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Interview: This Male Student Was Expelled for Raping His Girlfriend Even Though She Said He Did Nothing Wrong

"I would not want this to happen to anybody," says Grant Neal, formerly of Colorado State University-Pueblo. "I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy."

NealScreenshot via CBSThere was one moment during Colorado State University-Pueblo's investigation into sophomore Grant Neal—an athlete accused, and eventually expelled, for sexually assaulting his girlfriend—that made Neal realized he was about to be railroaded.

Neal's girlfriend, Jane Doe, never accused him of wrongdoing, and famously stated, "I'm fine and I wasn't raped." But CSU-Pueblo initiated an inquiry into their forbidden relationship, which violated an informal rule about physical trainers dating athletes. The university prohibited them from contacting one another during the course of the investigation, but Doe paid little heed to the no-contact order and sent Neal several supportive messages.

Neal, though, was worried her messages could get him in even more trouble, so he promptly informed Roosevelt Wilson, the university official charged with investigating the matter under Title IX—the federal state prohibiting sex-based inequality at institutions of higher education.

"it really hit me after the second meeting I had with the Title IX officer, Roosevelt Wilson," Neal recalled during an interview with Reason.

Neal asked Wilson what he should do about the fact that Doe was still texting him.

"I said, well, she's snapchatted me, what do you want me to do? He told me to open [the snapchat messages] and take a screenshot and send them to him, so I did that," he said.

This turned out to be bad advice.

"[Roosevelt's] email response back to me was, you could be potentially be in complication with your no contact order for opening the snapchats that she sent you," said Neal.

In other words, the man in charge of investigating whether Neal had raped a woman—a woman who emphatically stated that Neal had not done so—first told Neal to open emails from his girlfriend, and later told him he could be disciplined for opening them.

"That's when I immediately knew," said Neal. "That's when I really knew that the situation was above my control."

This was just one of many injustices perpetrated against Neal by his university. After denying Neal any meaningful way to demonstrate his innocence, CSU-Pueblo effectively ended his career, cancelling out his scholarships and opportunities to play football and pursue a wrestling career.

"One day I woke up and I had all my dreams in front of me and I was doing very well academically and on the football field, and then I just got a wrestling scholarship, and for that to be yanked away from me for no justifiable reason… that's hard to cope with," said Neal.

More than a year after being expelled, Neal has finally achieved a victory of sorts: a magistrate ruled just last week that his pending lawsuit against CSU-Pueblo should not be dismissed. Neal has filed suit against the university and its board of regents, as well as the federal Education Department. His lawsuit argues that CSU-Pueblo violated his due process rights, in part because of Title IX guidance from the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

The magistrate was not persuaded that OCR was to blame for Neal's situation and recommended dismissing his complaint against the feds. But the magistrate left room for him to amend this aspect of his lawsuit, and left intact his due process case against CSU-Pueblo.




When it comes to sexual assault allegations on college campuses, there are two sides to every story. Usually.

Neal's case is unique in that Doe, the alleged victim never made a complaint, and denied that Neal had done anything deserving of punishment.

Instead, a third party—who was an acquaintance of Doe's—made the complaint. This person, a female student and trainer, spotted a hickey on Doe's neck and surmised that she had been assaulted by Neal. Doe texted Neal to let him know he was likely to be questioned by university officials.

At the time, Neal had no idea his life was about to be made a living hell. In fact, he was worried Doe would be in trouble—for dating an athlete. When he went to meet up with Doe, he assumed he was going to "console" her.

"What happened then was she just seemed very visibly upset so my immediate reaction was that she probably got kicked out of the athletic training program," Neal says.

Instead, Doe began to explain to Neal that the other trainer had suggested to Dr. Richard Clark—director of the athletic training program—that Doe might have been assaulted by Neal. Clark immediately informed his wife, who was a CSU-Pueblo faculty member, and Wilson.

Doe attempted to put an end to the matter at once: Neal recorded her making the definitive statement, "I'm fine and I wasn't raped" to university officials. But no one cared. In the eyes of the university, it was not Doe's place to determine whether she was a victim of sexual assault—that was Wilson's job.

"I was just under the impression that there was a big mix-up and I didn't understand the magnitude of the situation that I was really in at that time," says Neal.

What followed was a mockery of due process. Roosevelt met with Neal and thrice accused him of raping Doe. At this point in time, no one had suggested to Neal that he should consult a lawyer, let alone inform him of the seriousness of his situation.

The investigation continued, even though Doe did not consider herself a victim of assault and was in fact interested in continuing her relationship with Neal. She even engaged in consensual sex with him the night after the Title IX investigation began.

