Title IX

2 Women Filed Sexual Misconduct Complaints Against a Nigerian Immigrant a Day Before He Graduated From Harvard. He Never Got His Diploma.

Following an insider trading conviction and the collapse of his career, Damilare Sonoiki is suing Harvard.

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It was May 30, 2013—the day of his graduation from Harvard University—and Damilare Sonoiki's life was about to change forever. But not the way he expected.

Over the next six years, his career in finance hit a dead end, he pleaded guilty to insider trading, and he was accused of sexual misconduct in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. He never received his Harvard degree, either.

Years earlier, the future looked much brighter. A native of Nigeria who had immigrated to the U.S. when he was 6 years old, Sonoiki was an American success story. He won numerous accolades at Harvard: He served as president of the university's Black Men's Forum, and was a recipient of the Association of Black Harvard Women's Annual Senior Award. He was chosen as male orator for his graduating class, and gave a speech to his fellow students that is still available on Harvard's YouTube channel. The next day, at his commencement, he walked across the stage just like everyone else.

But Sonoiki would never officially receive his Harvard degree. Unbeknownst to him, two female students had filed sexual misconduct complaints against him just hours before his graduation. According to a lawsuit Sonoiki has now filed against Harvard, these complaints were filed at the urging of administrator Sarah Rankin, who directed Harvard's Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. Months afterward—following an adjudicatory procedure that Sonoiki says violated basic principles of fairness—the school's Administrative Board formally expelled him.

"I had these false notions in my head of some kind of fairness," Sonoiki tells Reason. "It was Kafka-esque. It was just crazy."

Six years later, Sonoiki is suing Harvard for breach of contract. His lawsuit, filed in October 2019, argues that the university's sexual misconduct policy was "vague, over broad, and inherently unfair, and lacked basic definitions necessary for students to understand the elements of a policy violation." Indeed, Sonoiki was barely allowed to participate in the process: He was not able to appear at the hearing or confront witnesses against him, according to his attorney, Susan Stone. And the matter was adjudicated under Harvard's then-standard of evidence: "sufficiently persuaded," a vague standard that is not clearly defined in the Harvard handbook.

Prior to graduation, Sonoiki had landed a job at Goldman Sachs, and went to work there afterward. As the investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct continued, he feared his employer would eventually discover that he had never actually received his diploma. His lack of a diploma caused him to lose out on a major financial opportunity: He was eventually offered a job at a different investment firm that came with a significant signing bonus, but the firm rescinded the offer after running a background check on Sonoiki.

Deeply frustrated—and in need of cash so that he could pursue a lawsuit against Harvard—Sonoiki made a very bad decision: He engaged in insider trading.

"I was reading about all these stories about students who had sued their school, and so I thought, okay, that's what I'm going to do," says Sonoiki. "But obviously those things cost $50,000, or $100,000, which I just didn't have."

In 2018, he pleaded guilty to tipping off the NFL player Mychal Kendricks about four corporate acquisitions, which earned the Cleveland Browns linebacker $1.2 million in profits. Kendricks, in turn, paid Sonoiki $10,000 in cash and other perks—Eagles tickets and an invitation to a music video set—according to The Wall Street Journal.

"It's hard to explain the amount of anxiety and pressure that this stuff can put you under," says Sonoiki. "But it was a really stupid idea, just very dumb to [engage in insider trading]. I wish I hadn't."

Coverage of the insider trading scandal brought Sonoiki additional troubles: a second Journal article mentioned the sexual misconduct allegations against him, thus making them public for the first time. "Until a few weeks ago, Mr. Sonoiki's tale was that of an inspiring immigrant," the publication noted.

There were three sexual misconduct accusations against Sonoiki stemming from his time at Harvard. The first was made by a woman identified as "Ann" in his lawsuit. They saw each other at a party in spring 2011, and had a sexual encounter afterward. Nine months later, Ann went to Harvard's Office of Sexual Prevention and Response and told Rankin that she had blacked out that night and woke up having sex with Sonoiki. He disputes that she was blacked out during the encounter.

Importantly, Ann told Rankin she did not want to file a Title IX complaint, according to Sonoiki's lawsuit.

The second woman, "Betty," rented a New York City apartment with Sonoiki during summer 2012. The apartment had only one bed, which they shared. Their relationship became sexual, and they remained friends after the summer ended, according to Sonoiki.

