In College Sexual Assault Cases, False Accusers No Longer Deserve Guaranteed Anonymity

"You better be telling the truth, or this is coming right back at you..."

“You better be telling the truth, or this is coming right back at you…”

Especially now that the Obama administration has demanded that colleges strip away the basic rights of students accused of rape, the practice of not releasing a false accuser’s name to the media must end.

The compelled switch to a “predominance of the evidence” standard in such cases has led to too many false charges, too many wrongly punished male students, and too many scarred lives. High profile national leaders like Hillary Clinton are undeterred in supporting this power play by feminists, and university officials apparently don’t have sufficient regard for fairness or even basic logic: the Department of Education threatened their income stream, so if a few male students get railroaded out of school and haunted for a lifetime with the stigma of being a rapist, the college leaders consider it a necessary sacrifice to the greater good.

It is only one case, but if the facts of the University of Michigan’s persecution of student Drew Sterrett are as they appear to be, this is signature significance: one incident this irrational  proves that campus sexual assault  hysteria has turned into a genuine, bona fide witch hunt, with the metaphor appropriate for once. There must be accountability, and the Obama Administration, the schools, their administrators, irresponsible leaders like Clinton, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jared Polis, and, yes, sorry, false accusers must share it.

Sterrett was forced to leave the University of Michigan in 2012 during his sophomore year, after a female’s student’s accusation of forced sexual intercourse was upheld under circumstances that would have made a kangaroo court, with real kangaroos, an improvement. He sued the university in federal court, arguing that  his 14th Amendment rights to due process had been violated. The only possible response to his claim, once one reads the account published in Slate, is “Ya think?” It is disturbing that anyone should have to sue to get such treatment recognized as outrageous. Apparently no one at the University of Michigan who has power possesses any ethical twitches whatsoever, while nobody with a passing knowledge of right and wrong has any power.

From Emily Yoffe:

The sexual encounter in question took place in March 2012, in the spring semester of Sterrett’s freshman year. Legal documents described how the female student, CB, who was a friend of Sterrett’s, asked to stay in his room because her roommate was having guests. He expected her to sleep on a mat on the floor and was surprised when she got into his bunk bed. Soon the two were kissing, then more; CB asked Sterrett about a condom, and he got one. Their encounter went on for so long, and was so loud, that Sterrett’s roommate, who was trying to sleep in the top bunk, sent Sterrett an annoyed Facebook message about being kept awake. The roommate later gave a sworn statement that he was close enough to the pair that he would have heard, and intervened, if CB had said no or objected.

The semester ended, and Sterrett and CB left school. The events that prompted the university investigation of Sterrett are described in an affidavit sworn on his behalf by LC, a friend of CB and her sophomore-year roommate. While CB was home for the summer, her mother discovered her diary, in which the young woman described her drinking, drug-taking, and sexual encounters. (In her own deposition, CB confirmed the contents of the diary.) After confronting her daughter with her discovery, CB’s mother drove her to campus, where CB made her accusation. She never reported it to the police.

During the summer, campus officials informed Sterrett via Skype that a student had made an allegation against him. When the tone of the interview turned hostile, he asked if he should retain a lawyer. He was told if he ended the interview this would be reported to the university and the investigation would go on without him. He continued to talk.

Sterrett was never provided with the charges against him in writing. The Skype interview turned out to be his sole encounter with the campus officials investigating and deciding his case. He never had a chance to question his accuser. He was not told the names of the witnesses the university interviewed in its inquiry. In November of his sophomore year he received a “Sexual Misconduct Investigation Report,” which concluded he was responsible for the accusation against him. Sterrett was suspended from the school until 2016, a year past CB’s expected graduation date. After a series of appeals, his punishment was reduced, but he was placed on “disciplinary probation,” which would have put restrictions on his movements so onerous that, he concluded, complying with them was impossible. By then, he had already left the school for good.

Rape and other sexual assaults are grave crimes that demand investigation and punishment. But the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, citing unreliable statistics to prove that such assaults are an epidemic on American campuses, has issued edicts that have created systems of adjudication and punishment that abrogate the rights of accused young men. In the past five years, about 70 male students found responsible for sexual misconduct have brought lawsuits against their schools, alleging that their treatment violated their contractual or due process rights or was so biased as to constitute sex discrimination against them….

Everyone knows Drew Sterrett as a young man who was accused of being a rapist, and there will be feminists, possibly even some who are well-known, who will continue to argue that he is the beneficiary of a sexist system that condones rape. These ideological fanatics have created a system that makes being a male in college unconscionably perilous, and returning to sanity must have consequences. We still don’t know who “Jackie” is, though the UVA student contrived to accuse a fraternity of gang rape, her accusations tarred the reputation of a named student, and a major national publication was sucked into her scheme. Her continuing anonymity is indefensible, and so is the fact that we don’t know Sterrett’s accuser. She must be accountable.

