Monday, February 29, 2016

Biden at the Oscars: Bystanders have the responsibility to stop rape

Vice President Biden stopped by the Oscars last night to talk about campus rape, and he urged everyone to take this pledge: "I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given."

It's all part of the administration's "It's on us" campaign, which is premised on absolving young women of responsibility for their own well-beings when it comes to sexual assault (because that would be "victim blaming"). The animating impulse of the war on campus rape is to treat college women like children and college men like predators-in-waiting.

So, who should we blame for rape? Well, even the White House knows that rapists aren't moved by public service announcements, so there's no use targeting them.

But, you see, the White House wants to do a sexual assault public service announcement of some kind, so there's only group to go after: innocent bystanders. Yep. Especially young men. They have the responsibility to stop rape and to rescue tipsy damsels-in-distress from predators.

Unlike any other crime, it is verboten to remind potential sexual assault victims to exercise the kind of caution that is nothing more than common sense. If we can't insist women keep themselves safe, we can insist that the their friends, especially their male friends who would never dream of committing rape, assume responsibility for their well-being.

Do you see what's wrong with this picture?

'Snow penis' outside college residence hall reported as a 'bias incident'

In Baghdad, a news report tells us ISIS killed more than 70 people in its latest bombing--just another atrocity from a group that stones innocents to death, burns them alive, crucifies and beheads them, and flings gay men off tall buildings for sport. In Northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram, another Islamic extremist group, continues its rampage--it routinely massacres, tortures, abducts and rapes innocents. In North Korea, the nuclear ambitions of its unstable and ruthless dictator have been realized: North Korea can now strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear missiles.

But those atrocities are insignificant to someone at the University of Michigan: a Hall Director has reported a giant snow penis outside a residence hall as a "bias-incident."

You read that right. Bias-incidents, according to the Student Life Website, are “incidents that make people feel targeted because of their social identity group membership.” And what could be more offensive or triggering than a giant white penis? According to Student Life, “after a bias incident occurs, staff focus on rebuilding trust in the community, restoring relationships, repairing harm, and fostering healthy communication.”

I would need to be Shakespeare to be able to describe the stupidity at work here. The incident does remind us of the most famous "snow penis" incident on campus. Flashback to Harvard, February 11, 2003. A few male members of the Harvard crew team decided to have some fun in the snow, but they didn't want to just build a snowman. For Ivy League over-achievers, what could be more enjoyable than spending an hour with your buddies constructing a 9-foot-6-inch tall snow phallus? A crew member came up with the idea as a way for a few guys on the team to “hang out together” outside of practice. The young men did it for fun, with no motive more profound than to perform "a junior high prank."

But within hours after its erection (well, you think of a better word!), two women tore it down, and "women’s groups . . . led a chorus of complaints against the snow penis, arguing that such a display is demeaning to women."

Women’s Studies Lecturer Diane L. Rosenfeld, who taught Women, Violence and the Law, wrote that the public space where the ice sculpture was erected "should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability.” (Yes, she wrote that. Wait, it gets worse.) She explained that the snow penis follows a long line of public phallic symbols, including the Washington Monument and missiles. “Women do not need to be reminded of the power of the symbol of the male genitalia,” Rosenfeld declared. (Salon later quipped: "The Crimson makes [Rosenfeld] sound like a Lampoon parody of a feminist scholar.") Ms. Rosenfeld recently made an appearance in the film "The Hunting Ground."

Amy E. Keel, who identified herself as a feminist, was one of the students who tore down the snow penis and proudly defended her right to do so. She analogized it to rape: "No one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent," she declared. "The unwanted image of an erect penis is an implied threat." The snow sculpture's "only purpose [was] to assert male dominance," and it "propagated the notion that women don’t really belong here. It . . . put us in our place.”

Based on Ms. Keel's comments, you might think the snow penis slid across Harvard Yard in icy pursuit as she fled in terror to avoid an unspeakable wintry encounter. Talk about frigidity.

If the boys had sculpted an image mocking Christianity, any attempt to destroy it would have been widely criticized on First Amendment grounds. But, alas, apparently, the First Amendment does not protect snow penises, so down it came.

There is a strain of insanity on the campuses of our vaunted institutions of higher learning. There, the chronically aggrieved do not take offense that gay men are flung off buildings for sport or that screaming innocents are burned alive by radical terrorists. They yawn that in Pyongyang, a madman is aiming nuclear weapons at us. No, these people have decided they are oppressed by crystalline ice floating from the clouds, and they've convinced themselves that college boys' bathroom humor is a "bias" and a "menacing reminder of women’s sexual vulnerability."

We are raising a generation of nitwits.

Friday, February 26, 2016

It is easier to believe that young men would rape a woman than to believe a woman would have unconventional sex

Yesterday we reported on a bizarre injustice where a woman had sex with with her father and five underage boys (one as young as 14) then falsely accused the boys of rape. The woman recanted, but the District Attorney won't charge her for statutory rape or for making a false rape claim. Beyond that, the DA singled out the boys' conduct and said it was "reprehensible and wrong."

The story is unconscionable on every conceivable level--read our post on it, but not on an empty stomach.

But here's a comment on it from someone at Reddit, and it underscores an anti-male bias, not to mention the hurdles the wrongly accused face:
. . . . I find the whole thing very odd. 
A young woman is having sex with her father in a park, and then a small pack of boys show up and take turns having consensual sex with her? 
My instincts hearing facts like that are that the woman is low intelligence - likely intellectually disabled. She's being abused by her father, and then a group of boys show up, and take advantage of the situation. 
Unless she's some kind of crazy nymphomaniac, how do we find consensual sex in these facts?
The writer is correct about one thing, the "whole thing [is] very odd." But as we explained in our post yesterday, the DA is a self-promoting crusader for women. It is most doubtful that he would have accepted the recantation if the woman had learning disabilities or had been incapacitated at the time of the sexual encounter.