The third woman, "Cindy," was an acquaintance of Betty's, and had intended to live with them in the apartment until her summer plans changed. Months later, in spring 2013, she encountered Sonoiki at a Harvard formal event. They had a sexual encounter that night, and the next morning, Cindy went to campus health services for emergency contraception. One of her doctors informed Rankin, who scheduled a meeting with Cindy.

Cindy declined a sexual assault examination, and told Rankin that she did not wish to file a Title IX complaint, according to Sonoiki.

But Rankin told Cindy that she "should file a Title IX complaint because [Sonoiki] had allegedly sexually assaulted another woman," according to Sonoiki's lawsuit. Jay Ellison, an associate dean and secretary of the Ad Board, which adjudicates students misconduct, also urged Cindy to file a complaint, the lawsuit claims.

Rankin, who is now a Title IX coordinator at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did not respond to a request for comment.

On May 17—two weeks before Sonoiki's graduation—Rankin called Ann and asked her to file a complaint as well, according to the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Ellison informed Sonoiki that there were informal sexual misconduct allegations against him, and if they were to become formal before commencement, it would impact his graduation prospects, Sonoiki told Reason.

At the time, Sonoiki expected that, at worst, it would simply take him longer to receive his degree.

"Stupidly, my biggest fear was like, my parents are coming in a week, do I have to tell them to cancel?" says Sonoiki. "They're excited. They're coming to see me graduate."

According to the lawsuit, the administration's efforts to persuade the women succeeded, and they filed complaints just in time to impact Sonoiki's future. A few days later, Betty also filed a complaint, alleging that "anywhere between three to five of her sexual encounters with [Sonoiki] in June 2012 were non-consensual," according to his lawsuit. For her part, Cindy "didn't think much about" her experience with Sonoiki, but after Rankin informed her of the other two incidents, Cindy changed her mind and decided to report, according to the lawsuit.

The effect was that the three women—each of whom had not initially considered their experience with Sonoiki to constitute sexual assault, according to him—were corralled into making life-derailing accusations against Sonoiki by Harvard's administration.

Harvard did not respond to a request for comment.

For the next several months, Sonoiki—who had moved to New York City—spoke with the Ad Board via Skype in an attempt to resolve the matter. He believed he was completely innocent of the charges, and looked forward to clearing his name. It soon became obvious to him that this would be impossible.

"I was trying to give my best recollection of events that were a year or two years ago," said Sonoiki, referencing his conversations with Harvard's investigators, "but I could also tell from their body language that if I said I didn't remember, or if I changed what I had said slightly, they thought I was lying."

Harvard's process specifically prohibited lawyers from being involved in these meetings, according to the lawsuit. Sonoiki was permitted to consult a faculty adviser, but this adviser couldn't be a lawyer, according to the university's policy at the time.

Sonoiki's lawsuit suggests that Harvard's treatment of him might have been motivated by racial discrimination—a violation of the handbook's guarantee that disciplinary procedures will be free of racial bias. He notes that not a single member of Harvard's 30-person Ad Board was a black man.

None of the three women who accused Sonoiki were black, and two of them were white. As I've written previously in my coverage of various Title IX disputes, some evidence suggests that black and immigrant male students may be disproportionately likely to face sexual misconduct adjudication, often because of accusations made by white women. The Atlantic's Emily Yoffe has made note of this phenomenon as well—albeit cautiously, given the dearth of solid data—in a must-read piece:

Melissa Kagle is one of three people who brought the race-discrimination complaint about Colgate to OCR. Kagle is a former assistant professor of educational studies at the school who, over the course of her last three years at the university, became a prominent critic of Colgate's handling of sexual misconduct. (She left after being denied tenure in 2016 and now works at an education nonprofit.) Her co-complainants were minority students who'd been accused of assault or harassment, and to whom Kagle had become an informal adviser. …

Kagle believes that men of color—and especially foreign men of color, students from Africa and Asia—were uniquely defenseless when charged with sexual assault, typically lacking financial resources, a network of support, and an understanding of their rights. She told me that university administrators, in their zeal to address an issue that was a top priority of federal regulators, had gone after rumors and third-party reports of assaults, pressuring some female students to pursue complaints. I spoke with two women who made harassment complaints against a Rwandan student who was later expelled. One said she hadn't wanted to make a complaint, but was told that it would help another woman feel safer; neither believed expulsion was the right outcome.

