” said defense attorney Gail Meyer, “and the reason is: innocent law abiding citizens engage in sex, all day long … And that’s not so with other crimes. Innocent law-abiding citizens do not engage in burglaries. If you find some one’s fingerprint on the inside of a stranger’s house that’s a pretty good indication they shouldn’t have been there. And if they were to be prosecuted 25 years later, it would be difficult for the defendant to suggest that he had a reason to be in some stranger’s house. …. If you eliminate the limitation period entirely, you are robbing the defendant of the ability to re-create the circumstances of that event.”

Is it fair, or just, to prosecute a man 50 years after an alleged rape? How about 40 years?

What are the practical implications if an innocent man is accused of raping an acquaintance ten, or twenty-five, or even fifty years ago? In all likelihood, the man’s accuser would assert that the supposed act occurred on a specific date, at a specific place, and she would paint a vivid picture of the supposed surrounding circumstances of the sexual encounter. She would justify her ability to remember with specificity by the supposed trauma she experienced.

In contrast, the innocent man’s memory will have faded to the point that he likely would have no recollection of even where he was at the time in question; whether he was out of town with the high school basketball team; sick in bed with the flu; away visiting grandma; whether he or she were drinking; what they might have discussed; where they went or with whom they interacted prior to and after the supposed sexual encounter. In fact, the most an innocent man might be able to honestly assert is, "I would never rape a woman and did not do what she alleges, but I have no clear recollection of the night in question."

He almost certainly would have long ago destroyed any evidence proving he was somewhere else at the time of the alleged act (for example, he would have discarded calendars, plane tickets showing he was out of town, credit card invoices showing he ate at some out-of-town restaurant, and any other tangible evidence that would exonerate him). He almost certainly would have destroyed any evidence showing a consensual relationship with his accuser (e.g., love letters or cards, voice mails, emails or text messages). Alibi witnesses likely will have disappeared or even died.

In short, an innocent man hauled into court on rape charges ten, twenty-five, even fifty years after the alleged act would be like the warrior of old entering battle stripped of his shield and sword. His ability to defend the charges would be decimated by the passage of time.

When it comes to sex cases, unfortunately, mob rule prevails, and state after state after has extended or eliminated statutes of limitations for these crimes. Note that there is no similar public outcry to eliminate statutes of limitations in cases involving false allegations of rape.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A lesson of Ferguson: public outcries have no place in our criminal justice system

Writing as someone who understood the jury's decision to acquit O.J. Simpson in the "trial of the century" -- the feelings of distrust of law enforcement on the part of the black community were eye-opening to many white Americans, and those feelings persist to this day -- I have no reason to assume that the grand jury in Ferguson failed to act in good faith in making its decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

I also appreciate, and applaud, the comments of prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who said that decisions in the justice system should not be based on a “public outcry" or made "for political expediency.” That's exactly what this blog preaches. Black males are the most frequent victims of unwarranted public outcries (if you need examples, you can start here and here), but the same principles must be evenhandedly applied when white police officers are accused of crimes after shooting black males in self-defense. Public outcries have no place in our criminal justice system, and the grand jury is to be commended for not kowtowing to the impulse to appease the mob.

As between "survivors" and accusers, Jessica Valenti says "we need to side with the survivors"

In a liveblog of the recent debate between Jessica Valenti and Wendy McElroy at Brown, a questioner suggested that the conversation had become unnecessarily adversarial with some supporting the accuser and others supporting the accused.

Valenti responded, “. . . in the society we live in now, we need to side with the survivors. That might not be a fair and equal thing, but that’s how I think it has to be."

This sums up why we need this blog. The very notion that we need to "side" with an accuser (and, sorry, Valenti, accusers are not necessarily "survivors") over an accused is twisted beyond all measure and turns long-settled principles of justice on their head (see, e.g., here). But Valenti is merely mouthing the motivating impulse of the Department of Education's draconian sexual assault policies. The government's hostility to college men accused of sexual assault is palpable.

We've written extensively about Valenti previously. (For example, here.)  She's an endless source of material for this blog.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Police: Conn. woman falsely accused KSC student of rape

KEENE — A Connecticut woman was arrested on a charge she falsely reported she was raped by a fellow Keene State College student, pllice said.

The alleged rape was reported on Nov. 1, when police were called to the Cheshire Hospital emergency room where Danielle M. Greene, 18, of Stoddard Road, Lakeside, Conn., was being treated.