Incidentally, this act was accidentally witnessed by one of Neal's roommates, and he thought it should count as evidence in his favor. But Wilson declined to interview the roommate. Wilson went so far as to lecture Neal that it was his job—not Neal's—to decide which witnesses were worth interviewing.

"[Wilson] would deem things evidence if he wanted to," says Neal. "He didn't allow me to call any witnesses in my favor."

Since Wilson wasn't interested in any opinion that contradicted his theory of what happened, his investigative report could reach only one conclusion, even if that report contradicted the opinions of both Neal and Doe. In early December of 2015, Wilson submitted his report to Jennifer DeLuna, CSU-Pueblo's director of diversity and inclusion. Neal was given just 24 hours to make himself available to appear before DeLuna. This meeting was, in Neal's view, a "sham."

"It wasn't actually a hearing at all," says Neal. "I was allowed to have legal counsel there if I wanted to, but the legal counsel wasn't allowed to counsel."

This meeting represented Neal's first opportunity to read the report and take stock of the charges against him, and the university's evidence. He was not allowed to make a copy of the report—all he could do was try his best to commit it to memory.

Note that the report was not an exact transcript of Wilson's conversations with relevant witnesses: it was merely Wilson's recollection and summarization of those conversations. According to Neal, it contained numerous factual errors. For instance, the report cited the Clarks as claiming that Doe did not consent to sex with Neal. Neal says that's a clear mistake: Doe did not consent to unprotected sex, but enthusiastically agreed to have sex with Neal after he put on a condom.

On December 18, DeLuna informed Neal that he would be suspended for sexual misconduct until Doe finished school. Neal's lawsuit alleges that DeLuna's decision contained further errors: it referred to Doe as the complainant, even though Doe never made any complaint against Neal.

Neal appealed the decision. His appeal was denied.




In the months that followed, it was difficult for Neal not to succumb to depression. He made several attempts to transfer schools, but was denied admission every time. His status as a sexual misconduct violator killed his chances.

"It's one thing for someone to tell you that your dreams aren't attainable but to have that written to you on multiple occasions and still have to apply and try, and still to keep going forward… I can't even begin to describe the pain," says Neal, beginning to choke up.

He became a nutrition specialist at GNC, and draws strength from his grandmother, who reminds him to "control the controllables." He's currently watching his friends prepare to graduate and pursue opportunities that are no longer available to him.

It's an experience that would make anyone bitter, though Neal says he doesn't hold Doe responsible. How could he, when she never complained?

"I blame Roosevelt Wilson for conducting a non-impartial investigation," he says. "I blame the university for standing by and watch a miscarriage of justice happen. I blame Title IX and the Department of Education for profiling males in a certain manner, scaring universities into making decisions that aren't necessarily just."

There are other issues. Neal, like so many male students disciplined as a result of Title IX investigations, is an athlete of color. And Doe, like so many alleged victims, is a white woman. Could racism have been a factor here? Neal doesn't want to believe so—he hates to "assume the race card"—but finds it hard to ignore.

"I want to think that that's not true but I wouldn't put it past them," he says. "It's terrible, and black, white, Latino, I would not want this to happen to anybody. I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy."

Neal pauses.

"I wouldn't wish this upon Roosevelt Wilson, who put me through this," he says.




Dozens of wrongfully punished students have brought lawsuits against universities. Neal's is novel in that it seeks to hold the federal government responsible for eroding due process rights on campuses. At Reason and elsewhere, I have made the case that the Education Department's Title IX guidance does not comport with basic principles of justice, and should be revised.

Unfortunately, it was this aspect of Neal's lawsuit that the magistrate contested. The magistrate's recommendation suggests that CSU-Pueblo's treatment of Neal was so glaringly unfair, it might be a stretch to blame the government.

And yet OCR's Title IX guidance is at the center of so much of the college war on due process. Universities are worried that they will lose federal funding if they do not obey the dictates of OCR, which requires the use of the preponderance of the evidence standard while discouraging cross-examination. This puts many accused students in a position where they are unable to prove their innocence, because they have been deprived of the means to do so.

"One rape on the campus is horrible and I will not stand for it whatsoever," says Neal. "But then again, one false accusation does not solve the problem. I really feel like the Title IX proceedings and things like that are a band-aid solution to a bigger problem, and I feel like it's not going to help anything."

Photo Credit: Screenshot via CBS

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    Be in a relationship like a thug, get punished for rape like a thug.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I sincerely hope you are trying to be funny. Because if you aren't, given the content of the article, that is one of the stupidest comments I've ever read.