These concerns are shared by some members of Harvard's own law faculty.

"Case after Harvard case that has come to my attention, including several in which I have played some advocacy or adjudication role, has involved black male respondents, but the institution cannot 'know' this because it has not been thought important enough to monitor for racial bias," wrote Janet Halley, a law professor at Harvard, in a 2015 article for The Harvard Law Review Forum. "The general social disadvantage that black men continue to carry in our culture can make it easier for everyone in the adjudicative process to put the blame on them."

Sonoiki's lawsuit also argues that even if the Ad Board was unbiased, it had no jurisdiction to investigate him because he had already graduated—and since the Ad Board had not yet issued a formal charge, withholding his degree was improper.

"The issuance of charges against a student required an affirmative action by the Ad Board," Sonoiki's attorneys argue in his lawsuit. "Mere complaints of wrongdoing did not constitute a charge."

The lawsuit alleges four counts breach of contract and denial of fairness. Sonoiki is seeking in excess of $75,000 from Harvard on each count, an expungement of his disciplinary record, and his degree.

Harvard has filed a motion to dismiss the suit. Oral arguments will begin next month, on February 25.

Some people who read Sonoiki's story will undoubtedly lose sympathy for him when they learn about his insider trading conviction: Here was someone who had made it in the world and threw all that away. It occurs to Sonoiki that readers may come away with that impression. He understands. But he stressed that he felt trapped in his situation, knowing that it was only a matter of time before Harvard's denial of his degree would become public and cost him everything.

"I didn't have some rich uncle I could call to bail me out," he tells Reason. "I was just in a really, really nervous, anxious, dark place."

Just before the insider trading and sexual misconduct allegations became public, Sonoiki had left Goldman Sachs to become a TV writer, thanks to connections from his days at The Harvard Lampoon, a student-run humor publication. He had already earned writing credits on The Simpsons and Black-ish. These opportunities evaporated once his past came to light, though he hopes he can get a second chance if the lawsuit is settled in his favor.

"Obviously, we'll see," he says. "It's an uphill thing."

NEXT: Did Corporations Fund the Rise of Law and Economics in the 1940s and 1950s?

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  1. Looks like Harvard has a real race discrimination problem. I’m shocked.

    Veritas…..LOL. Yeah, sure.

    1. Stick with Oral Roberts, Liberty, Wheaton, Regent, and Grove City, Commenter_XY. They suit you.

      1. Stick with Absorbine Junior College, gecko.

        1. He flicked out of junior high school. The only thing he is an alumnus of is elementary school.

          1. I mean, let’s be truthful about it. Harvard has been sued for race discrimination. It is clear something is happening there. That is the truth. Veritas indeed. Now let them live it.

      2. You realize, rev, that you’re siding *against* a black guy alleging racial discrimination – his cause is much woker on the woke hierarchy than defending Harvard? To all intents and purposes, you’re adopting the conservative position.

        1. I’m mocking clingers who nip at the ankles of our strongest schools while operating our shoddiest schools.

          1. Yeah, the Oral Roberts administrators who post here should really be ashamed of themselves, especially for posing as agnostics/atheists.

          2. Pretty weak Arty, even for you. You’re just reactionary, and too stupid to even understand your own progtardery.

          3. I attended a recent graduation ceremony at Harvard for a child of mine, a PhD in the physical sciences. It was a virtual Asian and Caucasian ghetto… practically no persons of color as “color” is defined nowadays.

            I gathered the black students at Harvard tend to be in the Schools of Education and Disgruntled Studies.

      3. Do you consider those at Harvard to be your betters?

        1. No, he considers them his equals. He honestly believes that he is one of them. He’s retarded like that.

  2. Sonoiki’s lawsuit suggests that Harvard’s treatment of him might have been motivated by racial discrimination—a violation of the handbook’s guarantee that disciplinary procedures will be free of racial bias. He notes that not a single member of Harvard’s 30-person Ad Board was a black man.

    He’s got a shitty lawyer if he hasn’t been advised to self-identify as a woman and claim transphobia. Racism is so last decade, transphobia is the new hotness.

  3. If he completed the requirements for his degree, he should receive it. Everything else is a distraction.

    If Harvard isn’t required to give him his degree, whomever paid for his tuition, room and board should be reimbursed.

    1. That is where I net out. He completed the coursework, give him his degree. You can adjudicate these cases post-graduation.