Detectives interviewed Greene a number of times, viewed video surveillance from the college and interviewed the accused male student as well as other witnesses.

Police said the investigation determined Greene had falsely reported the rape.

As a result, she was arrested Friday and charged with making a false report to law enforcement, a misdemeanor.

Her bail is $5,000 personal recognizance, pending a Jan. 5 arraignment in 8th Circuit Court - Keene District Division.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20141121/NEWS03/141129717

Bill Cosby and the Statute of Limitations

Read Christine Flowers' piece here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"This is the most visual manifestation of patriarchal privilege": men spreading their legs as they sit on the subway

The fact that this is all they have to complain about might tell us that gender equality, more or less, has been achieved. And that they are loons.

Friday, November 21, 2014

In the wake of the indictment of college sex tribunals by 28 Harvard law professors, it's suddenly become respectable to champion the rights of college men

For the first time in recent years -- since long before the Dept. of Education's draconian "Dear Colleague" letter in April 2011 -- it has become respectable to champion the due process rights of college men accused of sexual assault.

On October 15, 2014, a letter was published in the Boston Globe signed by 28 Harvard law professors that voiced strong objections to the school's one-sided, feminist-inspired sexual misconduct policies. At the time, we said: "This letter is the single most important statement to date about American colleges' hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of sexual misconduct." All of a sudden, this became a hot issue. Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, told Time Magazine "Harvard's policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense." Then, he clarified his opposition to Harvard's sexual assault policies: “It’s really not a criticism of Harvard,” he said. “It’s a criticism of the federal government. It’s a criticism of the Obama administration.” He added: “These rules are written to preclude a defense” for accused students.

And that was only the beginning. In the past week, we've seen the floodgates open. Finally.

The New York Times suddenly discovered there's another side to the story in New Factor in Campus Sexual Assault Cases: Counsel for the Accused

That one followed quickly on the heels of Yale law professor Jed Rubenfeld's indictment of the system in the Times, Mishandling Rape

David Bernstein in the Washington Post has a perceptive piece called Three questions about the legality of the Obama Administration’s anti-sexual assault on campus policies

The Daily Azetec takes issue with the "yes means yes" law in Consent bill hinders judicial rights

Law student Michael Shammas has a surprisingly perceptive piece in Huffington Post: To Harvard and Other Universities: In Protecting Students From Sexual Assault, Don't Disregard Due Process

In the Stanford Daily, Neil Chaudhary says the system is broken: Realigning universities’ paralegal sexual assault systems

The Star-Ledger has an excellent editorial: College sex crime investigations violate rights of men, too

In the Wesleyan Argus, Bryan Stascavage has some interesting ideas as he calls for schools to take a balanced approach in UNDERSTANDING TITLE IX: ADDRESSING MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT

In the Diamondback, Patrick An paints a frightening picture of injustice in A fair judicial system cannot be forgotten: The revised Sexual Misconduct Policy contains potential legal injustices

Gil Smart has a humorous take on the hysterics in connection with the Jessica Valenti-Wendy McElroy debate" Assaulted by an opinion. We wrote about that debate here.

The Australian has a biting piece on feminist excesses: Women’s lib no longer on agenda of today’s authoritarian feminists

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Feminists condemn Wendy McElroy for taking a position that mirrors RAINN's

This is how nutty it's gotten on the campuses of our vaunted institutions of higher learning: Jessica Valenti debated Wendy McElroy at Brown University on “How Should Colleges Handle Sexual Assault?” and the Brown student newspaper called McElroy controversial.

Why is McElroy "controversial"? Because, the newspaper says, McElroy believes that “sexual assault is the work of small numbers of predatory individuals whose behaviors are impervious to the culture and values of their communities.”

The school's president, a woman named Christina Paxson, chimed in by saying "she disagrees with arguments made by people like McElroy that 'sexual assault is the work of small numbers of predatory individuals whose behaviors are impervious to the culture and values of their communities.'”

Excuse me while I bang my head against the wall.

McElroy's position is, in fact, consistent with the one touted by Dr. David Lisak, arguably the most respected authority on rape in the feminist community. Dr. Lisak says that over 90 percent of all rapes are committed by serial rapists. Their crimes are purposeful and planned, and only a small percentage of young men would ever cross the line. If Paxson et al. have facts to refute Dr. Lisak, they would do well to advance them. Otherwise, they would do well to shut the hell up.