  • pan fried wylie||

    It's like you didn't bother even turning on your sarcasmometer.

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • MarkLastname||

    I thought being in a relationship was its own punishment.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The whole thing is kafkaesque bullshit, but under the progressives power theory of rape, shouldn't the trainer be the rapist as she was a university employee with power over the student and aggressively pursued him?

    Or is it progressives latent racism coming reemrging?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's not racism, it's misandry.

  • jupistar||

    There could be racism, but that's clearly not the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the "war on men" framed as defense against men/rape culture.

    And Title IX, OCR, federal involvement are the underpinnings of it. Attacking the symptom, instead of the system, of this problem only allows the symptoms to emerge elsewhere and in other ways; the school environment is just one symptom of this system of male subjugation.

  • Snort||

    Men won the war on women back with the widespread acceptance agriculture. (Men dominated the fields, or the source of food and women kept house.) The discovery of writing (again dominated by men who decided who had access), determined who held power. Now that (almost exclusively) liberals are trying to weaken men's hold on power (women politicians, business women, equal pay for equal work, etc...) naturally some men are (insecure? threatened? intimidated?) definitely resisting. It seems to me libertarians would, for the most part. be OK with this while (many if not most) true conservatives would be throwing a hissy fit.

  • John C. Randolph||

    latent racism

    You misspelled "blatant".

    This guy's getting railroaded because he's black and his girlfriend is white. The apparakchiki persecuting him are hard-core racists.

    -jcr

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why is it necessary for this story to take up half the front page of the site?

  • $park¥ don't care bout yo mom||

    Because?

    Based on the length, I'm guessing this story is from the print edition and that's what they do with print edition stories.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No.

    They put an excerpt or write up a summary on the front page, and you have to click the story to read the whole thing. Some of those print stories even have multiple pages.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Just to piss you off, Ken.

  • jmg09||

    With an name like Roosevelt Wilson, what could go wrong?

  • Juice||

    I know. When I saw that name, I was like, nothing good ever comes from that name.

  • MarkLastname||

    His middle name is Baines I bet

  • MarkLastname||

    I wonder if his friends call him Roose?

  • skunkman||

    Post of the day jmg09, post of the day. Bravo.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What disturbs me is that these proggies are quick to see racism in other contexts.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/t.....67570.html

    It is as if they do not have principles.

  • Tyler.C||

    Did you read the qualifications in the
    author of that

  • JackState||

    Two different progs. Check your collectivist thinking.

  • Memory Hole||

    No good pussy goes unpunished.

  • Rational Exuberance||

  • Banquo||

    "I wouldn't wish this upon Roosevelt Wilson, who put me through this,"

    You, sir, are a bigger man than I.

  • pan fried wylie||

    "Now, I didn't say I didn't wish some lesser harm, say, like, cancer."

  • Not a True MJG||

    Oh, I bet he is.

  • FreeRadical||

    Rage. Just rage.

  • Voros McCracken||

    "Neal, though, was worried her messages could get him in even more trouble, so he promptly informed Roosevelt Wilson, the university official charged with investigating the matter under Title IX..."

    *facepalm*

    We need to start educating our children at an early age that prosecutors will not play fair and aren't ever on your side, regardless of what side you happen to be on.

  • steve walsh||

    As it turns out he was correct, those messages did get him in even more trouble.

    Every parent should watch and then show their children that video on why you should never talk to investigators and/or cops.

  • Hangin' with Agent Cooper||

    I just re-watched The Lives of Others. So CSU-Pueblo is basically East Germany, 1985.

  • Cloudbuster||

    How can they have a sexual assault, when they are unable to present a sexual assault victim?

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Just because Jan Doe doesn't know she's victim, doesn't mean she isn't a victim.
    And isn't the real victim all of society, the collective? Hmmm?

  • Conchfritters||

    If we can prove that this guy raped all of society, we can put him away for a looooooong time.

  • Macy's Window||

    We don't need to prove that. He needs to prove that he didn't.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Long story short.
    This guy was just handed a $2million winning lottery (lawsuit) ticket.

    Terrible experience but he'll get over it X100.

  • Conchfritters||

    I'm generally for tort reform, but cases like this scream out for a $500 million judgement. The whole institution deserves to fail for this derp, and that would send a loud message to the other colleges who want to derp.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Lots of static on these stories, "rape culture," "hunting grounds," "war on women" memes fit the progressive narrative all too well; however, at the end of the day when it costs a school multi million dollar lawsuits it will very quickly go away. That's "principle" for you.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    In the eyes of the university, it was not Doe's place to determine whether she was a victim of sexual assault—that was Wilson's job.

