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Ohio State University Wants to Expel a Woman for Nonconsensual Group Sex

But a judge thinks her due process rights were violated, since her accusers didn't even show up to the campus tribunal.

OSUShiftin2gear / Wikimedia CommonsOhio State University (OSU) tried to expel a student for engaging in an allegedly nonconsensual threesome. That student is now suing the university, and this week a judge agreed that the administrators who investigated the case likely violated the due process rights of the accused.

Unlike the vast majority of sexual misconduct disputes litigated under the auspices of Title IX, the federal statute mandating gender equality on campus, the accused is a woman. The genders of her accusers are unknown—Judge Edmund Sargus's decision omits the use of gendered pronouns.

The accused student, referred to as "Jane Roe," filed a motion for preliminary injunction to prevent her expulsion, arguing that she was denied the opportunity to cross-examine her accusers. Judge Sargus agreed to this request, explaining in his decision that Roe is likely to prevail in court.

"Given the central role cross-examination has played as a truth-seeking device in our justice system, and given that Defendants have not identified any authority supporting their position, the Court cannot conclude that a pre-hearing investigative process, such as OSU's, is a constitutionally adequate substitute for cross-examination," wrote Sargus.

The dispute actually concerns two separate incidents, one on September 3, 2016, and another on November 12, 2016. The September incident took place during a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where Roe met up with several friends. One of these friends, LH, became very drunk, as did Roe. While they were seated next to each other, Roe allegedly began to grope and kiss LH.

LH claimed to have remembered Roe's actions later after a friend told LH something had happened. The university investigated the matter, and noted that LH said Roe had engaged in nonconsensual touching while LH "drifted in and out of consciousness." Roe countered that she merely sat next to LH and couldn't recall anything inappropriate happening. A witness said Roe had "encroached" on LH's territory but did not see her kiss LH.

The November 12 incident involved two other complainants, RK and MH, who met up with Roe for a night of drinking and dancing. All three returned to Roe's house afterward, where they engaged in a threesome. RK and MH later claimed that Roe had "engaged in intentional sexual touching and sexual penetration without consent and/or by force or coercion." RK told an investigator that consent had been verbalized, but that RK had been too drunk to meaningfully consent at the time. Investigators interviewed several witnesses, but as The College Fix's Greg Piper notes in his write-up of the case, "five of the seven purported 'witnesses' had simply been told by one or another accuser about the incident. The other two were roommates of Roe and one accuser."

Neither RK nor MH showed up for the hearing, leaving Roe with no opportunity to meaningfully cross-examine them. Roe testified that she had obtained their consent for each and every individual sex act she performed. Roe's roommate testified that he saw one of the complainants leave the house after the encounter, and that this person did not seem drunk.

Administrators suspended Roe for two years as a result of the Rocky Horror Picture Show incident. They expelled her for the allegedly nonconsensual threesome. She appealed both decisions, and lost twice.

These are complicated allegations involving multiple intoxicated young people. (They might also involve students who were experimenting with their sexuality, and who may have regretted or been ashamed of certain same-sex activities.) It's entirely possible that Roe violated acceptable norms of consent. But she should have had an opportunity to question her accusers about what happened. Cross-examination is a vital component of due process, and a critical tool for evaluating conflicting stories and arriving at the truth.

"Cross-examination is important for both the accused and the accuser, because both sides have an interest in accurate and reliable outcomes," Joshua Adam Engel, an attorney for Roe, tells Reason. "For hundreds of years we have recognized that cross-examination helps the finder of fact 'get it right.'"

KC Johnson, a chronicler of the various due process abuses suffered by students accused of sexual misconduct under campus Title IX procedures, describes Sargus's defense of cross-examination as "very powerful."

Indeed, it's cases like this one that remind us why Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently told The Atlantic that she believes some college sexual misconduct policies are "not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that's one of the basic tenets of our system."

Photo Credit: OSU

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  • AlmightyJB||

    Stupid kids

  • Liberty Lover||

    Isn't prostitution illegal where you live? It is where I live.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    How does one person initiate a "nonconsensual threesome" by herself? That seems like a lot of multitasking. I'd have to interview Ms. Roe for some, uh, insight.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Oh wait, it's Ohio State. Never mind.

  • Rich||

    the accused is a woman. The genders of her accusers are unknown

    So, Jane Doe, Ruh Roh 1, and Ruh Roe 2.