McElroy's position is also consistent with the one touted by RAINN, the nation's leading anti-rape organization. Earlier this year, RAINN debunked the "rape culture" meme: "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime." RAINN decried the "inclination to focus on particular . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape." RAINN cited the work of Dr. David Lisak. Natually, Valenti had a conniption.

You see, McElroy is "controversial" because she won't blame maleness for the heinous crimes committed by a small percentage of men. McElroy is "controversial" because she refuses to tout memes that are purposefully gender-divisive (not to mention incorrect) and that actually set back the cause of survivors by turning off potential allies in the war on rape.

So you tell me: how extreme is Brown University's president, Ms. Paxson, when she parrots Jessica Valenti and goes against a position touted by Dr. David Lisak and RAINN?

Brown student Dana Schwartz who helped organize the debate, said this: “We have to be aware that people outside of Brown have opinions that we might find highly unpalatable, and I think instead of silencing opinions, by listening and understanding how to deconstruct and debate them effectively, that’s the best thing a Brown student can do.” (Apparently, by attending the debate, the young feminists honed their skills at "deconstructing" positions accepted by well-respected people but that aren't sufficiently extreme and divisive.) Before the event, Brown student Katherine Byron said that attending the event and listening to the debate might be "triggering" or "really hurtful to me.’”

As for the actual debate, Robby Soave has a typically brilliant piece, and I won't repeat what he wrote. A short summary: McElroy explained: “I was raped and brutally so … I did not blame society. I did not blame the culture. I blamed the man who raped me.” For her part, Valenti chuckled at the notion that alcohol is the problem and addressed how students might move forward in eliminating rape and sexual assault on campus. “Stopping someone from telling a rape joke or saying they got ‘raped’ by a test” would be a start, Valenti said. (Got it: Women drinking themselves to oblivion: perfectly okay; men telling "rape jokes": that somehow falls on a rape continuum.

Valenti also weighed in on the Columbia and Barnard College students who have recently written the names of accused student rapists on the walls of their schools’ buildings, Valenti said: “While I can’t officially suggest that you vandalize school property, I’m not against radical action.”  Of course not, Valenti.

This position is entirely consistent with the gender get-evenism that is at the heart of extreme feminism: it's perfectly acceptable to fight injustice with more injustice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jessica Valenti brands Yale law prof. who expresses concerns about wrongful sexual assault claims a rape apologist

Jessica Valenti has exiled herself from the adult table on the subject of sexual assault. As regular readers know, Valenti  has a fetish for writing things about rape that are, by any rational measure, inane. Her latest piece will not disappoint her sycophants: she brands respected Yale law professor Jed Rubenfeld a rape apologist for having the temerity to be even-handed and rational on the subject of campus sexual assault. She says that Prof. Rubenfeld and his ilk are "a bunch of adult men (and a few women) worrying themselves to death that a few college-aged men might have to find a new college to attend."

Valenti's suggestion that Professor Rubenfeld is somehow protecting rapists is both downright laughable and downright hateful. If there are feminists of good will who give a damn that Valenti's childishness engenders disrepute of their movement, they need to denounce this monstrous accusation, or they should stop wondering why so few people -- including so few women -- identify as feminist. It is mind-boggling that these folks don't understand that their hostility to due process makes them look like monsters and nutcases.

David Bernstein of the Washington Post and FIRE's Susan Kruth explain why Prof. Rubenfeld's piece is helpful to the public discourse. Rubenfeld's is but the latest serious voice to enter the conversation on this issue in recent weeks. Last month, a letter was published in the Boston Globe signed by 28 Harvard law professors, virtually all them liberals, voicing strong objections to the school's one-sided, feminist-inspired sexual misconduct policies. Professor Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, said that his school's policy "was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense." This week, Prof. Dershowitz made it clear that his criticism extends beyond Harvard Yard and is meant to indict the Obama administration's college sex policies. Prof. John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, said that illegals crossing the border have more rights than college men accused of rape. The American Association of University Professors criticized the Department of Education's mandate that schools use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard -- the lowest in our jurisprudence -- for college disciplinary proceedings involving sexual assault. The AAUP said the higher "clear and convincing evidence" standard isn't just preferable, it is "necessary" in order to insure that students are afforded the due process they are entitled.

But to extremist feminist pundits like Valenti, even to raise concerns about these issues is rape apology. This is exactly what the lunatic fringe of the feminist movement does best: it shuts down discussion by reducing to vile caricature anyone who expresses concern about wrongful rape claims or the absence of due process in college sex tribunals. See, e.g.here and here.