At the heart of the comment is something troubling, even sinister. This writer--and, from our experience, a lot of people--are more willing to believe that a group of young men or boys would do the most heinous thing imaginable to a young woman than believe that a young woman would willingly engage in an unconventional sex act. We saw these same sorts of attitudes expressed in connection with the Hofstra case and in many others.

This sort of thinking is what give false rape accusers the ammunition they need to tell their lies. 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." Marcotte noted that "women who aren't ashamed of having sexual adventures like group sex-even ones that go bad-don't use rape accusations to cover up their choices. It's the women who are afraid they'll be called sluts if it gets out that make up these rape stories."

Is there any wonder why false accusers tell rape lies? They tell them because they know they will get away with them. As one pundit wrote about the Hofstra case where a woman had consensual sex with five men: she just knew that the young woman said "Stop it!," "I want to leave!" "Get off me!" and "Help!" This, despite the fact that the accuser in the Hofstra case never said any of those things--she engaged in consensual sex with a group of strangers then lied about to "explain" the encounter in case her boyfriend or others found out.

It makes the head spin. It's easier to believe that young men and boys would outright rape a woman--use another human being as their sexual plaything--than to believe the woman would dare engage in unconventional sex that "nice girls" don't engage in.

What a damning indictment of young men and boys.

Rubio out-Trumps Trump

Did you watch the debate last night? The next presidential election is important for the issues we write about, and it doesn't cut it to say, "none of them are any good!" That's just an excuse to let you go play video games or whatever you do in your spare time. In fact, two candidates--Senators Cruz and Rubio--likely would put an end to the Department of Education's institutionalized hostility to due process for men accused of college sexual assault.

Both men have been forced to endure Donald Trump's insults in the previous nine debates. Last night, both men said, "enough."

It was more like a professional wrestling match than a serious debate. In almost any other context, I would have been appalled by the conduct of Rubio and Cruz, but their conduct was fitting last night. For nine previous debates, we've had to endure the front runner hurling incivility after incivility at his fellow candidates--using accomplished people as punching bags, because they are too well-mannered to respond in kind. The most obvious example was Jeb Bush, the respected former governor of Florida who is a serious, earnest, and mild-mannered man. Trump was unmerciful to Jeb Bush, and last week, Gov. Bush dropped out of the race. His parents attended the debate last night. I was grateful that Donald Trump didn't insult them.

Last night, Rubio and Cruz decided they'd had enough of Trump. Cruz was flawless, as always--the best debater going. Rubio was given an opening to go after Trump early, and when Rubio gleefully unloaded on him (especially about health care, how Trump would be "selling watches" if his father hadn't left him $200 million, and Trump's bizarre penchant for repeating himself), it was George McFly decking Biff or Ralphie pummeling Scut Farkus--and it exposed Trump as someone not capable of discussing issues beyond 140 Twitter characters. When Rubio mocked Trump for repeating himself (something Rubio was derided for doing in a debate a few weeks ago), the laughter and applause was deafening. Rubio gave a bully a taste of his own medicine and out-Trumped Trump. Most important, he showed people who think "Nobody Messes With Trump" that, in fact, it's relatively easy to "mess" with a bully, if the bully is lacking in substance, and if you choose to go down the incivility route.

With that said, I am hoping the next debate allows the candidates ten minutes each to respond to questions. Trump likely will run out of Twitter-length sound bites in the first 20 seconds. Unless, of course, he starts repeating himself.

As for the issues pertinent to us: either Cruz or Rubio likely would be a marked improvement over what we have. As conservative talkmeister Rush Limbaugh has said, Cruz is the closest thing we will ever have in our lifetimes to Ronald Reagan. He's the most conservative guy running, and he happens to be brilliant. If anyone will roll back the witch hunt of college men by the Department of Education, it's Cruz.

For his part, Rubio is on record as saying he would swiftly move to end the Department of Education's assault on the due process rights of men accused of college sexual misconduct and, in fact, that he will enhance those same due process rights. He considers men wrongly accused to be "victims."  He calls the sexual grievance industry's statistics on sexual assault "overheated . . . and misleading." He opposes both “affirmative consent” (known as “Yes-means-yes”) as a national standard for campus sexual assault and the “preponderance of the evidence” mandate for campus disciplinary proceedings.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Woman had sex with underage boys, falsely accused them of rape, but the DA says the BOYS' conduct was 'reprehensible and wrong'

COMMENTARY ABOUT A DISTURBING NEWS STORY:

The news story I am posting below my commentary is among the more disturbing stories we've seen here lately, and that's saying a lot.

An 18-year-old female--a woman--had consensual sex with a group of boys, one of them was 14-years-old and two were 15, and she accused them of rape. The reprehensible New York Daily News called the boys "fiends" and the false accuser a "victim" on the basis of the accusation.

Then the woman recanted her rape claim, and the District Attorney said that he won't charge the boys.

If the story ended there, it would be bad enough. The problem is, the DA also said he won't charge the adult woman--for the rape lie or for statutorily raping boys.

Since the boys did not rape the woman, she's guilty of three counts of statutory rape under New York law. See here. Or does the DA think this law applies only when the rapist is male? The woman should also be charged for false reporting (it is just a misdemeanor in New York, unfortunately).

And then, as if to rub salt in the wound, the DA brazenly declared that what the boys did was "reprehensible and wrong." And after that, the news accounts of the story actually reported the names of THE VICTIMS--the underage boys--but not the false rape accuser, an adult woman.

Can anything else be wrong with this story?

Did I mention that the woman was also having sex with her father at the time of the sexual encounter?

Oh, one more thing: The DA, Kenneth Thompson, is the same attorney who represented Nafissatou Diallo--the maid who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her. We all know what happened in that case--it was a feminist media circus. The New York Times reported that Thompson declared: “'We take a stand for every woman around the world who has been raped or sexually assaulted and has been too afraid to speak out,' he announced in a grave baritone." Then the charges were dropped because, the former DA (the guy who had the job before Thompson) said, the evidence pointed to a "hurried sexual encounter" between Ms. Diallo and Mr. Strauss-Kahn, but did "not independently establish her claim of a forcible, nonconsensual encounter." (We wrote about that case a lot.) Mr. Thompson cares about women, that's for certain, but what about boys? Does he not also represent them? Or are they held to a different standard?

