Rape on Campus: Guilty until Proven Innocent

Megyn Kelly recently interviewed the attorney for "John Doe," a pseudonym for a young man who was charged with sexual assault when he was a sophomore at Amherst College by "Sandra Jones," another pseudonym.  Evidently, colleges and universities now have panels or tribunals to judge charges of sexual assault.  This began in 2011, when the Obama administration issued an edict claiming that one out of every five women in college has been sexually assaulted and warning that schools who didn't crack down and reduce the numbers of sexual assaults could lose federal funding.  Colleges and universities rushed to set up panels and tribunals to "judge" these accusations in order to keep the cash flowing. 

Now it appears that all any woman has to do is accuse a male of sexual misconduct of any type, and this tribunal process begins.  John Doe was a victim of this edict.

K.C. Johnson, author of Until Proven Innocent, in a interview with Megyn Kelly, had the following to say about the tribunal system:

Once the complaint is filed, an investigator, who lacks subpoena power, interviews the accuser and the accused student; beyond that, the college promises only that the investigator will make a "good faith effort" to speak to relevant witnesses, and will "try" to obtain relevant physical or medical evidence. If the investigator's "good faith" effort doesn't track down relevant witnesses, the policy presumes that the accused student won't be able to call those witnesses before the hearing.

"Attorneys cannot participate in the Hearing Board process" at Amherst (although, the college helpfully notes, the accused student can hire an attorney—at his own expense—and have the attorney present on campus the day of the hearing, perhaps for a very expensive form of virtual, moral support). The attorney-less accused student does receive an "advisor" from the campus community, but this advisor "is not an advocate for the student."

Amherst does not permit the accused student to directly cross-examine his accuser; he can only submit questions to the panel chair, who may ask or reject the questions as the chair chooses. Effective cross-examination under such circumstances is all but impossible—even more so since the accuser is allowed to write responses, rather than respond to questions orally. Any guilty finding is "permanently noted on the student's record."

Although there have been other examples where the lives of young men have been ruined in similar circumstances (Duke Lacrosse, Tawana Brawley), in 2014, the Obama administration doubled down and said the colleges weren't doing enough.  Sexual assault as defined by the administration now includes verbal threats.

I have a problem with any organization judging what is clearly a criminal matter and being the judge and jury of someone's guilt or innocence.  We are supposed to be a nation of laws, where anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty.  We have all seen, at some point, videos or pictures of someone clearly committing a crime.  The MSM is always very careful to refer to the person committing the crime as the "alleged" criminal or perpetrator.  Why should institutions of learning be an exception and be able to follow their own arbitrary rules or the rules of any administration in matters of sexual assault, or any other criminal matter?  Why should the alleged perpetrator be considered guilty until proven innocent?  If there were a shooting on a campus, wouldn't the police be called immediately and the matter be turned over to the judicial system?

I know true "sexual assault."  I know it very well.  I was the victim of a violent rape when I was 21.  I was working in Ocean City, Maryland as a switchboard operator/desk clerk in a motel for the summer.  I had friends whose families lived in Ocean City, so I quickly got to know both local people and persons like myself who were working there for the summer.  I drank; we all did.  At times I drank heavily, but not to the point where I was unaware of what I was doing.

The night of my rape, I willingly got into a car with someone I didn't know well.  He was the leader of a musical group that was playing in a club where I knew everybody.  The group had played there multiple times, and everyone liked them.  I had made arrangements to meet the bartenders and another group who played at this venue regularly at an after-hours club.  Because I was bored waiting for the club to close, someone suggested I go for a drive with this particular person.  He had a sports car, and I dearly loved sports cars.  After we rode around for a while, he said he had some records at his room we could listen to in order to kill time.  Once we were in his room, he attacked me viciously.  I fought and fought, and screamed to the point where I subsequently lost my voice for several days.  It was to no avail, as he was considerably stronger than me.  When I finally blacked out due to a pillow being pressed on my face, he raped me.

I won't go into all the details of the rape or how I got away, but get away I did, and I ran to my friends, who were waiting for me with the police.  When I hadn't turned up at the appointed time, they knew something was wrong and started to search for me.  When the police went to his motel room looking for him, they found pieces of the clothes he had ripped off me and chunks of my hair he had torn out. 

I was then terrorized for days by phone calls made by him to the motel where I worked, to the point where my employer got someone else to take over my switchboard duties.  I also had Ocean City police officers voluntarily driving me each day to work and then back to where I was staying.  I was perfectly willing to press charges, but my rapist escaped and returned to his home in Canada, which didn't have extradition for rape.

This is what true rape is.

Many women have lost their lives during or as a result of rape.  Others experience problems having normal relationships again.  Flashbacks can continue for years, and many of these women suffer from PTSD-type symptoms.  I relived the horror of that night for years and years.

Rape is a horrific crime and should, in all instances, be tried in criminal courts, not put in the hands of laypeople.  Men who sexually assault women, if found guilty, should be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law, not just expelled from school.  However, they should not be expelled from school because of an accusation that may or may not be proven to be true.

That being said, I have more sympathy for John Doe than I do for Sandra Jones.  Even if he were guilty, which it appears he isn't, he deserved his day in court, fully represented by legal counsel to present his case and be judged by a jury of his peers, as guaranteed by the Constitution – not to have his life ruined by an unconstitutional tribunal.

Sandra Jones appears to be one of a growing number of young women trivializing true rape by crying rape when they get drunk and do something they later regret.  By doing so, they ruin young men's lives.  These young women should be educated about what sexual assault truly is.  Maybe the Obama administration should be educated as well.

Americans need to stand up and demand that our Constitution be followed before it is shredded further.

Claire Hawks is a gray-haired granny, an average American, and retired from both her RN and IT positions.

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