  • Rich||

    *** gets coffee ***

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You better Irish that shit up, man. Jesus.

  • Rich||

    *** slinks away, red-faced ***

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The last time Citizen X said "You better Irish that shit up, man. Jesus." was when his wife was out of town and he decided to have a wild party with Crusty. The neighbors filed a noise complaint and as the police were banging on the door, he noticed the passed out naked midget in the corner.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This is like a concept album of a joke.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's like a Shaggs album of a joke.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Not sure if diasyrm or panegyric.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Frank Zappa appreciated The Shaggs, which should be enough.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Some things are acquired tastes.

  • Ariki||

    /Slow Clap

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    God help them all if Jane Roe turns out to be TrigglyPuff.

    https://giphy.com/gifs/trigglypuff-o6SQRR0Etm90Y

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Where's John when the right author pops up?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Scarecrow Repair & Chippering|4.19.18 @ 12:06PM|#

    Where's John when the right author pops up?

    reply to this report spam
    Rich|4.19.18 @ 12:07PM|#

    too drunk to meaningfully consent

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He'll be along shortly to tell us this is a typical Liz Wolfe article.

  • Rich||

    too drunk to meaningfully consent

    "How conVEEEEENient!"

    "Too drunk to meaningfully consent to drive"

    "Too drunk to meaningfully consent to sign a contract"

    "Too drunk to meaningfully consent to order another drink"

    ...

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    too drunk to be a reliable eye witness?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Too drunk to give meaningful consent to a breathalyzer test

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    RK told an investigator that consent had been verbalized, but that RK had been too drunk to meaningfully consent at the time

    I'm sorry officer, as I'm too drunk to be responsible for my actions, you cannot cite me with a DUI.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Pictures please... or this story never happened.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I heard they called this a lemon party. Just google "lemon party."

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    You gotta lemon pledge the shit out of everything afterwards

  • Sir Chips Alot||

    +100 for Led Zeppelin reference

  • Number 2||

    Something's not making sense here. Here is the description of the threesome incident:

    "The November 12 incident involved two other complainants, RK and MH, who met up with Roe for a night of drinking and dancing. All three returned to Roe's house afterward, where they engaged in a threesome. RK and MH later claimed that Roe had 'engaged in intentional sexual touching and sexual penetration without consent and/or by force or coercion.' RK told an investigator that consent had been verbalized, but that RK had been too drunk to meaningfully consent at the time."

    Then why isn't MH also being charged? He/she/it also participated, correct? How did MH get consent to touch RK if Roe's consent to touch RK is null and void due to RK's intoxication? Isn't MH equally guilty? Or does "guilt" depend on who's first to file the complaint?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    MH never licked RK's vajayjay

  • Number 2||

    So? Merely holding hands requires affirmative consent these days. MH participated, ergo MH is guilty.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    No one expects The Shocker.

  • Mark22||

    It's particularly surprising for men.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    No, for women, it's the shocker. For men, it's the Spanish Inquisition. This, too, is usually unexpected.

  • BYODB||

    This is actually a really great point. Was it a threesome, or did this girl somehow manage to rape two other girls at the same time? If it's the second thing, she appears to be more skilled at rape than men and if it's the first thing it implicates both the other girls had sex with at least one non-consenting person.

    Whoops.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Bleah.

    And again I say, bleah

    Just glad these ass clowns weren't around in the 60s

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Yeah, getting drunk and ending up in a situation you later regret is part of becoming an adult. You learn your consumption limit. You learn what beverages you can handle and the ones you can't. You learn the types of people and situations you should probably avoid. I learned that back in the seventies. The idea that you can fuck up and blame your equally drunk companions in some quasi-legal proceeding is absurd.

  • DajjaI||

    They are literally re-enacting the propaganda they were required to sit through during orientation.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    "Ohio State University Wants to Expel a Woman for Nonconsensual Group Sex"

    Trying to parse Robby's headline. Does the university desire to expel a woman so she can be used for group sex?

  • ||

    Does the university desire to expel a woman so she can be used for group sex?

    Technically the group sex doesn't necessarily pertain to the or a woman woman at all. A mysterious cabal of men could be using rape as a reward or leverage to extort her expulsion from the University. So unclear.