Reverse the genders here, folks, and is there any question how this would play out? The DA's reaction in blaming the victims was morally grotesque and unconscionable. The woman should be charged, period. The story reminds me of the injustices in the Hofstra false rape case. (By the way, even after the young men were proven to be innocent in the Hofstra case, a New York Daily News columnist said this about the young men: "They should stop their whimpering and apologize for acting like mutts.")

And just to set the record straight, regular readers know I am not condoning the sexual encounter that occurred here. I am merely pointing out that the woman should be charged for her crimes and the boys should be regarded as rape victims and as victims of a false rape claim.

The world has gone topsy-turvy, folks.

Here are the news reports:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Victory for college men in federal court: A college's attempt to comply with the "Dear Colleague" letter may be a breach of contract (among other things)

An explosive opinion was handed down by a federal court in Rhode Island on Monday, Doe v. Brown Univ., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21027 (D.R.I. Feb. 22, 2016). Judge William Smith refused to dismiss a complaint filed by a male student who was suspended from the school for 2.5 years after being found responsible for sexual misconduct in connection with the alleged sexually assault of a female student. John Doe claimed the encounter was entirely consensual. We won't chronicle the court's lengthy decision in detail, but a few things are noteworthy.

The court looked with a jaundiced eye at the way colleges handle allegations of sexual misconduct: ". . . there is a fundamental question whether the way in which universities have chosen to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct in response to the Dear Colleague Letter is appropriate given the criminal nature of some of the allegations involved . . . ." The court referenced the perceived backlash against male students created by the climate of guilt fostered by the "Dear Colleague" letter. It cited some writings familiar to our regular readers: See, e.g., Max Kutner, The Other Side of the College Sexual Assault Crisis, Newsweek (Dec. 10, 2015) and 28 Members of the Harvard Law School Faculty, Opinion, Rethink Harvard's Sexual Harassment Policy, The Boston Globe (Oct. 15, 2014),

The court noted: "'It is well established that a school's failure to prevent or remedy sexual harassment of a student, including sexual assault, may violate Title IX.' . . . . However, 'it is equally well established 'that Title IX bars the imposition of university discipline where gender is a motivating factor in the decision to discipline.'" The court proceeded to detail the male student's allegations to determine whether, if true, they stated a claim for which relief may be granted (which will allow the case against Brown to proceed to discovery). The court held that Doe has pled "facts sufficient to cast some articulable doubt on the accuracy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding." Among other things, John Doe alleged that Brown ignored exculpatory evidence, including the alleged victim's own testimony in the her complaint to the school that she had in fact articulated consent. Further, he has "allege[d] particular facts sufficient to cast some articulable doubt on the accuracy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding." Most important, he has alleged particular circumstances suggesting that gender bias was a motivating factor behind the erroneous finding. The court wrote:
Plaintiff's Complaint in this case does include specific allegations related to gender bias as opposed to bias against students accused of sexual assault. Specifically, the Complaint includes the following allegations concerning Brown's gender bias:

• Upon information and belief, one former Brown employee stated that Brown treats male students as "guilty, until proven innocent," that Brown has "loaded the dice against the boys" and that the fact-finding process in cases of sexual misconduct at Brown operates under the assumption that it's always the "boy's fault." (Compl. ¶ 98, ECF No. 1.)

• Upon information and belief, one Brown professor stated that "there is gender bias that is overwhelming at Brown" when referencing sexual misconduct cases at Brown. (Id. ¶ 100.)

• Upon information and belief, in December 2014, a Brown professor held a [27] debate to discuss rape issues on campus. During the debate, one female debater remarked that males are "bad" and females are "victims" when it comes to sexual misconduct. The Brown professor stated that these remarks are consonant with the culture of thinking on Brown's campus. (Id. ¶ 101.)

• Upon information and belief, Brown's handing [sic] of John Doe's case fits within a pattern of showing gender bias toward female students in cases of sexual misconduct, including its conduct in: (i) McCormick v. Dresdale, supra; (ii) a sexual misconduct case against former Brown student Adam Lack (Class of 1997); and (iii) other instances documented in the Brown Daily Herald (April 29, 2010) and the Brown Spectator (May 26, 2012). (Id. ¶ 123.)
Among the most surprising aspects of the decision was the vitality of John Doe's claim for breach of contract. The court held that the student handbook constitutes a contract, and the school is bound to honor the promises it creates. Among the most explosive aspects of the decision: the court held that the school's attempt to comply with the "Dear Colleague" letter can be a breach of contract:
Doe first alleges that Brown failed to conduct a pre-charge investigation of Jane Doe's complaint prior to directing Plaintiff's immediate removal from campus. (Pl.'s Opp'n 26, 28, ECF No. 15.) Doe alleges [37] this to be a violation of the statement in Brown's Code that "[s]tudents and student organizations charged with offenses" have the "right[] . . . [t]o be assumed not responsible of any alleged violations unless she/he is so found through the appropriate student conduct hearing." (Ex. A to Compl. at 7, ECF No. 1-1.) Brown counters that "[n]owhere is there any such restriction imposed upon Brown regarding interim measures during an investigation and a disciplinary process. In fact, the OCR in its Dear Colleague letter specifically mandates that a university may invoke interim measures as part of its Title IX response to sexual harassment allegations." (Def.'s Reply 15, ECF No. 17.) However, the Code also states that "[a]ll members of the Brown University Community are entitled to . . . the right to attend, make use of or enjoy the facilities and functions of the University subject to prescribed rules." (Ex. A to Compl. at 3, ECF No. 1-1.) The question here is not whether Brown was following the OCR's guidance; it is whether Brown's actions violated the reasonable expectations of a student based on its Code. The Court finds that, taking Doe's allegations as true, Brown's decision to ban him from campus prior to conducting an investigation states a plausible claim for a breach of the rights outlined in the Code to be assumed not responsible until proven otherwise, and to enjoy use of Brown's facilities.
In addition, and also very important, the school's conduct restricting John Doe from presenting his case may also be a breach of contract:
Doe next alleges that Brown failed to allow him "an opportunity to offer a relevant response" to the evidence against him, as required by the Code. (Pl.'s Opp'n 27, 29, ECF No. 15; see Ex. A to Compl. at 7, ECF No. 1-1.) Specifically, Doe contends that Brown:

improperly redact[ed] relevant information from Plaintiff's evidence, assembl[ed] Plaintiff's text messages out of order and out of context, exclude[ed] the majority of Plaintiff's character witness statements that spoke to his credibility, disallow[ed] Plaintiff from making a full "midpoint" statement, in violation of the Opening and Questioning Timeline, and refus[ed] to consider the Facebook photos showing lack of any "bruising" on Jane Doe based on baseless privacy concerns.

(Pl.'s Opp'n 29, ECF No. 15.) Although the term "relevant" is vague and undefined, the Court finds that Plaintiff has - at the motion to dismiss stage - presented sufficient allegations to state a claim that he was prevented from presenting a "relevant" response. In particular, the fact that Plaintiff was prevented from making his "midpoint" statement may be a violation of the Code, depending on what the facts show.
All in all, this is among the best decisions to date handed down for presumptively innocent college students accused of sexual assault. It ought to send shockwaves through the rarefied halls of academia.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

'Yes Means Yes' Bill Would Eliminate Due Process on Campuses

Original source here.
Rape is a very serious crime. It is a violation of another individual’s body and mind in a way that is far worse than almost every other crime. Society must reject rape and find ways to foster a culture that does not promote rape or make it acceptable. To that end, we must reverse the presumption of innocence in cases involving sexual assault and make the accused prove that he did not, in fact, rape the victim.

At this point, you’ve realized that this is impossible to do and not I’m seriously suggesting it. So why then are our legislators proposing a similar idea, except limiting it to rape on campuses? Couched as the “affirmative consent” or “yes means yes” law, it is essentially a reversal of the presumption of innocence and an elimination of due process on college campuses.

What the bill before the General Assembly fails to recognize is affirmative consent standards on campuses won’t eliminate campus rape. A rapist doesn’t refrain from raping because it is illegal to rape. Why would that be any different on a college campus? What this bill does is take regular, consensual activity between adults on a college campus and shrouds it with a veil of impropriety.

This bill, which was first proposed last year, seeks to emulate California’s first-in-the-nation “yes means yes” law. Since this year’s bill hasn’t been made public, I rely on last year’s version. It defined affirmative consent as “an active, informed, unambiguous and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person that is sustained throughout the sexual activity and may be revoked at any time by any person.”

What is an active agreement? What is an unambiguous agreement? What is an informed agreement? It has to be “sustained throughout the sexual activity”? What does that mean? Does that mean that you have to repeatedly secure the consent of your partner in the throes of sexual passion? Have any of the people proposing this bill ever been to college? Have they ever had sex?

As some critics pointed out last year, the bill doesn’t even define sexual activity. So does it include kissing? Oral sex? Fondling?

The bill states that it is the responsibility of each person to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of all persons to engage in the sexual activity. This means that both parties must declare, in words, beforehand that they wish to unequivocally engage in the specific sexual activity that they are about to embark on. Further, if they wish to expand the scope of such sexual activity, they must first pause and then clarify with each other, again in some recorded form, that they both agree on the expansion. And so on. What mechanism exists not only to secure the affirmative consent, but then to prove that you had secured it, short of videotaping each instance of permission seeking or obtaining repeated signatures on a waiver form?

Anyone else feel like they just took a cold shower?

Here’s how people generally hook up: they get drunk, they see someone they like, they flirt a bit, they start kissing, if you’re in college, probably at a party or something. The leaning in for a kiss is a very special moment the first time; there’s excitement, there’s passion, there’s electricity, maybe the moment is right, maybe there’s a cool breeze. There certainly is no, “Excuse me, sir, but is it OK if I kiss you?”

Even if someone is polite enough to ask permission to kiss, must the person, pursuant to this bill, stop and ask permission before a second kiss? What if his hand strays to the opposing person’s shoulder? Do we need permission for that? What if his hand then goes to the to-be-lover’s genital area, while still clothed? Must he announce at every step? “I’m now placing my hand on your breast. Is this OK? Please answer out loud into this microphone.”

During sexual encounters consent is routinely implied. When switching from the missionary position to something else, no normal person interrupts to go through a list of positions and have a committee meeting to decide which one to try next and take a vote on it, and to record that vote in some fashion. If that were the case, one or both participants would have suddenly developed a headache.

Which brings us to the other huge problem with this proposal: “(D) it shall not be a valid excuse to an alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the victim consented to the sexual activity (i) because the accused was intoxicated or reckless or failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain whether the victim affirmatively consented.”

What are “reasonable steps”? Asking a question? Interpreting a visual cue as consent?

The problem with this bill is that to put the onus on the accused is to make indefensible an accusation. The only surefire way to defeat a false sexual assault accusation is to record every instance of consent on a video camera, or have witnesses present. Perhaps all students ought to print out and carry waivers that their paramours must sign at frequent intervals in the lovemaking process to ensure that a regretted encounter does not turn into cause for expulsion.

As of early January, there were about 50 lawsuits pending against colleges nationwide accusing them of depriving students of due process by putting the onus on them to prove consent and unfairly expelling them. These are students whose lives have been upended because the colleges assumed that they were rapists and asked them to prove otherwise.