Newsflash: it's not either/or. Society can, and should, battle sexual assault without making due process a casualty of the war on rape. Rape is not acceptable, and wrongful expulsions are not acceptable collateral damage in the war on rape. We don't require fairness in tribunals to protect rapists but the innocent. Blackstone's Formulation is foundational to our jurisprudence, but radical feminists seem to think it has no application to sexual assault. Every civilized society must strive to eradicate heinous criminality by punishing offenders, but it also must insure that the innocent aren't punished with them.

Robby Soave said it best: "People who oppose the death penalty do not sympathize with murderers. Critics of U.S. drone warfare policy are not on the side of the terrorists. Most self-identifying liberals understand this. So why do feminist liberals smear every person who dissents from their extreme, unhelpful, and legally dubious positions on preventing rape as a rape apologist?" Soave says that Valenti's piece is but "the most recent and infuriating example of this contemptible, authoritarian demonization campaign."  Soave offers Valenti some sound advise: "How about this, Valenti: If you can't talk about rape without attempting to shut down the discussion about how to actually prevent rape, maybe you are the one who shouldn't talk about it."

Valenti's hatefulness is manifested when she trivializes the victimization of the wrongly accused. To her, expulsion for a wrongful rape claim just means "a few college-aged men might have to find a new college to attend." In fact, expulsion for a wrongful rape claim can be a life-altering punishment. Cornell's Prof. Cynthia Bowman said this: “The consequences for someone expelled for sexual assault are enormous and will follow him throughout his life, leading to rejection by other schools, inability to qualify for the bar and a great deal of stigma. To impose those consequences on someone requires a rigorous standard of proof and many due process protections to ensure fairness.” Brett Sokolow, probably the most prominent victim's advocate on American campuses, has expressed concern that "a lot of colleges now are expelling and suspending people they shouldn’t, for fear they’ll get nailed on Title IX.” He, too, points out that the stakes are high for students expelled for sexual assault: expelled students no longer automatically have the option of just registering at another school. Nowadays, schools share information, which makes that problematic, so students who are expelled have a lot more at stake.

In the shadow of the hanging trees of the Old South, those who were sympathetic to lynchings maligned those who denounced the absence of due process as victim blamers. As one lynching sympathizer explained, the folks who called for due process never “say[ ] or do[ ] anything to discourage the crime which provoked” the lynchings in the first place. Indeed, these “fanatics . . . have assailed the victims of the brute’s lust . . . .”

But why am I not surprised by Valenti's extremism? Valenti, of course, believes that rape is normal for even decent men: "Rape is part of our culture; it's normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it's wrong. And that's what terrifies me." Along those lines, Valenti recently tweeted agreement with Socialist Michael Laxer's epiphany that "all men" are responsible for the bad things that happen to women. Laxer clucked: "There are no 'good guys,'" and that men, as a class, "are responsible."

Never mind that even feminist darling Dr. David Lisak instructs that rape is committed by a small group of repeat-offender sociopaths and that "the vast majority [of men] would never commit rape." Never mind that America's leading anti-rape organization, RAINN, recently distanced itself from the "rape culture" meme in a letter to the White House. "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime," it wrote. The "unfortunate" tendency to blame "rape culture" for sexual assault, RAINN wrote, "has led to an inclination to focus on . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape."

Given her world-view about men, it's little wonder that Valenti has suggested America follow the lead of Sweden, where "some activists and legal experts . . . want to change the law there so that the burden of proof is on the accused; the alleged rapist would have to show that he got consent, instead of the victim having to prove that she didn’t give it.” In other words, the act of lovemaking that has gone on around the world countless times a day since the beginning of time would be presumptively rape any time a woman cries rape -- guilty until proven innocent.

And remember when Valenti weighed in on the ancient debate about whether Woody Allen raped a woman? She implied that "we know" Woody Allen is guilty of rape because other women -- who have no relevance whatsoever to the facts of Woody's Allen's case or the parties involved -- have been abused by other men. A fortiori, this woman was abused by Woody Allen. The irrationality, the childishness, is jaw-dropping.

And we can't forget that Valenti recently mocked the efforts of the mothers who started FACE, the organization that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. This is one nasty woman.