      All of that aside though: This guy was thinking with the wrong head. A common affliction of men under 40.

      1. Eh.

        I wouldn’t be adverse to that as a new standard.

        The problem is that we (meaning American society) are still on-board with schools using non-academic criteria to enroll students, using non-academic criteria to retain students, using non-academic criteria to reward students, and yes, using non-academic criteria to expel students.

        And so long as we think universities should be more then just a schools, we’re going to get them acting like they are more then just schools.

        So to re-iterate… I agree in theory, but this is just one symptom of a much larger cultural problem.

        1. Escher….With respect, you overcomplicate this. This is simple, when you strip all the other stuff away.

          The student was accepted by Harvard
          The student completed all coursework
          The student met all academic graduation requirements

          Give him the damned degree.

          1. Could Harvard have expelled him for a non-academic, non-criminal reason a week before finals?
            Could Harvard have expelled him for a non-academic, non-criminal reason a semester before graduation?
            Could Harvard have expelled him for a non-academic, non-criminal reason a year before graduation?
            Could Harvard have refused to accept him for a non-academic, non-criminal reason?

            If you said “yes” to any of those, then you aren’t objecting to Harvard expelled him for a non-academic, non-criminal allegation, you are objecting to their timing.

            If you said “no” to any of those, then you aren’t objecting to this expulsion, you’re objecting to them having the ability to them expelling (or refusal to admit) for non-academic/non-criminal reasons.

            Whichever way you fall, the problem is bigger then this guy, and his relief, should he get it, will not be sufficient to address whatever it is you feel the real issue is.

            1. Whoops, forgot to clarify: if you said “yes” to some and “no” to others, then you’re as muddled and confused as the school is, and shouldn’t be surprised that they can’t give consistent elegant answers when you can’t either.

            2. Harvard is known as the name in qualification in the world. All students are equal so don’t do anything wrong with others. Get education https://writingservice.ae/thesis-help Dubai Thesis which helps you in the future and provides guidance to the students online.

            3. Escher, the answer to all four questions you posed is Yes. It does not take away from my point. You would label this a timing issue. I look at this like a breach of contract issue. Tuition was paid, coursework was completed, all academic requirements for graduation were met.

              To me, relief consists of Harvard giving him the degree he paid for, and earned. The sex stuff {he said, she said} can be sorted out by the courts.

  4. The public humiliation aspect of the American sense of justice goes back to the days of the Puritans. They used to put people in the stockade. It’s like making a woman wear a scarlet letter so that everyone will know forever that she’s an adulterer. They might brand someone on their faces with a mark showing some sin so as to publicly humiliate someone for ever for some sin.

    The internet and the easy background check has given the new puritanical prudes a new method for public humiliation. If this man were found guilty of sexual assault in a court of law, his victims should receive compensation. A court would never sentence him to deprivation of the degree he legitimately earned because doing so would violate all sorts of American legal principles, starting with cruel and unusual punishment. Harvard’s contractual obligations don’t disappear by the virtue of being prudes.

    It’s amazing how quickly “progressive” social justice warrior arguments degenerate into primitive concepts of justice they claim to oppose. No, Harvard, because you hate someone doesn’t mean they lose all their rights or that your contractual obligations to them suddenly disappear.

    1. Sex offender registries are the modern scarlet letter.

      1. Absolutely! But if not for sex offender registries how else would politicians get elected? It’s always baffling to me, however, how flippantly the women in these types of stories (and politicians who support draconian registries) crush the lives of several people so that they can get elected, money, revenge on an ex, etc etc. Meanwhile lives are ruined and dreams crushed- long after someone serves their time and is off probation. And then they become a problem of the taxpayer because they can no longer work or live anywhere.

    2. Progressives are the new puritans. They impose their beliefs on others through draconian law and public shame

    3. The public humiliation aspect of the American sense of justice goes back to the days of the Puritans.

      Harvard was founded as a Puritan seminary. They still teach their kids that going to Harvard entitles them to obedience from everyone else.

      -jcr

  5. I hope he sues the pants off Harvard and those women. The book/ movie on this is going to be awesome.

    Also, insider trading sounds super easy and I regret having a soul that pushed me away from finance.

    1. insider trading sounds super easy

      It’s super easy to do, it’s less easy to not get caught.