The intention of Connecticut’s bill is noble. There can be no doubting that we must make our young adults more aware of the rights of others to refuse their advances and the absolute necessity of engaging in sexual activity only with the informed consent of the other party. If that’s all this bill did, then I would have no problem with it. But this bill seeks to create a parallel justice system, with punishments, without any attendant protections. We should not be so quick to strip the rights and entitlements of those who have been accused of wrongdoing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Due process is a fallacy and silences victims, and other nonsense college students believe

In "The Daily Beacon" at the University of Tennessee, a college student does the journalistic equivalent of the disgusted feminist eye roll. She describes student reaction to a lawsuit alleging that that the university does not adequately respond to allegations of sexual assault lodged against football players. She writes:
Scrolling through the comments section of articles detailing the Title IX lawsuit provides a telling picture of the fallacies and arguments which are deployed to silence victims of sexual assault.
The writer posits two "examples" of these purported "fallacies" and attempts to "silence victims." Neither supports her epiphany:
“Could somebody explain to these women that the right to due process trumps Title IX everytime (sic),” one reader wrote.
Okay, I had to read that multiple times to make sure I am not missing something. I'm not.

In what respect is this comment even remotely incorrect, unfair, or offensive? Title IX is not the Constitution, but sadly, the sexual grievance lobby seems to be under the gargantuan misapprehension that some radical feminist interpretation of Title IX trumps even the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, which is legally absurd and morally grotesque.

Later in the article, the writer tips her hand about her real feelings about due process. ". . . when little institutional support is provided to sexual assault victims and trials are held behind the closed doors of the university (rather than in front of a jury in a traditional court of law), the assumption of innocence becomes an assertion." It "becomes an assertion"? What the hell does that mean? I don't know, but there's little doubt she's trivializing due process. The writer also not-so-subtly derides those advocating for due process by putting the words due process in quotations marks (for film buffs: CANDIDATE KANE CAUGHT IN LOVE NEST WITH "SINGER").

The writer isn't finished:
“Justice is a two edged sword,” another man wrote. “The accused male students just happened to be athletes. Were the girls suspended from their activities until trial?”
The writer responds to this comment with indignation: "If the women who report a rape are also 'suspended from their activities until trial,' why would they even consider reporting it?"

Oh, I don't know--maybe they would if they were--you know--actually raped. While the writer deems it horrific to impose interim measures on accusers, upending the life of a young man on the basis of nothing more than an accusation is just fine, right? Tell that to the Hofstra false rape victimsHis rights are not only trumped, they are eviscerated--by virtue of an unproven allegation.

Oh, but, you see, that silly business about "proof" is just a  technicality, isn't it? After all, college rape is an epidemic, as we all know, right? The writer cites those scary college rape statistics--you know, the ones that assume every accusation of a rape was an actual rape even though that assumption is absurd. Why is that assumption absurd? Because even most rape reports made to police cannot be reasonably labeled "rape," for a variety of reasons. Don't cry--it's a fact. Every time rape claims are subjected to scrutiny against competing evidence of innocence, most are either deemed unfounded or false. Claims that can be definitively classified as false or unfounded are not only extremely common, they are more common than actual rapes.

And by the way, those same surveys that purport to show a campus rape "epidemic" also show that a shocking percentage of college women don't have the foggiest idea what "consent" means--please do check it out before libeling me as a "rape apologist." I know you can't believe what I am telling you is true, but that's because you are being fed lies and half-truths by the sexual grievance cartel and their media enablers.

I rarely respond to articles like this one--there are a lot of them, and it's generally not worth the time. But once in a while, it's important to remind our regular readers of what is being written in the newspapers of our vaunted institutions of higher learning. The guaranties of due process are the greatest bulwarks against tyranny ever devised by man, but college students seem to be not just blissfully ignorant of what due process is but downright hostile to it. Caving to peer pressure, as children are wont to do, they happily march in lockstep to the PC group-think of their moral superiors, the sexual grievance cartel that brands college men accused of sexual assault guilty by reason of penis. This disgraceful, anti-intellectual hostility to due process is about as un-progressive as anything could be. It is not liberalism. It is a manifestation of fealty to group identity politics of the worst kind. But try telling these children any of this and they are likely to have a hissy fit and accuse you of a micro-aggression.

I know two things:  if they don't grow up quickly, the Republic is doomed. And they should not be allowed within a thousand yards of a ballot box this November.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Emerging trend on campus: school-sponsored advocates for men accused of sexual assault

The original source is here--make sure to read down to "What peer institutions are doing." This seems to be an emerging trend, thankfully.
New position will advocate for the accused

Students accused of sexual assault now have a designated person to go to if they want advice and advocacy while under investigation.

“The university and PAU Violence thought that it was really important to be able ...to look for solutions... To really help end violence is to be able to engage with both the victim and the respondent,” Respondent Advocate Chris Yanuaria said.

Yanuaria took on this role mid-January under the campus Prevention, Awareness and Understanding Violence Against Women (PAU) program. His job is to advise and advocate for student respondents with information, resources and support in cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and other gender-based violence. He also helps coordinate PAU Violence’s prevention education efforts regarding domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

According to Women’s Center Coordinator Leslie Cabaingabang, although the PAU Violence program is still under-funded in its efforts to provide prevention education for UH students, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Students is funding this position.

The same rights

UH Spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says this position for students accused of sex assault is the first of its kind at the university, though Title IX and Judicial Student Affairs staff protect the rights of both the respondent and complainant.

While he does not get involved in sexual assault investigations, Yanuaria helps respondents understand their rights and connects them with resources, such as the counseling center on campus and groups in the community.

“[I] sit down and ask them ‘what’s going on in your life?’ and make a genuine connection so that I would be able to understand how to best care for this person and give them the resources that they need to heal and become productive members of the community. And I do all this with compassion and care,” he said.

Under Title IX and UH’s interim Policy and Procedures on Sex Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence, both the complainant and the respondent have the right to equitable due process and resources.

“We absolutely support and appreciate additional resources for all parties involved in these types of incidents,” Meisenzahl said.

What peer institutions are doing


While some of UH Manoa’s peer institutions do not have a dedicated position, they do offer the resource.