Yes, being known as someone who would falsely accuse a man of rape will be a career and life handicap. Good. It is not good that genuine victims will be less inclined to report campus assaults, but they can focus their anger on “Jackie” and whatshername. They and others like them abused a privilege, and many will continue to abuse it unless and until a frivolous and vindictive accusation carries genuine risk.

The risk must be that if you accuse a student of rape unjustly, everyone will know it.

As they should.


Pointer and Spark: Instapundit

Facts: Slate


34 thoughts on “In College Sexual Assault Cases, False Accusers No Longer Deserve Guaranteed Anonymity

  1. It’s about money (the university’s income) and power (of a favored progressive bloc). Ethics evaporate like avgas on a hot tarmac. I say bring back single-sex higher education. In my dad’s day you had to be signed in at Mass at 7 AM, quiet time was 7 PM onward, and bedcheck was 10 PM. There was neither time nor opportunity for this crap.

    • I wonder if this would incite misogyny.

      Now here comes ISIS, with its theology of rape . Here comes ISIS, blaming women for the violation of basic due process rights which America has preached for two centuries. Here comes ISIS, arguing that the only way to preserve your rights is to subjugate women, taking away their personhood, reducing them to nothing more than property.

      How many men would agree with them, agree that women are a threat to freedom? How many men would abandon their own values regarding rape if they perceive America to have abandoned its own values regarding due process?

      • and which party are the ISIS enablers ? and the next question would naturally be which party is waging the real war on women ? and it all ties into the above article with the final question, what benefit does this party accrue by perpetuating this faux collegiate sexual abuse “crisis” ?

    • Well, he can, but he’s the worst one to do so—it looks like tit for tat, and would cause him to take the brunt of criticism. The media probably knows her name, as does the university, and its their duty, not his, to make it public.

  2. Wait, why would false accusers ever have deserved anonymity?

    I could understand a “mistaken” accuser…that is someone, after the fact, thinking they were assaulted, when in reality they weren’t and just needed to be educated on what assault is…deserving anonymity.

    But someone who knows better or makes a malicious claim falsely…when would they ever have deserved anonymity once the nature of their accusation is discovered?

    • I’m a fire service buff, and one of the primary rules of fire safety is you NEVER knowingly turn in a false alarm. Now, if you believe in good faith that there really is smoke or fire, you call out the firemen (yes, I said fireMEN and I will continue to use that term) just in case there really is a problem, and it turns out to be nothing, then that’s different, but if you know there’s no problem and you do it just as a prank, you should charged with a crime.

      Same deal with the police, if you really believe something’s up and you call the cops, but it turns out to be nothing, ok, but if you knowingly SWAT someone with a lie YOU should be the one facing charges.

      However, the minute sexual politics, particularly involving young women, enter the equation, suddenly it’s perfectly all right to level all kinds of accusations from the ridiculous to the preposterous and they have to be assumed to be GOSPEL, because to do otherwise would be to be anti-woman, of course.

      I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, after all, it is the way of women to silence those who disagree with them with either cajoling or guilt.

  3. “Their encounter went on for so long, and was so loud, that Sterrett’s roommate, who was trying to sleep in the top bunk, sent Sterrett an annoyed Facebook message about being kept awake.”

    By the way, that right there is 2 ethics posts in one sentence waiting to happen…

    That just baffles me.

      • Many college younguns would find that behavior inconsiderate, but fewer would be shocked.

        I do think as a result of incidents like these, the next wave of younguns will start changing their ways.

        Hooking up on campus is going to be too much darn trouble.

        Men won’t want to bother analyzing their partners’ response to make absolutely it’s consent. An article recently suggested men make sure for multiple yeses from partners. Next up, a waiver.

        Women won’t want to worry about whether what happened last night was rape. If only she’d signed a waiver.

        Both genders should fit in both categories, by the way. Does anyone pushing the campus rape culture narrative away from anything truthful and helpful want to step up and say so?

        Anyway, eventually some schools will go so far as to issuing sexual consent waivers (sober up before signing!). Others would rather be the homes of victims, and not use them.

        But at the same time, students will either avoid potential sexual partners or situations to avoid risk, or build relationships with others that (gasp) do not involve sex.

        Once these students get out in the real world, they’ll take their non-hook-up habits them, and maybe teach their children the same.