The feminist community needs to join rational voices who are denouncing Valenti's brand of hate and '70s gender get-evenism.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Prof. Dershowitz: Obama administration sexual assault policies "are written to preclude a defense” for accused students

Prof. Alan Dershowitz, a titan of criminal jurisprudence, clarified his opposition to Harvard's sexual assault policies.

“It’s really not a criticism of Harvard,” he said. “It’s a criticism of the federal government. It’s a criticism of the Obama administration.”

“These rules are written to preclude a defense” for accused students, he said.

Read more here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The grotesque injustice to Josh Strange

The college anti-rape advocates don't want you to know that there's another side to the story, a side they pretend doesn't exist. But it does exist, and Josh Strange's story exemplifies it. Read it here.

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." Earlier this year, NCHERM's Brett Sokolow, a feminist who who has done more for sexual assault victims on campus than anyone, cautioned colleges that when a man and a woman engage in mutually tipsy sex, the school can't single out the guy for discipline. That's discrimination. Sokolow also said that in "a lot" of cases, "the campus is holding the male accountable in spite of the evidence – or the lack thereof – because they think they are supposed to, and that doing so is what OCR wants."

Lest the usual suspects accuse us of "rape apology," please know that we have made the point on this blog that it is critical for law enforcement to take rape seriously to avoid the inevitable public outcry when they don't. As we explained, "prosecutors who turn a blind eye to rape are no friends of the wrongly accused."

But the pendulum has swung too far. Colleges are cowering and kowtowing to public outcries from women's groups, and now many are on a witch hunt to expel as many of our sons as they can when they are accused of sexual assault. Innocents like Josh Strange are suffering because of it. To quote Arthur Miller, attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

Please visit FACE's site here.  Jessica Valenti, no friend of the presumption of innocence, mocked the efforts of  the mothers who started FACE, and that's reason enough to support FACE.

"All men" are responsible for the bad things that happen to women

"All men" are responsible for the bad things that happen to women, writes Socialist Michael Laxer. "This is a very uncomfortable and inconvenient truth," Laxer clucks, "there are no 'good guys,'" and men, as a class, "are responsible."

Like so many bien pensant gender extremists who are happy to reduce "men" as a class to vile caricature, Laxer has no concern that his "masculinity-needs-to-be-reconstructed" meme engenders disrepute of feminism. He seems happy enough just preaching to the choir of like-minded nitwits who assume the vast middle class is overflowing with unenlightened misogynists.

Because so many men supposedly reacted defensively to Laxer's stupidity (I mean, what a vast readership Laxer must have!), Laxer penned this train-wreck of an explanation. If you can get beyond the first few insipid paragraphs, your tolerance threshold for stupidity is probably way too high.

Laxer's embarrassing school boy white-knight-ism isn't worthy of any, much less any serious, refutation. Let's just ask ourselves, who agrees with Laxer's sort of nonsense, and who disagrees.

Let's take America's leading anti-rape organization, RAINN. Even RAINN recently distanced itself from the "rape culture" meme in a letter to the White House. "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime," according to RAINN. The "unfortunate" tendency to blame "rape culture" for sexual assault, RAINN wrote, "has led to an inclination to focus on . . . traits that are common in many millions of law-abiding Americans (e.g., 'masculinity'), rather than on the subpopulation at fault: those who choose to commit rape."

But, of course, Jessica Valenti agrees with Laxer. Valenti's singular, jaw-dropping idiocy speaks for itself, and if Jessica Valenti supports Laxer's piece, that, in itself, is a strong indication that Laxer's piece should not be taken seriously.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Add these to the Misandry Hall of Fame

This year has witnessed a plethora of disturbing comments by influential mainstream feminists and progressives manifesting hostility to due process when it comes to men accused of sexual assault:

Amanda Childress, Sexual Assault Awareness Program coordinator at Dartmouth College, declared that campus policies aren't going far enough to protect students. She asked: "Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation?Dartmouth defended Childress's comment, noting that she "was asking a question—a provocative one—meant to generate dialogue around complex issues . . . .”

Ms. Magazine quoted Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College on suits filed by men for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

California’s new “affirmative consent” law requires "affirmative" consent at each step of a sexual encounter. The co-author of the bill in the state assembly, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent. She said: “Your guess is as good as mine."

Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classified persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place called persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contained this query: "Below is a list of policies and procedures that may discourage victims from disclosing and reporting assaults at some schools . . . . 1. Disclosure of offender’s rights in the adjudication process . . . ." The implication: it is somehow improper to insure that students accused of serious sexual offenses are aware of their rights.