At the University of New Mexico, the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center primarily works with complainants, though if a respondent needs similar services, arrangements will be made, Director Lisa Lindquist said, as it’s another duty of the overall office.

The University of Kentucky also does this as staff from its Office of Student Conduct or Title IX office will speak with respondents about their rights and what to expect in the hearing process, Rhonda Henry, director of the campus Violence Intervention and Prevention Center said.

Respondent advocacy is offered at the University of Illinois through a list of designated volunteers, according to Molly McLay, assistant director of the campus’ Women’s Resource Center. The respondent advocates work in the university in other capacities and are trained by the campus’ student discipline office to be there for anyone who is accused of sexual misconduct.

For Patricia Lacy, University of Oregon’s director of the student government’s advocacy office, the responsibility of advocating for respondents began last summer.

“Providing a service for respondents is equally important to serving the needs of complainants,” she said in an email. “It is vital that the university prove its case against the respondent and that can more effectively occur if the respondent receives assistance in preparing for the meeting with university officials.”

At the University of Utah, Jolene Des Roches, the assistant dean of students for behavioral intervention, holds a similar position.

While the University of South Florida does not have a position dedicated to this function, it is pursuing different avenues to offer the resource, Renee Hunt, director of communication and marketing for Student Affairs, said.

The need for advocacy


Campus Civil Rights Specialist Jill Nunokawa said having such a position provides fairness in the process, though she expects there to be debate about this because it’s taken a long time for society to begin addressing issues like sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“I do view it as part of a shift that we’re making, not just in higher education but a shift in civil society, a shift towards, more towards truth and justice,” Nunokawa said in a phone interview.

While the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii (ASUH) has not formulated an opinion on the position, President Kelly Zakimi believes it gives students direct assistance, allowing them to have a support system.

However, Hannah Liebriech, co-chairperson of the Graduate Student Organization’s advocacy committee, is concerned that the focus would be on the accused and there would be more victim blame.

“My concern would be that if you have a ... position designated to the accused, when in fact [under Title IX] they have equal access to ... the same resources available as the accuser, I think that maybe serves to again perpetuate inequitable distribution of resources in favor of the accused,” she said.

Yanuaria said there’s an impression that he’s taking the side of the perpetrators, though this is not the case.

“I really care about the safety on the UH campus and care about the vulnerable populations and so the way I do that work to prevent violence is by working with those who are the alleged perpetrator,” he said. “I work to help just ensure that abuse doesn’t happen, that no one gets abused again. So my hope is that they really, truly can be productive...And I do this work because I want to help to create a safer and healthier UH community and for all of us and for generations to come. And it’s very difficult work but it’s unbelievably rewarding.”

Friday, February 12, 2016

"Start By Believing" Fails a Ft. Benning Soldier and a Rape Victim

We previously wrote how "Start By Believing" failed a Ft. Benning Soldier and a woman who accused him of rape here.  Emilie Arroyo, a reporter at the local Columbus, Georgia ABC affiliate, WTVM, aired an exclusive interview with the falsely accused Soldier last night.  

One piece of missing information was that after the Soldier was cleared by DNA evidence, immediately released, and the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) had the charges no-billed by the grand jury, Columbus Police Department (CPD) kept the Soldier on their records as a suspect for the December 2014 rape until July 22, 2015 because they needed to conduct further "testing."  This caused the Soldier to remain flagged with the Army because technically he was a rape suspect.  He could not be promoted, he could not attend training to progress his career, he could not receive any awards, and he could not apply to flight school and become a Warrant Officer.  His career was placed on hold, and CPD knew it.

Perhaps, CPD kept the Soldier as a suspect because they do not understand how DNA works.  When CPD was contacted by the ADA on March 5, 2015, the day the Soldier was released, a detective stated that he understood why the Soldier had to be released immediately, but he asked the ADA if they could get a search warrant for the Soldier's semen.  The Detective stated that semen DNA might be different from the DNA profile collected from other serological evidence, such as skin or saliva.  It would be interesting to see if the actor/rapper Ice T would know from his role on Law & Order: SVU that this notion is utterly absurd.

This is why the system failed the Soldier and the victim.   It is undetermined whether CPD pursued any other leads because she insisted it was the Soldier, even after the DNA analyst at the GBI crime lab said that the Soldier could not have raped her.  CPD is not talking, so an inference can be drawn that they were not looking at anybody else. 

Moreover, the police report states that her roommate believed she was very intoxicated when she came home on the night of the rape and that he did not hear anybody knock on the door, which the Soldier would have had to do to get let in by the victim.  A good question might have been, "Is there anyone else who had access to your house?" It has been reported that the man facing capital murder charges, the mother's boyfriend, had a key to the home. "Are you sure that you let the Soldier into the home, or are you just assuming he came over because of the texts he sent you?"  "Is it possible that a man went into your bedroom, which would have been pitch black, and tied you up and you could not see him?"  "Are you sure that you only had one beer and two shots of brown liquor to drink on the night of the rape?"

Instead, CPD remained focused on the Soldier for four additional months after he was released from jail, did not attempt to corroborate his story that he was at home in Phenix City, Alabama and did not leave his house on the night of the rape, and, instead, allowed him to by flagged under a cloud of suspicion by the Army that he was a suspected rapist for four long months.  And, now a man faces capital murder charges for a crime CPD might have been able to prevent. 

No wonder CPD will not speak to reporters like Emilie Arroyo.  She is a tough young reporter who is not afraid to take on law enforcement to find out if the system failed an innocent Soldier and a traumatized victim.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Complaining Witnesses Sue University of Tennessee for Giving Accuseds Due Process

University of Tennessee is being sued by six women who alleged they are victims of sexual assault because UT's administrative hearing process gives those who are accused of sexual assault the right to an attorney, the right to cross examine witnesses, and the right to an evidentiary hearing in front of an administrative law judge in accordance with the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act..  The Plaintiffs allege that this process is unfair and that University of Tennessee is the only college that uses this type of administrative hearing process.