  • MoreFreedom||

    As far as I can tell, it was 3 lesbians. After all, how many men are going to accuse a women of rape for having sex with them?

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Hence why others have asked for pictures. If it's a set of three women who are solid two's, meh, I have little interest

  • Rich||

    Obviously the solution is to ban The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Nobody needs to time warp again

  • Cloudbuster||

    The witness is reported to have testified:

    Well, I was walking down the street
    Just having a think
    When a snake of a guy
    Gave me an evil wink.
    Well it shook me up
    It took me by surprise
    He had a pick-up truck
    And the devil's eyes
    He stared at me
    And I felt a change
    Time meant nothing
    Never would again.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    They took the "it's a pelvic thrust (rough sex rough sex)" just a little too far

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Judge Sargus

    I don't care what else happened, this is an awesome name.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Half-orc?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Shape shifting reptilian Illuminatus.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Don't be silly, everyone knows the Illuminati are avian. :)

  • Eidde||

    Does "LH" stand for "Lesbian Hottie"?

    ...Is what an insensitive person might say.

  • ||

    All the ambiguity actually makes sense if it stands for 'Left Hand'.

  • JoeBlow123||

    lol

  • Tony||

    So which one was the bipolar bitch who sought out to ruin someone's life?

  • Rhywun||

    Slow down. I'm still trying to figure out why we have a separate and parellel system of criminal justice for the higher education system.

  • Sir Chips Alot||

    me too.

  • James Pollock||

    "I'm still trying to figure out why we have a separate and parellel system of criminal justice for the higher education system."

    For much the same reason that there's a separate and parallel system of justice for when an employer wants to fire an employee for cause. And get this, it's controlled completely and exclusively by the EMPLOYER!!!

  • ||

    For much the same reason that there's a separate and parallel system of justice for when an employer wants to fire an employee for cause. And get this, it's controlled completely and exclusively by the EMPLOYER!!!

    I know it may be hard for you to get this but A) it's not completely and exclusively controlled by the employer and b) in the case of the public university, even less so. Universities didn't adopt these phony baloney rules because 20-25% of women were being raped and complaining about it, they developed these rules because Biden and Obama said 20-25% of women were being raped and wrote a letter to their colleagues reminding them that they were bound to observe Title IX, even the parts that the Administration was only suggesting should be in there.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Good question IMHO.

    "a judge agreed that the administrators who investigated the case likely violated the due process rights of the accused."

    The proper way for crimes on campus to be investigated and prosecuted, is via the police without the university getting involved. If someone is convicted of a crime, then the university would be justified in expelling them to protect their other students, or not - seems to me it's similar to the choice of an employer to hire someone formerly convicted of a crime (though involving a customer rather than an employee). But then, they might be sued under the Civil Rights Act for discrimination based on race, sex or religion. After all, did they really expel them for the crime, or was it an excuse to engage in discrimination?

    The way I see it, is the accused has a good lawsuit against the university for violating "the due process rights of the accused" because it shouldn't be in the business of investigating and dishing out penalties for crimes - that's the government's job.

  • Leo Marvin||

    "Ohio State University Wants to Expel a Woman for Nonconsensual Group Sex."

    That's The Ohio State University to you, philistine.

  • mpercy||

    And there it is. I was wonder when this would show up. Took longer than I thought.

  • Eidde||

    Ukraine donated its old "the" to OSU.

  • kevrob||

    Ohio University in Athens is the senior institution. Use of the definitive article is just Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College overcompensating. :)

    These contretemps make it ever clearer that institutions of education, even higher education, ought to be privatized. The private schools are infected with idiocy, too, but they are staffed largely by graduates of the public schools, and government rules attached to federal research contracts and federal and state aid to students have made them de facto adjuncts of government.

  • ||

    Video or it didn't happen.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Funny, men have been asking to confront their accusers in these types of cases for years, and laughed at. "Too much trauma for the accuser to remove the event." Woman asks to confront accuser, judge nods approvingly.

  • ||

    You know what else is interesting? It's not a sure bet obviously, but if I had to find one gay woman in a power role with regards to two other, maybe gay women, the second place I'd look would be the Women's studies department. The first place I'd look would be the women's athletic department.

    I wonder if we're affording, say, the Ohio State women's lacrosse team a degree of anonymity that we wouldn't give two shits about if it were Penn State Football, Duke Lacrosse, a UVA frat house, or some other story that sufficiently reinforced the 1-in-5 raping patriarchy narrative.

