There’s a growing trend across Massachusetts college campuses, and at universities throughout the United States, and it isn’t pretty: Colleges and universities that conduct their own “investigations” over accusations of sexual assault, and hear “evidence” in their own internal “tribunals,” consisting of anything but trained judges or even attorneys.
What’s going on here, you ask? Why aren’t accusations of campus rape referred to the local police department for investigation, just as they would be normally? Two reasons – neither of which is conducive to producing just outcomes in cases of Massachusetts campus sexual assault accusations: 1) Campus ‘women’s rights’ activists (read: militant feminist extremists who think all men are out to “conquer” them,) have created enormous pressure on college officials to punish – fast and furious – anyone accused of campus sexual assault or rape. Their “rationale” for keeping these investigations internal (on campus)? They claim that police departments and prosecutors’ offices “don’t care” about allegations of rape or sexual assault on college campuses. (Yes, you read that correctly); and 2) The U.S. Department of Education, which doles out hundreds of millions of dollars to colleges and universities every year in the form of federal grants and financial assistance and enforces a federal law called “Title IX,” wants universities to “get tough” on campus sex assaults – and they’re using their purse strings to make sure that happens. Seemingly, without regard for minor things called “justice,” “due process,” and “presumption of innocence.”
But, as a Boston Globe editorial by Dante Ramos recently asked, exactly where is the evidence showing that college and university administrators are anywhere near qualified to investigate these kinds of crimes – or any crimes, for that matter? That’s why we have things called Police Departments and courts of law, (which our taxes pay for.) Are we to transform our colleges and universities from places of higher learning and highbrow, idealistic thinking, into kangaroo courts, where justice comes a distant second to the cries of activist mobs and government bureaucrats at the Department of Education in Washington?
As the Boston Globe and other media have reported on, a former student who was expelled from Amherst College after being accused by another student of rape, is now suing the world-acclaimed Ivory Tower for how it ‘handled’ his case. Under the pseudonym of “John Doe” in this civil case, the former student states that he was accused of sexual assault by another Amherst student — almost two years after an encounter with the accuser/alleged “victim” — which the accuser herself initiated while the accused student was blacked out after binge drinking. A behind-closed-doors investigation by Amherst College, conducted without providing any clear procedures for obtaining evidence, and without credible due process, left the former student almost “convicted,” before the process even began. He was determined to be guilty, thrown off campus, expelled in shame, and his name blackened forever. Even more shocking? After he was expelled, “John Doe” obtained text messages sent by his accuser hours after the alleged “assault,” that clearly contradicted his accuser’s account – yet the school refused to reconsider the matter, reverse its decision, or do anything about this travesty, at all.
Why would a highbrow place of learning like Amherst College do this? The answer is a toxic mix of political pressure, federal financial support of colleges, and public relations worries. You see, under Title IX, any college receiving federal funds (and many receive millions of dollars each year) must pretty much adhere to what the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) wants. And if the DOE wants colleges to become very aggressive at “handling” accusations of campus rape and sexual assault, these schools are going to do so – or risk losing tens of millions in federal financial support. The Obama administration and the federal DOE have leaned heavily on college campuses around the country on this issue. Additionally, schools also feel they have to “deal with” the fist-pumping feminist “activist” groups, who protest just about anything every chance they get.
As a Boston, Massachusetts college student defense attorney, I can assure you that what results, are some of the most unjust outcomes imaginable. I’ll detail these injustices, in my next post on this subject in a few days.