    And that's how you effectively remove a woman's agency.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Yay feminism?

  • Billy Bones||

    "Unfortunately, it was this aspect of Neal's lawsuit that the magistrate contested. The magistrate's recommendation suggests that CSU-Pueblo's treatment of Neal was so glaringly unfair, it might be a stretch to blame the government."

    A stretch? My ass. The government (OCR) has dictated that universities adjudicate sexual assault. If any given university that has a "treatment...so glaringly unfair", it is because of a proper lack of guidance and oversight from the government. The government is more at fault for this situation than is the school. Get your head screwed on straight, your Honor.

  • LarryA||

    it is because of a proper lack of way too much guidance and oversight from the federal government over something they shouldn't be involved in at all

  • John Thacker||

    Poor guy trusted a university Title IX officer instead of going out and getting a lawyer immediately.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The process would probably have denied him the right to a lawyer. The whole business is almost calculated to get the University sued. One might wonder if the bureaucrat who came up with it has it in for institutions of higher education.

  • Voros McCracken||

    My opinion is "the process" can go fuck itself, I'm getting a lawyer. And if I then get punished for seeking legal counsel, well then I'd sue and I'd win, and potentially drag down the whole apparatus in the process.

    The University can claim whatever they want to when it comes to my right to legal counsel, I possess that right regardless.

  • Ragoftag||

    They let counsel be present, but refused to let him do squat. The local bar should have filed suit as a civil rights case and denial of business.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Jesus. Positively Kefkaesque.

    Thanks for the reporting, Robbo. Keep up the good work.

  • ||

    In the eyes of the university, it was not Doe's place to determine whether she was a victim of sexual assault—that was Wilson's job.

    Doesn't the state have cages full of these perpetrators that would be more than willing to educate Wilson on the topic of sexual assault and victimization? Seems like if we're gonna have those lying around, we should use them for something.

  • John Thacker||

    Some of this chain of events is likely related to "mandated reporting" laws that make it illegal for lots of people to not refer "suspected" sexual assault (but of course there's no trouble for crying wolf excessively, so a fat thumb on the scale.)

  • guyfromNYC||

    A relevant addendum: don't have all the facts but did some side googling on this and Roosevelt Wilson (that name could only belong to a civil rights/equal opp/title ix activist - born and named for destruction) since resigned from his post. Good riddance to that thing but with current day Lefties, he's a hero and will land somewhere and earn more money trying to destroy others' lives.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Fucker probably got a promotion.

  • MoreFreedom||

    This is exactly like a police officer telling someone they need to go and commit a crime, so the police can then arrest them for following the police officer's instructions. E.G., imagine OJ Simpson asked a cop about the guys who stole sports memorabilia from him, and was advised to just go take it via force, so they could then prosecute him for it.

    Seems to me Roosevelt Wilson should probably be prosecuted for telling someone to break the law so his office could prosecute then. And I'd say he has a good case for a lawsuit against the university for expelling him. Rather than suing for damages, I'd suggest he sue the university for the amount of federal funding they receive that led them to violate his civil rights to due process. That will get some attention.

  • Art Gecko||

    Never cooperate with any investigation of you.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Correct.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Apparently, progtard logic now requires that a woman must be believed if she alleges a rape occurred, but disbelieved if she says a rape did NOT occur.

    -jcr

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Every encounter with a man is rape. And, don't get me started on black men.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "I wouldn't wish this upon Roosevelt Wilson, who put me through this,"

    I hope Roosevelt Wilson gets Lou Gehrig's Disease.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "I wouldn't wish this upon Roosevelt Wilson, who put me through this,"

    I hope Roosevelt Wilson gets Lou Gehrig's Disease.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    If Trump accomplished anything for however long he is in office, I hope it includes

    1. As many conservative libertarian justices as possible to fill all vacancies on the federal judiciary and
    2. The elimination of the Title IX OCR, if not the entire Federal Department of Education

    Mexican walls and Russian conspiracies be damned.

  • Glide||

    About once a month, Reason will run something about a government shakedown that's such a miscarriage of justice it honestly makes me furious instead of just cynical. This is one of those. Fuck that university and that dickhead admin.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    many times. African-American male student athlete, white female student, 'taboo' sex, rinse, repeat. The difference today is internet culture and the attendant 'social justice' movement which encourages "protected groups" -- primarily white women in these cases — to view themselves and other white women as victims in all hetero carnal encounters, esp. those with African-American males, and even moreso with African-American male athletes.