  • ||

    Thinking modestly more about it, I'm a little baffled as to why they're granted any sort of anonymity at all. Not only is it the explicit problem (the accused wasn't made fully aware of the accusers), the fact that this wasn't tried in a court of law means that no actual crime has taken place.

    The judge certainly has discretion, but the fact that anonymity is the problem and we've generally had no problem with naming names in actual criminal cases it just seems odd that in this/these cases anonymity is preserved rather than being recognized as a procedural sanctification of the kangaroo courts that aren't capable of engaging in due process to begin with.

  • James Pollock||

    "Thinking modestly more about it, I'm a little baffled as to why they're granted any sort of anonymity at all."

    Because the old system, in which we routinely humiliated the victims, produced unsatisfactory results.

    " the fact that this wasn't tried in a court of law means that no actual crime has taken place."

    No, it doesn't.
    However, what was alleged (and punished) in this tribunal wasn't a criminal act, it was a violation of disciplinary standards of the university. There are some of those that aren't ALSO criminal acts. What we have here is that a crime may or may not have occurred, which is not what you said.

  • ||

    Because the old system, in which we routinely humiliated the victims, produced unsatisfactory results.

    Hey, if you were humiliating victims, that's on you. Unless you consider voluntarily attending a university victimization, there are no victims here. I admit that this approach would've obviated much of the Facebook controversy, but if they were on conflicting sides of the debate team or sports teams of rival schools, we wouldn't be granting them secrecy. I don't mean to say we can force the University to disclose their names but the Appellate Judge (none of them actually) doesn't owe anyone such discretion. Even if I accept what you said in spirit, humiliation via University tribunal isn't any manner of real punishment or remuneration and most any real rapist would likely be motivated by such an easily avoided and inconsequential 'punishment'. As I've said before, if "perpetrator" can legally sue to keep their name or the details of the case hidden from future admissions considerations, which they can and do because it's not a crime being tried in a court of law, it essentially becomes an (rape) orgy for credits swap.

  • ||

    What we have here is that a crime may or may not have occurred, which is not what you said.

    No, what we have here is that a crime was not committed until proven in a court of law. This is very much and de facto not a court of law. Until someone was arrested, confronts their accusers, and is convicted by a jury of their peers; this is a crime the same way ketchup on hot dogs, ice in beer, and urinating in the shower of your local gym is a crime.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    Ketchup on hotdogs is a crime against humanity. I'm pretty sure that Reagan got that put into the Geneva Conventions. I put it in the same category as turkey bacon and skim milk: imposters

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    In all fairness, Judge Edmund really didn't want any kind of quid pro quo with guys.

  • Skedoosker||

    That was my first concern. Are we seeing an evolving two tiered legal system, one for males and another for females?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    There's just not enough information here to form a clear picture.
    Which leaves it up to each reader to imagine what may have happened.

    I'll be in my bunk.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    Juggling geese?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Cleaning Vera.

  • soldiermedic76||

    So she got consent for every act and still got expelled? So affirmative consent isn't even enough obviously!

  • Don't look at me.||

    You need double secret affirmative consent.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Probably better to bring a lawyer, JP and court reporter to verify everything is legit. Probably need to video tape it and get a psych eval for both (or in this case more) participants to ensure they are all in the right state of mind, too.

  • soldiermedic76||

    And a blood test for BAC, and to check for any medications, or recreational drugs, that could alter anyone's state of mind.

  • soldiermedic76||

    And make sure it is by a state licensed facility and placed both electronically and physically bin the official court records.

  • James Pollock||

    "affirmative consent isn't even enough obviously!"

    Well, it isn't enough to SAY you had affirmative consent.
    In much the same way you don't get a pass for "I don't know where those drugs came from" or "He just gave me the money".

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Rocky Horror movie supposedly featured the Mayor or Former Mayor of Austin. I never could pick him out, but there were some raucous parties at showings. The article here made no sense whatsoever until I finally noticed the saga unfolds in the anti-libertarian police State of Ohio. The favorite movie there is "Kent State Shootings" with soundtrack by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

  • Echospinner||

    You do know that Janet held up the Plain Dealer in the rain scene.

    Did you bring toast and a squirt gun?