      1. If you want to do insider trading, being elected to Congress is the only true pass to getting away with it.

        I find it shocking more folk are not commenting on the real issue… that the poor schmuck was found guilty with none of the protections that would have available in a court of law.

        1. You mean, he was IMPEACHED?

        2. They are not commenting because it’s a given in such cases.

          I can think of no other crime where the burden of proof falls entirely on the accused and, as if that wasn’t enough, the accused is also not permitted to try to prove his innocence. Stalin’s court officials would be jealous.

          I get that sexual assault is a very serious thing to be accused of, but so is murder. If this poor schmuck was accused of murder, he’d actually be in a much stronger position right now.

        3. being elected to Congress is the only true pass to getting away with it

          You can also be a foreign diplomat.

          -jcr

  6. As I’ve written previously in my coverage of various Title IX disputes, some evidence suggests that black and immigrant male students may be disproportionately likely to face sexual misconduct adjudication, often because of accusations made by white women.

    Many of the worst people in the world are white women.

    1. They’re probably the most priveliged class in the world.

  7. “Case after Harvard case that has come to my attention, including several in which I have played some advocacy or adjudication role, has involved black male respondents, but the institution cannot ‘know’ this because it has not been thought important enough to monitor for racial bias,” wrote Janet Halley,

    The focus on racial discrimination is inappropriate. This guy was treated unfairly, as is just about every other male Title IX touches. The racial angle suggests Title IX inquisitions are fine as long as they penalize black and white men proportionately – or worse treat black men fairly but punish others because radfems demand vengeance for the Patriarchy.

    New idea: let’s make sexual harassment policies reasonable and fair to everyone.

    1. ^ This, x1000.

      I get absolutely nauseated by the constant resort to “harm to disadvantaged and underprivileged groups” when pleading that law and judicial processes be fair to all. Fuck that. Stop pushing those people down, stop pulling them up. Make the system equitable.

      1. Agree, but that’s the only way you can try to get through to the types of people who support this stuff. They perceive any harm caused to “privileged groups” as necessary and perhaps even desired collateral. You have to point out to them the hypocrisy of their position, that in any other situation they’d be up in arms about this kind of treatment to a black or brown person, especially one who didn’t come from money

    2. New idea: let’s make sexual harassment policies reasonable and fair to everyone.

      Alternatively, let’s make assault a crime, distinct from harassment, and not distinguish between sexual assault and any other form of assault. Harassment is a civil matter and employers can and should only care inasmuch as it affects work directly.

      If the fact that there are more women attending college than men and the fact that these Title IX tribunals are so rampant and the scope so broad isn’t a clear signal that the days and threat of an untouchable club of “good old boys” are long gone, I don’t know what is. Seriously, this Rankin character apparently couldn’t find a den of Mad Men milling about groping secretaries and has to go about inventing issues with victims who don’t want to file complaints against anyone.

      If you get sexually harassed at work and have absolutely no one to bring a grievance to and can’t change jobs, I strongly suspect sexual harassment is towards the bottom of your stack of life issues.

    3. Yes, race is irrelevant here. It’s not to ok to fuck somebody over even jf done equally to all races. In this case, gender bias is actually more relevant.

  8. Insider training or trading? Do you even read your articles? Should I just assume reason writers pour out their feelings on the keyboard and smugly post it knowing that what they wrote is a godsend to the plebs?

  9. Selling risky information worth more than $1 million for $10,000? Doesn’t sound like Goldman Sachs material.

    1. Ah, damn. A reasonable comment? You ended your streak, man!

      1. I know. He finally contributes something of interest other than his bigoted stupidity.

      2. He’ll make up for it a little further down the line.

    2. Selling risky information worth more than $1 million for $10,000?

      Not just selling it for $10K, but selling it for 1/5 of his minimum estimate to sue Harvard, ensuring he’d have to commit the crime at least 4 more times presumably with a $1M payout each time.

      I think your estimation of Goldman Sachs is too high. He sounds right up their alley.

      1. While also negotiating Eagles tickets and an invitation to a music video set in return for the tips. Unless he flipped those for additional cash the sob story falls a little flat.

        1. Yeah I thought the same thing. If he needed money why accept game tickets and the invitation to the music video set. Also $10,000 seems a little low for the information.

  10. “I was reading about all these stories about students who had sued their school, and so I thought, okay, that’s what I’m going to do,” says Sonoiki. “But obviously those things cost $50,000, or $100,000, which I just didn’t have.”

