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Here Is Every Crazy Title IX Rape Case Betsy DeVos Referenced, Plus a Bunch More

Education Secretary is right to call Title IX a "failed system." Here's the proof.

DeVosMichael Brochstein/Sipa USA/NewscomEducation Secretary Betsy DeVos today criticized the previous administration's approach to campus sexual assault, accusing it of imposing a "broken system" that mistreats both accused students and rape survivors.

The Obama-era Office for Civil Rights compelled universities to design sexual assault adjudication policies that have deprived students of due process rights and weakened protections for freedom of expression. In a speech this afternoon, DeVos said her department would revise its existing guidance for complying with Title IX, the federal statute at the center of the effort.

DeVos cited several examples of colleges putting students through Kafkaesque quasi-judicial procedures. I promise you they are real. We've written about them at Reason.

Here's a list of some of DeVos's examples, with links to our articles about them.

1. Stony Brook University

"The current failed system left one student to fend for herself at a university disciplinary hearing," said Devos. "She told her university that another student sexually assaulted her in her dorm room. In turn, her university told her she would have to prosecute the case herself. Without any legal training whatsoever, she had to prepare an opening statement, fix exhibits and find witnesses."

I covered that case here: "College Rape Trials Are Unfair to Men and Women. Here's Why."

2. The University of Southern California

"You may have recently read about a disturbing case in California," said DeVos. "It's the story of an athlete, his girlfriend, and the failed system. The couple was described as 'playfully roughhousing,' but a witness thought otherwise and the incident was reported to the university's Title IX coordinator. The young woman repeatedly assured campus officials she had not been abused nor had any misconduct occurred. But because of the failed system, university administrators told her they knew better. They dismissed the young man, her boyfriend, from the football team and expelled him from school. 'When I told the truth,' the young woman said, 'I was stereotyped and was told I must be a 'battered' woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled.'"

Elizabeth Nolan Brown wrote about that one here: "Star-Crossed Student Athletes Torn Apart By Title IX Witchhunt at USC."

3. George Mason University

"Another student at a different school saw her rapist go free," said Devos. "He was found responsible by the school, but in doing so, the failed system denied him due process. He sued the school, and after several appeals in civil court, he walked free."

There are a few different cases that arguably meet this description; I wrote about one of them here: "Students Had BDSM Sex. Male Says He Obeyed Safe Word. GMU Agreed, Expelled Him Anyway."

4. The University of Tennessee

"A student on another campus is under a Title IX investigation for a wrong answer on a quiz," said DeVos. "The question asked the name of the class Lab instructor. The student didn't know the instructor's name, so he made one up—Sarah Jackson—which unbeknownst to him turned out to be the name of a model. He was given a zero and told that his answer was 'inappropriate' because it allegedly objectified the female instructor. He was informed that his answer 'meets the Title IX definition of sexual harassment.' His university opened an investigation without any complainants."

That can't be true. It's just too crazy, right? Wrong. It happened, and I wrote about it here: "Tennessee Student Accused of Sexual Harassment Because He Wrote Instructor's Name Wrong." And I posted a follow-up here: "UT Student Now Being Investigated for Sexual Harassment After Writing His Instructor's Name Wrong."

5. various colleges

"Too many cases involve students and faculty who have faced investigation and punishment simply for speaking their minds or teaching their classes," said DeVos.

Consider the case of Northwestern University's Laura Kipnis, whose skepticism about rules forbidding sexual relationships between students and professors led to her being investigated under Title IX: "This Prof Dared to Challenge Her Students' Views on Sex. Here's How They Retaliated."

Or the case of Louisiana State University's Teresa Buchanan: "LSU Professor Fired for Telling Jokes Is Latest Victim of College Anti-Sex Hysteria."

Or a case at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where residence advisors claimed that making jokes about Harambe, the dead gorilla and internet meme, could constitute a violation of Title IX: "UMass-Amherst: Harambe Jokes Are Racist Microaggressions, Violate Title IX."

Then there are some Title IX cases DeVos neither mentioned nor implied, but could have easily served as examples of the sort of mania that has taken hold on campuses:

6. Amherst College

A male student was expelled for sexual assault, even though he had credible evidence that his accuser had assaulted him: "Amherst Student Was Expelled for Rape. But He Was Raped, Evidence Shows."