        I’m hopeful we’ll see a backswing like this, and yes, treating proven false accusations as they deserve would be a huge part of the change. I do believe rape does happen on college campuses and accusers should be taken seriously, but muddying common sense like that that helps no one.

      • It reminds me of our temporary stay in a Parisian hostel…ugh…

        After touring Normandy in a rental car after our airline adventure, we made our way to Paris. Arriving literally 15 minutes after the rental car kiosk shut down sometime around midnight or 1 AM. Now we had to wait until morning to return the rental.

        But, if you’ve ever been to Paris, there is NO street parking available after about 8 pm. The streets are jam packed. So, the 4 of us decided that 2 would stay with our luggage at the hostel while the other 2 would find a garage and park there until the morning. This hostel, by the way, had been recommended by a friend, who, as you will soon see, I don’t rely on for lodging recommendations anymore.

        Unfortunately, our hostel was nowhere near the rental place and the two of us who would return the car drove forever and finally found a garage near the return kiosk…too late to park and return to the hostel, so we slept in the car. After waking up and dropping off the car, we began our hike across the middle of Paris back to the hostel to link up with our other two friends. We looked haggard and beat, we may have even inspired some of the visuals for zombie movies.

        But we didn’t look as bad as our friends when we got to the hostel – which was the nastiest building I’ve ever stepped in and I’ve worked as a deconstruction team leader at the Louisville Habitat for Humanity. They sat sullen and grungy at the breakfast table, morosely eating a bowl of cereal.

        “How was y’all’s ni…”

        “Where the hell have y’all been?!”

        So we related our adventure…

        “Yeah, that wasn’t as bad as our night. We didn’t sleep one minute last night…our hostel room was for 6…and there were 2 guests already there and they had noisy sex all night and either didn’t care or didn’t understand English when we asked them politely to knock it off and the hostel management didn’t care either.”

        Needless to say, we cancelled our next night’s reservations and got a refund and stayed at incredibly better acommodations…the floor of the Charles de Gaulle Airport…(the train ride to which was another whole adventure).

        I hate Paris. But Normandy was excellent.

        Don’t let that discourage use of hostels though…the London hostel we stayed in was neat, clean, quiet and comfortable…nothing like what I assume was just an opening to the Paris sewer system we “stayed” at in France.

  4. I blame Sterrett’s roommate for the whole mess. He should have blabbed “CB” ‘s name, widely and shamelessly, immediately after that night in the room, so that there would be no way that her name could not be public knowledge.

    • “Take that, you ideologically fanatical, wannabe male-neutering control freaks with the obsessive delusion that all males are rapists.”

  5. I’ve been saying this for years. There’s a difference between cases where it cannot be proven either way, it’s provable that a rape occurred, and it is provable that a rape did not occur as the accuser stated.

    The usual argument is that even if the rape did not occur as the accuser framed it, that does not mean a rape has not occurred. Which I suppose is true…. but if you’re going to ruin someone’s life, you should damn well be sure. And I think that if the accused can without a reasonable doubt prove that the act they’re accused of did not happen, there should be a system of dissuasion in place for the (now) false accuser.

  6. This has been going on for awhile on Michigan’s campus. I think they have a record for the number of speech codes ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. They also had a code of nonacademic conduct that was shot down. They then tried enforcing a code of nonacademic conduct that was not written and students weren’t allowed to know what it was. That’s right, students would be brought in and convicted for violating a policy without ever being allowed to know what the policy was (it is really hard to bring a lawsuit about a policy if you aren’t allowed to know what the policy is). The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center head used to state that her definition of rape was a man having sex with a woman. You have no chance as a heterosexual male on campus when the definition of rape on campus is heterosexual sex.

    • Where I went the code was written, but it was practically written in pencil and was changed every time someone might be able to weasel out of being punished.

  7. The so-called “war on women” will be responsible for many many ruined lives. This in the service of getting Hilary Clinton elected. A woman who cannot (even under pain of losing everything) be anything but a lying, cheating, criminal opportunist. It seems she can’t be elected even with frantic progressives running ahead of her frantically, lying, hiding documents, covering up criminal activity, and otherwise smoothing her bumpy path. They really put all their eggs in the wrong basket this time.
    If she doesn’t go down in history as a singular blight on the culture of the turn of the 21st century it will be one of the biggest whitewashes ever perpetrated.

  8. What this really shows is that the current ‘common knowledge’ among liberals is that women are too weak minded and fragile to handle the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Women, sorry, wymyn all really need the self-appointed guardians of leftitude (as because rightness would suggest that conservative ideals are valid) to make their decisions for them.

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