A jury acquitted former Dartmouth student Parker Gilbert of raping a female student at the school in a "he said/she said" dispute. A juror told a reporter “(The woman’s) story of how the night played out, the evidence wasn’t there to support that." And: “There is tons and tons of evidence that just doesn’t add up.” But WISE, an organization that seeks to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, issued a formal statement: "Today’s decision in the Dartmouth rape trial of Parker Gilbert is devastating and there is no doubt that it sends a terrible message to survivors of sexual assault."

Duke University Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek was asked what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex. "Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek.

Jessica Valenti mocked the efforts of three mothers who started Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. Each of the three founders of FACE has been touched directly by campus rape injustice: their sons were ensnared by it.

Ezra Klein evinced satisfaction that possibly innocent young men will be expelled for rapes they didn't commit: "Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty D–n Sure."

Elisabeth Dee, Stanford class of 2016, one of the organizers of the “Carry that Weight” demonstration where students were urged to carry a pillow or mattress around for a day to symbolize the burden placed upon survivors of sexual assault, called on the school to reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault, which is already the lowest legally permissible, "preponderance of the evidence." Dee said that Stanford, should not be focusing on "defending the perpetrator, because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.”

Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, on why some colleges have pushed back against lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault cases to make it easier to hold young men accused of sexual assault: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

Anyone who fights for the rights of students accused of sexual assault is acting out of arrogance and ingrained male privilege

Laura Dunn, executive director of an organization called SurvJustice, has it all figured out why some colleges have pushed back against lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault cases to make it easier to hold young men accused of sexual assault -- both the guilty and the innocent -- responsible for the offense: "To put it bluntly, I think it's arrogance and ingrained male privilege . . . ."

Thank you, Ms. Dunn, for putting it bluntly. Finally, someone has explained it!

It couldn't possibly be that a few colleges, not to mention sincere people and organizations acting in good faith -- including FIRE and the American Association of University Professors -- have legitimate concerns about subjecting students accused of just one type of offense to a lower standard of proof that makes it easier not just to punish rapists but to get it wrong and punish an innocent student.

No, no, no. That couldn't possibly be it.

It couldn't possibly be that people of good will who are concerned about a campus culture that makes it too easy to wrongly expel their sons could simultaneously be concerned about a campus culture that makes it too easy for their daughters to be sexually assaulted.

You see, to properly advocate for rape victims, it is necessary to eschew dialogue, to scrap nuance, and to think in the starkest of black and whites. It is necessary to mock the mothers who started FACE; to off-handedly posit that 28 Harvard law professors who voiced strong objections to the school's one-sided sexual misconduct policies have a "disconnect" from reality and a "one dimensional focus on the rights of the individual accused"; to declare that keeping an open mind about a rape accusation is "rape apology"; and to assume that anyone who speaks out for the rights of the accused is a misogynist who must be branded a "victim blamer," demonized, and reduced to vile caricature.

To put it bluntly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Feminist wants campus crime alerts to be issued for accusations of acquaintance sexual assualt

Jennifer Freyd, who is paid to teach at the University of Oregon but who seems to inject herself into public disputes involving sexual assault, is not happy that her college only issues crime alerts -- which are supposed to be issued for cases involving serious or ongoing threat to the campus community -- for cases where an unknown rapist allegedly is on the loose.

It seems Ms. Freyd would have the school issue crime alerts every time a woman makes a sexual assault accusation, even after a drunken encounter where the accused's identity is known, even where no report has been made to law enforcement, and even where the facts are in dispute. See here.

Since campus crime alerts, more formally called "timely warnings," are supposed to provide sufficient information to promote safety against serious harm, does this mean that the name of the young man accused of acquaintance rape should also be included in the alert? It would seem necessary to include his name if, in fact, a "timely warning" is warranted and it is to have its intended effect. The implication is that a young man accused of sexual assault after a drunken encounter with an acquaintance automatically would have his reputation destroyed on the basis of an accusation while, of course, the accuser's identity would be shielded. It's Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" with the genders reversed.

Ms. Freyd and some female doctoral students want "timely warnings" to be issued for acquaintance sexual assault accusations because, they posit, the current practice may lead to misguided assumptions about the crime. “Unfortunately, providing alerts about only certain types of sexual assault (such as dark alley assaults) while ignoring more common sexual assaults (often off campus at parties, for example) leads to a misunderstanding among students and the community about both the prevalence and locale of sexual assaults,” said Ms. Freyd in an email.