    He continued, “I did, though, inherit a vast fortune, when my princess sister passed away unexpectedly. Dear sir, I just need to find a way to bring it into the US legally and discreetly, for which I am willing to share part of it.”

    1. I laughed and now my entire office is wondering why

  11. “None of the three women who accused Sonoiki were black, and two of them were white.”

    Soooo….aliens? The third accuser. An alien?

    Please, please, please be an alien.

    1. Maybe the aliens identify as white women. Don’t assume the gender of speices for that matter.

  12. At what point, curious, will they pin all this madness on conservatives?

    I mean, after all, we’re redefining terms and meanings these days. AOC just claimed the DNC is centrist/conservative.

    I like lamp.

    1. Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein are “Russian assets”, Fallon Fox is ‘the bravest athlete in history’, and “Saving Private Ryan” is sexist for not including women in the D-Day landing.

      Confront them with the insanity of their claims and positions and their best response is “Well, in Trump’s America…”

    2. Today’s progressives are tomorrow’s conservatives.

      1. It’s pretty diabolical how they’ve shifted the language and terms where people like me(us?) are essentially centrist (with classical liberal and conservative overlaps – the ole ‘socially liberal, fiscally conservative’ line) have been declared ‘extremists’ by the neo-progressives. In doing so, then it becomes easier for them to say, ‘see? They’re extremists! We’re centrists! You’re gonna love our new, updated gulags. Trust us.’

        And that’s AOC. She’s a cunt.

      2. Isn’t that the entire idea behind the “liberal at 20/conservative at 40/heart/brain” meme?

        1. I have heard that meme as well. My observation is that it is less true than we would like to believe, as people tend to become more set in their ways and less likely to change as they age.

          1. When Winston Churchill made that observation, liberals wanted to change things.

  13. Another illustration of why colleges should stick to education and not try to manage the lives and affairs of their supposedly adult students.
    If he did something wrong, let a court decide his punishment. As far as Harvard should be concerned, he earned his degree.

    1. As far as Harvard should be concerned, he earned his degree.

      Yup. The only case where Harvard appears to have anything remotely resembling standing is the one where they met at a Harvard-sponsored event. The other two wouldn’t appear to be in Harvard’s jurisdiction even if it were a law enforcement body and one is arguably outside even the state of Mass.’s discretion. Unless his actions prevented these women from getting their degrees, which doesn’t seem to be the case, there’s grounds for any of it is pretty thin.

  14. The only silver lining to this is that no male will want to have sex with feminist progtard types at all anymore, which means that maybe they will drop out of the gene pool in a generation or two

    1. unfortunately, we’ve technologically advanced to where we can artificially impregnate people, and there’s plenty of male donors. Crazy feminists can get children to brainwash if they want to, having sex is no longer necessary.

      1. It’s only a matter of time before they start going after the sperm donors for sexual assault (I’m serious here!)

        1. Haven’t heard of that yet, but I did read a case where the state of Kentucky (or somewhere thereabouts. Pretty sure it was South and non-coastal) demanded that a married lesbian couple who had a kid go after the sperm donor for child support before they could get food stamps.

          As I recall, the couple ended up figuring things out without welfare because they were unwilling to punish the poor guy ’cause the state was an ass.

          1. Kansas, if I recall.

      2. Read an article somewhere that sperm donations are declining and are not expected to recover. Basically between the online gene databases, state laws to cost shift welfare, and decreasing fertility counts in western nations the number of men willing to donate and meeting requirements was too low (the article used a British clinic that had only six donations over a year as an example).

        1. Another reason, at least in America, is more women are just asking men in their lives rather then going to a clinic.

  15. You’re a Harvard graduate working for Goldman Sachs and you don’t have $50-$100,000?

    There’s got to be more to that story.

    1. Immediately after graduation most people, even many who pay their own way through college, don’t have that kind of cash on hand and with that little leverage and employment history it’s kinda hard to get a bank to float you a loan to sue Harvard.

      Not to say what he did was right, but not having $50-100K in disposable income cash to throw at the problem fresh out of school is not that unusual even for Ivy Leaguers (esp. self-made ones).

      1. A Harvard graduate working for Goldman Sachs suing Harvard under these circumstances could find a lawyer and make an arrangement.

        This isn’t a guy graduating from Local State West University, starting a management career at Local Factory, Inc., or an HR career at Big National Production, Inc.