7. Brandeis University

A gay male student accused his ex-boyfriend of sexual assault. Even though the alleged infractions—a stolen glance in the shower, a wake-up kiss—were incredibly silly, the investigator found the accused responsible for sexual misconduct: "Judge Sides with Gay Brandeis Student Guilty of 'Serious Sexual Transgression' for Kissing Sleeping Boyfriend."

8. Colorado State University-Pueblo

An athlete of color, Grant Neal, was accused of sexually assaulting a female trainer—but not by her. When questioned, the trainer said, "I'm fine and I wasn't raped." University officials pointed out that according to Title IX, they got to be the judge of that, not her. Neal was deemed guilty and expelled: "Female Student Said, 'I'm Fine and I Wasn't Raped.' University Investigated, Expelled Boyfriend Anyway."

9. University of Texas-Arlington

A gay male student claimed a classmate, Thomas Klocke, told him to "consider killing himself." The classmate denied ever saying such a thing; according to his version of events, the accuser came on to him and didn't appreciate being rejected. The gay student filed a Title IX sexual harassment complaint against Klocke, who was found responsible. He then committed suicide: "Lawsuit: Male Student Accused of Sexual Harassment for Rejecting Gay Advances Commits Suicide After Title IX Verdict."

Critics of DeVos will say that her plan to reform Title IX is some kind of giveaway to rapists. But it's not. Today, DeVos recognized a basic and obvious truth that every objective chronicler of the college rape crisis already knows: The Obama-era modifications to Title IX utterly failed to bring justice to campuses.

Photo Credit: Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    I guess Robby is taking a break from his book. How many trashcans of crumpled pages of paper did you have to empty today?

    "The night sky was cloudy and gloomy, to be sure, when I first stepped on the campus of Everest College, to personally experience...."

    'No, that's not it either,' Robby said to himself, as he stopped, printed out what he just write, and crumpled it into the overfilled wastebasket in the corner of his office. 'I need to get back to my roots,' he thought, as he logged into his Reason account.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Michael Hihn would be very activate that night.

  • BearOdinson||

    The night was humid
    moist
    hot and wet
    SULTRY!

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    What do you have against Robbie's mama?

  • Ariki||

    ...dark and full of terrorists?

  • Cy||

    ...dark and full of.... NAZIS!

  • TGoodchild||

    funny

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So how's this being received on the social medias?

  • Charles Easterly||

    So how's this being received on the social medias?

    Does the answer begin with a vowel?

  • ||

    No, with an R. REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My facebook is angry. It has become active, and people are quickly claiming that women are being raped without consequence.

  • Rhywun||

    You might want to step away from the facebook for a few days. Better yet, forever.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    No, I must stay up to date on which bands I like are touring.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Such as?

  • EscherEnigma||

    I thought that's what Myspace was for.

  • Rhywun||

    Then just sign up for email updates ("favorite friends" or whatever they call that).

  • Sevo||

    "The Obama-era Office for Civil Rights compelled universities to design sexual assault adjudication policies that have deprived students of due process rights and weakened protections for freedom of expression."

    First, that was not "Obama era", that was "Obama mandated" if I'm not wrong. I think he was pretty clear about fronting the issue. Secondly, while I know DeVos has yet to deliver on the promise, it's looking likely that she will do so. I will be happy to eat those words if she doesn't.
    Now here's the payoff:
    All you who claim Trump is 'bad for personal liberty', please tell me what the hag would have done, and how that would have been better.
    Nick? Nick? Let's start with you.

  • Zeb||

    First, that was not "Obama era", that was "Obama mandated"

    The two are not contradictory and the former is certainly true. But I guess the most important thing is blaming someone.

  • Huzzah||

    It's Sevo man, for him it was a decent comment.

  • SIV||

    Yeah, I'd hit the "like" button if there was one.

  • Sevo||

    "But I guess the most important thing is blaming someone."

    Yeah, like Social Security is "FDR era"?
    Certainly wouldn't want to name the people responsible, would we?
    Would you prefer to keep it a secret?

  • Sevo||

    Zeb, I'm still waiting for more of your sage advice:

    "But I guess the most important thing is blaming someone."

    Should we call O-Care O-era-care? Did you have a point or just decided to spout bullshit?

  • ApoxOnBothTheirHouses||

    "Should we call O-Care O-era-care? Did you have a point or just decided to spout bullshit?"

    How about using the actual name of the act or it's initialism Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or if that's too long it can be shortened to Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

  • p3orion||

    Because I can't say the real name without making insipid air quotes around "Protection" and "Affordable."