Get it? "Timely warnings" are teachable moments, less about providing needed information to insure safety from serious harm and more about promoting a feminist Nirvana on campus where every sexual assault accusation is automatically believed and is deemed a serious and ongoing threat to the community -- even if the accuser (in feminist parlance, the "survivor") doesn't think it's sufficiently serious to take it to the police, and even if the accused might, in fact, be innocent.

Freyd and her posse have already achieved one great PC triumph: "timely warnings" no longer encourage people to keep their distance from strangers. Instead they state that “no action or inaction by a crime survivor makes that person responsible for his or her victimization.” Isn't that great? Why use "timely warnings" to, you know, promote safety when you can parrot feminist mantras instead?

When will persons of good will stand up and say "enough!"? One commentator wrote this "the level of absurdity surrounding the sexual violence discussion is starting to hit critical mass. . . . The debate . . . is hitting a point in which people are wanting changes where no change is needed, or should occur. In an article posted in the Ol’ Dirty, there was a complaint that campus crime alerts are reinforcing rape myths. This is ridiculous and can be added to the long list of absurd claims made by people that have somehow become the gate keepers of sexual assault prevention." And this: "Using the crime alerts to announce events in which the accused predator is known violates the whole premise of innocent till proven guilty and due process. I realize this is not a big deal to those in academia."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Former Yale students reveals how Yale's sexual assault policy nearly ruined his life

Patrick Witt reveals how Yale's sexual assault policy nearly ruined his life. Read it here.

If you don't remember Witt, read about him here and here and here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

College anti-rape advocate wants to do away with burden of proof when students are accused of sexual assault

Stanford student Elisabeth Dee, class of 2016, one of the organizers of a demonstration called “Carry that Weight” where students were urged to carry a pillow or mattress around for a day to symbolize the burden placed upon survivors of sexual assault, has called on the school to actively reduce the burden of proof required to find someone guilty of sexual assault. Stanford already uses the lowest burden of proof legally permissible, "preponderance of the evidence," and young men now have fewer rights in college sex tribunals than illegals crossing the border, but for Dee, that's too many. She proceeded to mouth a hostility to due process that may be unprecedented in this blog's reporting, and that's saying a lot.

Stanford, Dee clucked, "puts so much emphasis on the burden of proof." The school should not be focusing on "defending the perpetrator, because essentially burden of proof is a defense of the perpetrator.” Dee continued: “No one should have to" prove they've been raped. "You should take people at their word because nobody would lie about this kind of painful experience.” (Both the article and Dee use the term "burden of proof" when it appears they really mean "standard of proof.")

Dee obviously is terribly unschooled in notions of fairness that are foundational to our traditions of justice, notions that pre-date both our Constitution and even Magna Carta. We have standards of proof not to protect the guilty but the innocent. Dee says they aren't necessary because an accusation of sexual assault is as good as a conviction, an echo of the warped feminist mantra that women don't lie about rape, a meme as inane and as wrong as "she asked for it." The fact is, Stanford ought to raise it's burden for sexual assault, given the life-altering consequences of  rape lies and wrongful expulsions, and Stanford's student newspaper ought to condemn her comments instead of printing them without comment.

Let's rip off the scab and reveal an ugly pus: Dee's misandry is about par for the course when mainstream feminists and progressives talk about sexual assault. The following comments are from this year alone, and they weren't made by outlier nutcases who have a blog but no job:

Amanda Childress, Sexual Assault Awareness Program coordinator at Dartmouth College, declared that campus policies aren't going far enough to protect students. She asked: "Why could we not expel a student based on an allegation?Dartmouth defended Childress's comment, noting that she "was asking a question—a provocative one—meant to generate dialogue around complex issues for which answers are necessary to continue to strengthen and promote fair and equitable processes at all colleges and universities.”

Ms. Magazine quoted Caroline Heldman, a professor at Occidental College on suits filed by men for alleged violations of their due process rights in connection with sexual assault claims: "These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape."

California’s new “affirmative consent” law would require consent at every step of a sexual encounter. The co-author of the bill in the Assembly, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, was asked how an innocent person is supposed to prove consent. She said: “Your guess is as good as mine."

A petition to ban a statue of a sleepwalking man at Wellesley College said the statue was "a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community," and "a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students." Zoe Magid, a Wellesley College junior, said this about the statue ". . . it's making students on campus feel unsafe . . . ."