One of the remedies sought by the Plaintiffs is an injunction to prevent UT from using the administrative hearing process that is in place in order to quash the Accused's right to an attorney, the right to cross examine witnesses, and the right to an evidentiary hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

UK False Rape Culture

There are two false rape stories that have recently come out of the UK that are truly sad for the falsely accused.

The first story regards a woman who accused Lord Leon Brittan, a Tory, who died while the investigation was pending, yet police fully justified their two and a half year investigation into allegations made by a reportedly mentally ill woman.  He was cleared four months before his death, unbeknownst to him, but I can't imagine what it would be like to spend the last two years of my life on this Earth under a cloud of suspicion for a rape that I did not commit.

The second story regards a woman who accused a man of sexually penetrating her in a subway station.  He was investigated and prosecuted, even though there was video evidence of the alleged assault that clearly showed that he did not and that he could not have assaulted his accuser. A jury deliberated for 90 minutes before acquitting him of all charges.

His accuser’s motivation for pursuing ​the allegations​ against him ​remain unclear, but Pearson concedes “you have to question her state of mind”. 

Though he thinks it is too soon to tell what the lasting impact of the ordeal on him will be, it has made him understandably wary of public transport; he now keeps his arms up and in full view on the tube and says he would never get in a lift with a woman if she were on her own. ​

With the aquittal now behind him, what does he hope, for the future?

“I would like a change in the CPS and the way they carry out their work. There is some sort of systemic fault. Maybe it is to do with funding being cut, maybe it is to do with inexperienced people being put in charge of things they are not capable of doing.”

A CPS spokesman said: “There was sufficient evidence for this case to proceed to court and progress to trial. We respect the decision of the jury.”

“That’s the reverse of an apology really isn’t it?” says Pearson.

The woman who accused this man was a celebrity of some sort, although her identity has remained anonymous.  Of course, this story is coming off the heels of another frivolous CPS prosecution of Louis Richardson who was fully acquitted a few months ago.

I wonder if this is the system into which Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is hoping to transform the US military, since she often mentions other countries who have shifted to allowing civilians prosecutors to deal with military offenses. The US military received $257 million to fight sexual assault, but I have the same astute opinion that the falsely accused Mr. Pearson has.  Do they take frivolous allegations because they are worried about a funding cut, or is it because they have inexperienced people being put in charge of prosecutions they are not capable of doing?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Film Director Does Not Understand the US Criminal Justice System

In the "Keine scheisse, Sherlock" department, and to piggyback on the story below:

Kirby Dick, who wrote and directed The Hunting Ground, told ThinkProgress[,] “The criminal justice system resoundingly resides in favor of the perpetrator.”

Of course, it does Kirby Dick!  What part of "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by competent evidence" do you not understand?  This is the standard that is supposed to prevent innocent men from languishing in prison for a crime they did not commit.

Quite a few years ago, law enforcement understood this concept and would start out by investigating all the facts of a case to determine if the allegations were true, so they could assist prosecutors in meeting this standard.  They had to start out by trying to prove that the allegations were true beyond a reasonable doubt.  They asked tough questions.  They gathered evidence.  They reconciled themselves to the premise that if an accused is guilty, then the investigator is his worst enemy, but if he is innocent, then the investigator is his best friend.

But, lately, law enforcement seems to act as if they maintain the attitude that if a man is accused, then law enforcement is his worst enemy regardless of guilt or innocence.  When they receive a statement from an alleged victim, then that's really all they need to arrest somebody.  If they ask tough questions that a defense attorney surely will ask, then they are called "victim blamers."  Instead, the sexual grievance industry demands that law enforcement "Start by Believing."  And, believe they do.

"Start by Believing" gives bad cops an excuse to be lazy, and their departments are paid to be lazy.  When the number of sexual assaults prosecuted in a jurisdiction increase, then that means they get more grant money from the Violence Against Women Act, which has contributed over $6 billion in grants since it was passed in 1994.  So, why fight the system?  If a thorough investigation yields less cases, then that means less money, so whatever you do as investigator, don't look for evidence that proves innocence! 

And there is a dearth of people who lobby or advocate for the rights of the falsely accused in Congress.  The only politician I have even heard speak of the due process rights of the Accused was Marco Rubio in reference to college disciplinary boards, and a state legislator in Georgia.

So, what happens when a government places immense political pressure on prosecutors to prosecute every offense and reduce the "favoritism" shown to the accused in the justice system?  You get cases like this one in the UK.  You get one of many courts-martial like this one in the military involving Airman Brandon Wright, or this one involving a woman with the initials "B.S." who said she was on top, fellated the convicted while on his back, and enjoyed the sex the night it happened, or this one involving Major Kit MartinYou get cases like this one, where the accused is not cleared by law enforcement, even after DNA excluded him as the victim's rapist, and the victim gets murdered by the actual rapist.  These are cases that a high school student could show that the accused is the falsely accused.

So, yes, Kirby Dick, our system of justice is resoundingly in favor of the accused because it is supposed to make law enforcement search for the truth, which on many occasions is that the accuser is lying or mistaken.   It strengthens our system by ensuring that prosecutors have the evidence they need to prove the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so they may become the convicted.  Quite simply, convictions should be based on evidence, not the prosecutor's rhetoric.

And while I'm at it, Kirby, did you actually read Ariana Klay's Court-martial transcripts before you gave her a starring role as one of your victims in "The Invisible War"?  If not, then you are about as lazy at directing "documentaries" as cops are at investigating sexual assault nowadays.  Although, you are one heck of an advocate.

Film director said: "This falsely accused thing drives me nuts.”

Kirby Dick, director and writer of The Hunting Ground and a member of the rush-to-judgment club when it comes to rape claims, said this: “This falsely accused thing drives me nuts.”