        1. A Harvard graduate working for Goldman Sachs suing Harvard under these circumstances could find a lawyer and make an arrangement.

          First, by ‘an arrangement’ you mean something other than ‘cash on the barrelhead’. Again, not at all unusual for someone just out of school to have zero liquid assets.

          Second, you do know that Harvard happens to have a entire school full of lawyers that some claim are pretty good, right? Would you go up against them with a lawyer you’d worked a deal out with for less than the $50K you don’t have? I’d bet on the pro bono lawyer taking down LSWU at something between 5:1 and 10:1 odds.

        2. no pro bono lawyer is taking that case. especially back in 2013 / 2014 before the tide turned and more and more federal judges got these types of cases and ruled against schools. also $50k – $100k is pretty much just what you need to get started

      2. I’d think there’d be at least one lawyer out there willing to work a deal where he gets paid if they win, cause this seems like an easy case to me. Which makes me think Brian’s right, there might be more to the story.

        1. Brian’s dumb. The ‘shop around to find the cheapest neurosurgeon he can find’ kind of dumb. He’d sue Harvard with a lawyer who works for free.

          1. … says the guy who has no suspicion of the story, “I was connected enough to sell NFL players insider trading intel, but just couldn’t find an attorney.”

            You do you.

            1. Interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times, Shapiro declined to answer the question of how much he was charging Simpson for his defense. However, Robert Pugsley, a criminal-law professor at Southwestern University Law School (Los Angeles), estimated that the cost of Simpson’s defense — including the Dream Team, assistant lawyers, investigators, experts, jury specialists, pathologists, and expenses (office, travel, transportation, etc.) — would come to about $5 million.

              Charles Lindner, past president of the Los Angeles Criminal Bar Association, noted that top defense lawyers usually charge a starting flat fee of about $500,000 for a capital case involving a celebrity (and that was in 1994, so that amount is higher today). Given that during the trial, Simpson was represented by at least 10 attorneys, if you do the math ($500,000 x 10), you get a similar estimate: about $5 million.

              The $5 million estimate was confirmed during the Simpson civil trial three years later. At the civil trial in 1997, Simpson was found liable for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and slapped with an $8.5 million compensatory judgment and $25 million in punitive damages. Simpson’s lawyers argued that he was broke — having spent between $3 – $5 million in legal fees for his murder trial defense. He also paid nearly $200,00 to regain custody of his children from their maternal grandparents. At the time of the murder in June 1994, Simpson’s wealth was estimated to be about $16 million; by February 1997, he was broke, being $836,000 in debt — talk about financially squeezed O.J…

              Simpson’s legal bill is nothing compared to what the prosecution spent for their case — almost double. It is estimated that the prosecution’s case against Simpson cost taxpayers a whopping $9 million. This number includes the cost of district attorney, assistant attorneys, court costs (judge, court reporters, judicial assistants), sequestering of jury, sheriff’s deputies providing security, and Simpson’s incarceration for 473 days.

              IANAL but I’ve seen one on TV once.

        2. this seems like an easy case to me.

          Not really. Harvard clearly fucked up, but they’ve got the means to litigate for a LONG time.

          -jcr

  16. He’s very naive to think a Breach of Contract case would only cost $100k on the high end.

    My wife just finished a 2.5 year long BoC case with her brother in federal court.

    It was WAY more than $100k. And that was a piddly case, and there’s no way Harvard backs down, lest they might have to answer for LOTS more.

    1. Harvard’s endowment made $100K every three hours last year. It would be between dumb and mindless of them not to spend $50K a day to defend it.

      Sonoiki was almost certainly shopping around for a Johnnie Cochran who could raise the profile of his case and portray it as Harvard cheating a Nigerian immigrant and force them to a behind-closed-doors negotiation where he got his diploma in exchange for not disclosing how much he effectively “bought” his degree. A bad pro bono case that only an idiot or ideologue would take.

  17. You know who else is a Nigerian who needs help with an important matter worth millions of dollars?

  18. This is maddening.

    It sounds like a clear breach of contract since he had already earned his degree and the process was grossly unjust.

    It appears one sketchy accusation led to the others due to a diabolical and overzealous adminstrator, Ms. Rankin. And he was deemed guilty even though there was no evidence – no police report or rape kits – only the testimony of supposed “victims.”

    This is a classic case of modern misandrism so prevalent today and pushed by the #metoo witch hunters.