Sen. Claire McCaskill circulated an extensive survey about sexual assault to 350 college and university presidents. The survey classifies persons who make accusations of sexual misconduct as “victims,” and in one place calls persons merely accused of sexual misconduct “offenders.” Then on page 14, it contains this query: "Below is a list of policies and procedures that may discourage victims from disclosing and reporting assaults at some schools . . . . 1. Disclosure of offender’s rights in the adjudication process . . . ." The implication: it is somehow improper to insure that students accused of serious sexual offenses are aware of their rights.

A jury acquitted former Dartmouth student Parker Gilbert of raping a female student at the school in a "he said/she said" dispute. A juror told a reporter “(The woman’s) story of how the night played out, the evidence wasn’t there to support that." And: “There is tons and tons of evidence that just doesn’t add up.” But WISE, an organization that seeks to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence, issued a formal statement: "Today’s decision in the Dartmouth rape trial of Parker Gilbert is devastating and there is no doubt that it sends a terrible message to survivors of sexual assault."

Duke University Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek was asked what would happen if two students got drunk to the point of incapacity, and then had sex. "Assuming it is a male and female, it is the responsibility in the case of the male to gain consent before proceeding with sex," said Wasiolek.

Jessica Valenti ridiculed the efforts of three mothers who started Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) that seeks to raise awareness about the injustices faced by presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual misconduct. Each of the three founders of FACE has been touched directly by campus rape injustice: their sons were ensnared by it.

Ezra Klein evinced satisfaction that possibly innocent young men will be expelled for rapes they didn't commit: "Critics worry that colleges will fill with cases in which campus boards convict young men (and, occasionally, young women) of sexual assault for genuinely ambiguous situations. Sadly, that’s necessary for the law’s success. It’s those cases — particularly the ones that feel genuinely unclear and maybe even unfair, the ones that become lore in frats and cautionary tales that fathers e-mail to their sons — that will convince men that they better Be Pretty D–n Sure."

Elisabeth Dee didn't call for accused rapists to be hanged, and there was no racial animus to her rant, but her disdain for due process is an echo of the lynch mobs at the hanging trees of the Old South. This hostility to due process is something that advocates against sexual violence, including mainstream feminist writers and bloggers, tolerate without significant complaint. They would do well to read the history of the deep south. Underlying the defense of lynchings of black men and boys for rape was the assumption that rape accusers were “victims” just because they said so. The hangman and his sympathizers had no doubts about the guilt of the men and boys hanged –“their guilt was clear in every instance,” clucked one writer. Due process wasn’t just unnecessary to the fair administration of justice when rape was alleged, it was a hindrance to the fair administration of justice. The criminal justice system was “incapable” of meting out the punishment that was needed. The motivating impulse of the lynch mob was that the system could not adequately respond to rape by black men. As one lynching symptathizer put it, lynchings “are extraordinary measures demanded by extraordinary occasions.”

Sound familiar? See the quotes above. Battling injustice with injustice that puts innocents at risk is something all people of good will -- including feminists -- ought to condemn. Sadly, they won't.

As for Elisabeth Dee's assertion that women don't lie about rape -- well, that's simply wrong. Some women do lie about rape. These are some of the stories in the recent news:

A 20-year-old woman has been jailed for six years after she falsely accused a man of rape that led a gang to beat him to death. A woman was jailed for a false rape claim that caused a young man to be arrested and to have his life unravel.

A 23-year-old mother was charged with obstructing justice and making a false rape report after lying that she'd been raped when she was really having sex with her boyfriend and another man.

Texas Tech police say a female student admitted to making false statements about a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in September.

Another student -- a 20-year-old -- has been charged with lying about rape.

A woman who falsely claimed her friend's son had raped her in Aberdeen has been jailed.

A 24-year-old woman is accused of false reporting to police that she had been violently raped while sitting in her car in a park -- the police uncovered a Craigslist ad where the woman solicited men to "rape" her.

A woman lied that a police officer sexually assaulted her.

In Canada, a complaint by a 37-year-old woman that she’d been sexually assaulted was found to have no validity.

A woman was sentenced to probation and community service last month after making a false report about a home invasion and sexual assault.

Another woman pled guilty to lying about an abduction and sexual assault.

And we have given up reporting on India -- the Rape Crisis Cell of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) says that more than half of the rape cases registered with the women’s panel between April 2013 and July 2014 were found to be false.