But what else should we expect from Kirby Dick? The Hunting Ground is a shockingly biased exercise in extremist political propaganda intent on further chipping away the rights of presumptively innocent college men. It is filled with first-hand, and very dramatic, accounts of purported sexual assaults—classic “he said-she said” claims—except the filmmakers didn’t bother to acknowledge even the possibility that there might be more than one side to any of the stories they presented. None of the women’s stories—none of them—were challenged with competing evidence that might cast even the slightest doubt on them. The overall effect is akin to a 1970s radical feminist rant that insists women must always be believed solely because they cried “rape.” The film has been attacked by scholars with impeccable credentials--their reward was to be accused of hating women.

Dick's latest insensitivity toward the community of the wrongly accused is unspeakably callous. His hateful comments are an affront not only to readers of this blog but to all persons of goodwill.

If Kirby had said, "This HIV/AIDS thing drives me nuts," he'd be a pariah. But since he trivialized the victimization of the wrongly accused, he's a feminist icon.

My guess is the "falsely accused thing" also drives Brian Banks nuts.

And the young men falsely accused at Hofstra University.

And Jonathan Montgomery.

And Matt Folino.

And the falsely accused men of the Duke lacrosse team.

And the families of Jay Cheshire, Stephen McLaughlin, and all the young men who took their lives after being falsely accused.

And all the men falsely accused by Christina Nadine Nelson,Jayne Stuart, Emily Riker, Heather Brenner, Elizabeth Jones and all the other false accusers.

And the families of Wesley Lord, Devin LaSalle, Cory Headen, Sumbo Owoiya, Cody Wightman, Johran McCormick, Michael Zenquis, and all the other young men and boys who were beaten or murdered after being falsely accused.

And I could go on and on and on and on, but you get the point. Dick should spend a few months reading through this blog and its predecessor--if he devoted a few hours to it every day, he probably could read through it by September. Perhaps he'd learn a small measure of humility.

And by the way, Mr. Dick, as a matter of policy, this blog insists that no one trivialize the victimization of victims of sexual assault.

It is possible to advocate for a cause without being a Kirby Dick about it.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Marco Rubio's Meltdown



The upcoming presidential election is going to be extremely important for the issues we talk about here. Saturday night's Republican debate was eye-opening.

It started at the 14:35 mark in the video embedded here. Sen. Marco Rubio launched into a criticism of President Obama--he "dispelled" a fiction that no one had brought up in the debate, and his statement garnered applause:
And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world.
All well and good. But less than two minutes later, in the middle of answering scathing criticism from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that had nothing to do with the fact that President Obama doesn't know what he's doing, Rubio once again "dispelled" the same fiction he had just discussed:
But I would add this. Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the United States of America. And when I'm elected president, this will become once again, the single greatest nation in the history of the world, not the disaster Barack Obama has imposed upon us.
One minute and 18 seconds later, as if he were caught in a time-warp, Rubio said:
Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he's doing.
It was an embarrassing several minutes. Christie called him on it, made him look foolish, and rattled him. I watch all the debates, and I like Marco Rubio, but unless he's reciting his canned talking points, he's stiff, nervous, and, truth be told, he may not be ready for prime time. Certainly, Christie is a bulldog--one of the toughest debaters we've seen in these debates--and his attack on Rubio has been off-putting to people inclined to root for Rubio. But Christie would not have been able to rattle Rubio's far craftier, far more skilled contemporary, the brilliant Sen. Ted Cruz. Like him or hate him, Cruz can speak fluently off the top of his head all night long about pretty much any subject at issue, and he's unflappable. The contrast with Rubio is striking.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Air Force Times Prints Names of Accused Airman Who Were Acquitted or Had Charges Dismissed

Thanks to "The Invisible War," a perception exists that the United States Military is in the middle of a rape epidemic.  Every other year since 2008, it seems that Congress is amending the UCMJ to ensure that those accused of sex offenses are brought to trial.  In fact, Senator Claire McCaskill has made it clear that she uses "a single yardstick to measure each idea on the table: will it better protect victims, and lead to more prosecutions[.]"

The Air Force Times often reports the name and rank of Airmen who are accused of a sex crime, as well as a brief synopsis of what the Airman is accused.  Then, after each Court-martial, the Air Force, as well as all US Services, releases on a monthly basis the results of their Courts-martial.  But, the Air Force does not release the names of the Airmen who were acquitted of all charges or who had charges dropped prior to their Court-martial.

Instinctively, I think this practice is good because protecting the identity of the accused who has been acquitted will allow an individual's identity to remain anonymous and not searchable.  However, this practice does nothing to expose how many of our Servicemen are being acquitted at Courts-martial, who have had their careers placed on hold, and who have faced a severe injustice by the fact that the case was tried.

When a Servicemember is acquitted at a Court-martial, a verbatim record of trial is not produced, as it is for convictions.  The Servicemember typically wants to move on in their career and not expose themselves to further scrutiny because they are trained to be quiet professionals.  So, the public is not bombarded with the number of our Servicemen who are falsely accused of crimes, the way the public is bombarded with the number of allegations of sexual assault.

Having been a civilian Court-martial defense practitioner for eight years and a Trial Defense Service Attorney with the Army for two years, I have seen the most ridiculous charges brought against Servicemembers.  In fact, some cases I've seen or heard about that are prosecuted by these so-called "Special Victim Prosecutors" lead to only one of two conclusions: (1) They don't believe the alleged victim, but are driven by politics like Mike Nifong; or (2) they do believe the alleged victim and are incompetent to practice law. I recently represented a client where the evidence of his innocence was overwhelming, the Article 32 Investigating Officer recommended a dismissal because the alleged victim was not credible, and the case still went to trial.  My client was fully acquitted, but nobody except for the military panel who acquitted him and those who viewed the trial from the gallery will ever know how absurd the fact that he even stood trial was.

So, perhaps it is high time that those Servicemembers who have faced the injustice of the military justice system and have been acquitted speak out, so the public better understands how politically driven Courts-martial have become.  And, by publishing the names of the acquitted, the Air Force Times might actually be doing a good thing.