  19. One of her doctors informed Rankin

    AYFKM??????? Does doctor/patient confidentiality and medical privacy disappear when you go to Harvard?

    1. That’s university health services for you.

  20. Cindy went to campus health services for emergency contraception. One of her doctors informed Rankin, who scheduled a meeting with Cindy.

    Well that is the most unethical thing I have read today. I’ll go read up on the impeachment proceedings to settle my stomach.

  21. “The first was made by a woman identified as ‘Ann’ in his lawsuit. They saw each other at a party in spring 2011, and had a sexual encounter afterward. Nine months later, Ann went to Harvard’s Office of Sexual Prevention and Response and told Rankin that she had blacked out that night and woke up having sex with Sonoiki. He disputes that she was blacked out during the encounter.
    Importantly, Ann told Rankin she did not want to file a Title IX complaint, according to Sonoiki’s lawsuit.”

    This makes no sense. Why then did Ann go to Rankin in the first place? There’s something missing here.

    1. Heh, I read “Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response” both times. Funny to see it accurately quoted as “Harvard’s Office of Sexual Prevention and Response” the second time.

      And, to your point, the “She did not want to file a Title IX complaint.” is the defense’s accusation or claim; portraying Rankin (IMO, probably accurately) as a power-hungry administrative misandrist roving around, pressuring women into filing Title IX charges.

      It’s also possible that ‘Ann’ went to the Office for Sexual Prevention to report on another unrelated case that, observing monkey court rules, can’t be discussed.

  22. Hey, young men, here’s the deal in our newly prudish country:

    (1) Wait until marriage before having sex; otherwise, you risk being accused of sexual abuse or rape with no ability to defends yourself.

    (2) Only marry someone you trust unconditionally.

    (3) If you can’t find (2), stay celibate.

    1. 4) Find a safe hiding place for your lifesize Japanese anime girl doll.

      1. They are getting better with every release… I hear.

        1. “They are getting better with every release… I hear.”

          gross…

  23. FFS did this guy think he was Barack 0bama Sr.

  24. Maybe the sex assault charges are bogus, but DEFINITELY the charges of racism are. Give me a fucking break.

  25. “that she had blacked out that night and woke up having sex with Sonoiki. He disputes that she was blacked out during the encounter.”

    At least some of what she said was true!

    1. Also, to paraphrase the eternal words of Thomas Sowell, the only benefit of having a Harvard degree is knowing how ordinary other Harvard graduates really are.

      1. That might be true for the most intelligent of Harvard grads, but it’s clear that the average Harvard grad would rather hire a moron with an Ivy League degree than a genius from a state college.

  26. If the school believes that a crime has been committed, it should call the police, or at the very least, encourage the victim to do so. The proceedings in place at these schools are so insufficient that a kangaroo would be embarassed to have its name associated with them.

  27. Why does this remind me of Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

  28. blah blah blah… You’re a coward. Nowhere in this longwinded piece do you even attempt to attack the crux of this fraud: feminist academics and attorneys successfully butchering the English language, altering the definitions and parameters of sexual assault to retroactively turn mundane sex into a crime, even years after the fact.

    Did you know that merely telling your girlfriend what to wear on a date is now considered “abuse” by medical professionals, and is used as a risk factor in “dating violence” surveys? Do you trust that feminist researchers distinguish between “if I don’t wear the sexy dress he wants, he beats me” and “he wanted to surprise me for my birthday with dinner at a fancy restaurant and told me to wear my nice shoes?”

    Until enough people with a big enough audience attack feminist “theory” at the source, you’ll just keep reporting on outrageous persecutions like this.

  29. These concerns are shared by some members of Harvard’s own law faculty.

    I should hope so.

    The settlement should be enough that the dude never has to work again. Harvard’s deep pockets need to be hit hard enough to discourage this bullshit.

    1. eh, most of the time, kids just settle for their degree (if it happened after they already finished all their credits) and getting the disciplinary situation expunged from their transcript. there are a handful of cases where mid to high 6 figure settlements were reached, but it’s not the norm

  30. I am making a good salary from home $1200-$2500/week , which is amazing, under a year back I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and now it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with Everyone, Here is what I do. Follow details on this web page……. Read more

  31. Being “woke” will destroy a lot more innocent lives. Now, I don’t know if this guy is scum but Harvard’s process and decision is shameful. Sadly lefties have no shame.

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