  • Trainer||

    "Like"

  • fafalone||

    Congrats, you've identified 1 of the 2 areas that exist where the Republicans are better than Democrats (the other being 2nd Amendment), and the hag would have been worse than Darth Cheeto. The other 1000 areas are evenly split among 'just as bad' or 'worse', including all the other personal liberty issues like the tiny issue of the 4th Amendment.

  • Sevo||

    "The other 1000 areas are evenly split among 'just as bad' or 'worse', including all the other personal liberty issues like the tiny issue of the 4th Amendment."

    What's your point?

  • fafalone||

    Oh and by the way it's only one particular facet of the one area, as the guidance protecting trans- students is being thrown out as well, part of the R- desire to get their bigot on with false claims that it lets in regular men (when the opposite is true, see: Buck Angel- you can't identify a transman so men won't even have to cross-dress, just say they're transmen) or that there's an increase in crime (there's not, but since the facts and statistics contradict our dogma, they don't count, hey sounds familiar don't it Progressives).

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ok, which commenter is Betsy Devos?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Domestic Dissident

  • Rhywun||

    DeVos recognized a basic and obvious truth that every objective chronicler of the college rape crisis already knows

    It doesn't exist?

  • Rich||

    "I was ... told I must be a 'battered' woman, and that made me feel demeaned"

    Exactly.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    If her boyfriend didn't batter her, USC did.

  • Rich||

    Exactly.

  • Brandybuck||

    You can say that again!

  • ApoxOnBothTheirHouses||

    That again.

  • MSimon||

    That.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Hm. This is a positive development. But we know progressives (i.e. Regressives) hate due process. The question is, do I venture on to fb with intent to troll or do I preserve my sanity? Decisions...

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Another student at a different school saw her rapist go free," said Devos. "He was found responsible by the school, but in doing so, the failed system denied him due process. He sued the school, and after several appeals in civil court, he walked free."

    Uh, sounds like he wasn't a "rapist", and therefore should be allowed to "walk free", kind of like Betsy and me. Her statement here is a curious melange of value judgments that contradict one another. We "know" that the guy was a rapist, via a "failed system" that "denied him due process"? Then how do we know that the school's finding was correct? Sounds like it wasn't correct, since a civil court overturned it. Betsy has a tendency to mount on her horse and ride off in all directions.

  • ||

    There are a few different cases that arguably meet this description;

    I freely admit she does seem to have her wires crossed, but considering the distortion inherent in the context (civil courts decide innocence/guilt wrt rape?) I wouldn't deny or would grant her the understanding/credibility that not only does the system falsely accuse regular innocent students, but it also distorts justice or even grants reprieve for actual rapists as well.

  • An Non||

    I would actually be very, very surprised if the system hasn't managed to ruin some once-good rape cases through their violations of the accused's civil rights. This is why a better direction would be to flat-out have forbidden schools to have any of this process handled in-house when a crime is involved.

  • Sevo||

    An Non|9.7.17 @ 5:35PM|#
    "This is why a better direction would be to flat-out have forbidden schools to have any of this process handled in-house when a crime is involved."

    On considering it, the last time a government yielded the monopoly on force to others, it had to do with keeping those of a certain race in servitude to the 'masters' (of another race) to whom the government granted that use of force.
    As I recall, it was a D majority which was required to continue the process, and it took a civil war in which we all lost freedoms to correct the matter.
    Hey, Zeb! Should we call the loss of habeas corpus a 'Lincoln-era' problem?

  • Zeb||

    Well, he could be a rapist, but because of the stupid way they handled it (and because it was handled by the school and not a court), we'll never know.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... so, is DeVos going to work with the Justice Department to make sure that rape allegations are being taken seriously by police and prosecutors, or is she just going to ignore the underlying problem that led to the Title IX abuse?

  • Rhywun||

    I don't see why rape allegations at school should be treated any differently from rape allegations anywhere else. If they're not "being taken seriously" (really?) then that's a law 'n' order problem, not an education problem.

  • MarkLastname||

    Precisely. If you go up to the clerk at Wal-mart and tell them you've been raped, it's not their job to deal with it. Same with colleges.

    This is just an excuse to punish non-rapists.

  • ||

    or is she just going to ignore the underlying problem that led to the Title IX abuse?

    Not only is what you're suggesting not exactly or well substantiated, but it's beyond her purview.