    There is no such Kent state movie I know of. Kent is a pretty good general university.

    Few students there would even care or know about CSNY. If you go to the Rock Hall in Cleveland you can see the original napkin where CSNY wrote the song lyrics when they heard the news. They were in LA or something at the time and Stills had a good idea.

    Just a song and an unrelated movie from the past.

  • BigT||

    Kent read, Kent write, Kent State.

  • Raoul Duke||

    How much does it suck to be in college right now? I feel like all the minor shenanigans we engaged in would be worthy of expulsion nowadays.

  • James Pollock||

    Maybe they were worthy of expulsion back then, too.

    Can't speak for yours, obviously.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    You are just one big ray of sunshine, aren't you? At least Hihn is funny in is own crazy way. You're just a Debbie Downer

  • Cloudbuster||

    Silly lesbians.

    The only theater in Columbus that shows The Rocky Horror Picture Show is way off campus, and Roe's house is obviously off campus. What the hell business does OSU have with any of this?

  • Echospinner||

    Back in the day the student union would have a film night. It could be anything. Not serious just something fun. You could ask a date or find one perhaps.

    This is nothing. Just normal social interaction.
    .

  • James Pollock||

    " What the hell business does OSU have with any of this?"

    Roe was a student there, and they didn't want her to be a student there anymore. That's the university's business, deciding who, exactly, is or will be university students.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Schools need to stay out of their students' private lives and off-campus activities. They operate as the incubators for intrusive nanny-state policies that eventually work their way up to the governmental level.

  • Longtobefree||

    Feminists be damned; the only solution to this rape madness is to go back to sex segregated dorms and ban all college students from using alcohol. That worked out real well in the sixties - - - - -

  • James Pollock||

    The actual policy of most schools is to discourage binge drinking as contrary to their students' interest.

    Back in the 80's, being caught with alcohol in the dorms was enough to trigger expulsion.

  • Cloudbuster||

    LOL. Not at OSU. Until the mid-to-late 80s, the drinking age in Ohio was 18. I was in an honors dorm there and we had authorized parties with beer balls in the dorm rooms. Even the feds forced the age change (Ohio voters had just voted down an initiative to raise the drinking age), if you were 21, there was no prohibition against alcohol.

  • BigT||

    " the drinking age in Ohio was 18" for 3.2% beer.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Non-consensual threesome? Now I have heard everything.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    "intentional sexual touching and sexual penetration", too.
    I mean, sure, who hasn't slipped on a banana peel and fell, hands first, into a woman's crotch.
    "Sure, I did it - but, I didn't mean to do it."

  • PS||

    This is what the feminists wanted. Leave the bitch to twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind.

  • vek||

    Clearly she should have just turned these incidents into REAL rape, and then murdered the people afterwards.

    I've never much understood people who freak out after the fact about drunk sex. There are surely lines that aren't cool to cross, like passed out drunk... But 95% of the time it seems like it's more like "I had 3 drinks, did something dumb, and now I'm going to use that as an excuse and call it rape!" Which is total BS IMO. Just suck it up, take the walk of shame, and move on. By these standards I have been raped before, but you don't see me bitching about it!

  • ||

    By these standards I have been raped before, but you don't see me bitching about it!

    I've said this pretty much since the beginning; according to these standards, Mrs. Casual and I probably have a couple thousand rapes each between us.

  • vek||

    That too! But I straight up got taken advantage of by a chick hardcore once. Somebody there was NO way I would have slept with sober. I had literally just puked my guts out 5 minutes earlier. That is certainly rape by these standards. I wasn't stoked on the whole thing, but I also wasn't about to go ruining this chicks life. It's honestly just not that big a deal IMO.

  • Zeb||

    Since when are people not responsible for their behavior when drunk? If you can be held legally liable for driving drunk, you can damn well take the consequences of your sexual decisions while drunk. Unless someone is truly incapacitated, as in unconscious or totally incoherent, they are responsible for what they do.

    If you get blackout drunk that easily, you should really consider not drinking rather than expecting everyone else to make sure you don't make a fool of yourself.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    So when the accused is female not only do they give her anonymity they also give her due process. That angers me.

  • Skedoosker||

    Sounds like it. Legal status based on genitals and/or claimed gender identity. Goodbye equality and rule of law, hello bizzarro roller coaster ride (on the way to totalitarian nightmare)

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