    While all the encounters I saw or experienced were consensual and benign — even those involving alcohol, drugs and the rush of endorphins that comes with lowered inhibitions and the mixing of races -- those same encounters in today's trauma culture would likely be characterized as assaults dependent upon whose post-coital euphoria collapses and whose shame emerges first.

    The bureaucrats in these cases -- OCR's Title IX pezzonovante -- tend to be the worst of the petty moralists, making even Hawthorne's Dimmesdale seem a red-hot libertine by contrast. It's almost as if they want to punish the students for acting out in real life the sexual (ph)antasies that have long since become elusive for themselves. As if casual sex is not risky enough it must be punished by social fiat. Scarlett letters for them all!

    If these cases weren't happening with what appears to be such frequency they almost seem too absurd to make up. Almost.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    Part of the first sentence appears to have been deleted. It should read:

    **As someone who attended a large university with a celebrated athletic program I saw these scenarios unfold** many times...

  • ant1sthenes||

    Roosevelt Wilson sounds like the name of an Ayn Rand villain, or at specifically designed to pissed me off.

  • Shoyga||

    I'm sure Mr. Wilson can help interested parties to grasp the finer points of, and the logic underpinning, this application of Title IX.

    "More information on the training and if any students, faculty or staff members who are victims of sexual harassment or assault, they are encouraged to contact Wilson at 719-549-2210/2223 or via email at Roosevelt.Wilson@csupueblo.edu. For after hours/emergencies, Wilson can be contacted at 719-290-7332."

    (As per http://csupueblotoday.com/unca.....x-training)

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    An earlier post indicated that he [RW] was canned; there is someone else in that position now. Hopefully they have learned from this travesty or a kangaroo court.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: This Male Student Was Expelled for Raping His Girlfriend Even Though She Said He Did Nothing Wrong

    We should all be grateful the Glorious People's Revolution has been accelerated in these People's Courts of Academia. It is our higher institutions of learning that have the right idea of ruining people's reputations, throwing them out of school without the archaic, sexist, bourgeouis and racist dogma of due process. Soon, there our oppressed country will be filled with other People's Courts that will try, condemn, imprison and execute all the capitalists for nefarious crimes as freedom of association, making money, engaging in free speech, at the expense of the parasite class. But only after a fair trial, of course. After these vile villains of freedom are either re-educated in our wonderful gulags (run by the kind, understanding and sadistic guards) or taken out or randomly shot, our society will be finally rid of those who know how make money, fix our cars, have electricity run, make clean and running water a reality be gone forever. Just like other socialist paradises like Cuba and North Korea, we can finally have an efficient and well run country where the enlightened and suppressed can finally co-habitat in a symbiotic nature.

  • ||

    I had to stop reading this inane account-I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Rights! Where go thou??????

  • Empress Trudy||

    People need to be informed consumers, do their research and not attend schools who existence is predicated on punishing men. Don't go, don't pay them.

  • Africanis||

    Its to bad he wasn't a gay black man, they would have given him an Oscar!

  • Blackboard Monitor Vimes||

    You know who else did nothing wrong?

  • Locris||

    Hmmm, no evidence, no victim, no criminal charges.
    Sounds like a grand lawsuit to me.
    Or one hell of a "public service" announcement.

  • Sewblon||

    This is such an easy thing to fix. Just amend Title IX to forbid universities and other institutions from handling sexual assault accusations internally. Require all charges to be handled by common law courts. That way the accused will have the right to consult a lawyer, cross-examine witnesses, and call witnesses on their own behalf by default.

  • Schizoidman_21||

    Exactly! No one wants to protect real rapists!

  • Don't look at me.||

    Thinking is no longer allowed by those in power.

  • Schizoidman_21||

    I have 3 sons, all college age and Title IX is a big problem. I told my sons if they ever get harassed by a girl or she sends photos of any kind, innocent or racy, to immediately destroy the card in the phone and change their e-mail account. If anything ever comes back to them there will be no electronic record in their possession. They then deny ever receiving any such thing.

    Progressives have re-defined rape as to be totally meaningless so it now means anything they want to call it.

    Total bull shit!

  • Snort||

    How old was the girl? How old was the boy? What is the legal definition of statutory rape in Colorado? Sometimes my attention span suffers (no lunch), but I didn't see these FACTS in this article. If this is indeed statutory rape It would appear the author is condoning sex between and adult and a minor. Remember Milo?

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