  • colorblindkid||

    What is the "underlying problem" here? That women are less likely to be raped at college than out of college?

  • Zeb||

    If there is an underlying problem, it's that rape is often very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And I don't think there is a solution to that problem that doesn't involve lowering standards for conviction and potentially wrongly convicting people.

  • ||

    And I don't think there is a solution to that problem that doesn't involve lowering standards for conviction and potentially wrongly convicting people.

    *Potentially* further removing stigma associated with drunken hookups and awkward sexual encounters and more rigorously pursuing false allegations and/or refusing to stumble over oneself to 'cater' to victims or "victims" as well as, again potentially, reducing sentencing.

    It gets hard to make recommendations for problems that may or may not exist across public/private lines, but some of these transgressions actually do seem more solvable by a firm reprimand (e.g. lewd jokes or an autistic HS student with penchant for hugging), a fine (e.g. trainers shouldn't be having sex with athletes) or lower-order transient punishment rather than expulsion or similar/equivalent criminal action.

    A big part of the problem is that not only did people believe fraternity dude-bros were raping the hell out of these women 24/7 but that no woman, once raped, can ever be made whole again.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    video evidence. lots of video evidence.

  • fafalone||

    Of course there is. All sex should require a notarized consent contract signed by both (or all) parties and their lawyers, and the act should be supervised and filmed all the way through to verify that consent was not withdrawn (since *affirmative* consent is required, instead of "'yeah!", "mmmmm", or "daddy!", the girl must now yell out "I consent!" before each thrust/lick/stroke, and yes every time, thanks to that court case that found 2 seconds was too long to keep fucking after the girl said stop), with the video a matter of public record to ensure transparency and fight corruption. People won't be ashamed if everyone has to do it.

  • p3orion||

    Sounds like the "elevator pitch" for a new parody film at a libertarian porn studio.

  • p3orion||

    Sounds like the "elevator pitch" for a new parody film at a libertarian porn studio.

  • Sevo||

    "... so, is DeVos going to work with the Justice Department to make sure that rape allegations are being taken seriously by police and prosecutors, or is she just going to ignore the underlying problem that led to the Title IX abuse?"

    That would pretty much put her in the position of those who are doing that now, but that's not bad for you.

  • ApoxOnBothTheirHouses||

    Since rape is a state issue not a federal issue (unless if occurs on federal land or the victim is kidnapped and taken across state lines) there is nothing for her to work with the federal Justice Department on.

  • MarkLastname||

    Ignore the nonexistent rape crisis? We should hope. Problems that aren't real don't deserve our attention. You're just desperate to find a way to criticize the enemy tribe.

  • chemjeff||

    Treat college students like adults.

    If college students do bad things, regard them as adults who did bad things.

    That means due process for everybody, and coddling for nobody.

  • buddhastalin||

    This American Life, of all places, recently had a podcast portraying DeVos not as evil incarnate, but actually a generous person who genuinely cares about students and their families.

  • I can't even||

    Yale kicked the captain of their basketball team out of school after a completely baseless accusation from an ex-girlfriend. He'll be in court for years before winning the lottery from their endowment.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....-1.2946098

  • Bill||

    Robby,

    You might consider adding a few links to the stories about the faulty
    research that led to the Dept. Of Education writing that Title IX letter.

    That way, the whole story is there in one article that can be shared.

  • Bill||

    At the top of the story.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is some Roman Holiday appreciation to be had from watching the Christian beat the self-described Kenyan's lions in the arena. But that in no way implies either mystical, force-initiating antagonist is anywhere near in the right.

  • ipsum||

    Can't say enough good things about this woman. DeVos is getting everything right. Great job!

  • MattyPants||

    I think this would be an esoee topic to fix if "rape" wasn't so quickly gendered.
    It turns into a battle of the sexes, and most men think of themselves in the place of a potential rapist instead of acknowledging that men can also be victims of rape.
    If we weren't so quick to run to our ideological corners and have a traditional 'us v. them' argument about an incredibly personal and painful experience as though it were merely some abstraction, an extension of the 'culture wars,' I genuinely think there would be plenty of middle ground to agree upon and perhaps even some intelligent, non-Draconian steps that could be taken (by everyone) to reduce false reporting and non-reporting alike.

  • Ben Bogus||

    "The Obama-era modifications to Title IX utterly failed to bring justice to campuses."

    Your article does not support this conclusion.

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