I read an article about how colleges mishandle accusations of Sexual Assault on college campuses, and how it is hurting the accused as well as the alleged
Across the nation, students accused of Sexual Assault are suing colleges for the way their cases were handled.
victims. According to the article, since 2011, more than 30 men have filed lawsuits against colleges across the U.S. after being found responsible for sexual misconduct. The reasons for these lawsuits lie in the way the colleges handled the investigation after these men were accused. Many of them have employed the same lawyer, who began helping young men who were falsely accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. These men are simply calling for change – they want to be treated fairly, and are frustrated by the way schools handled their cases. This is happening all across the U.S., even in Douglas, Boulder, and Arapahoe County, Colorado. One of the students attended the University of Colorado in Denver. Let's take a look at why these men are suing their schools.
Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct Treated as Criminals
One man, named Kevin (name changed to protect privacy), fought for social justice at his college. He spoke often at his fraternity about their need to address Sexual Assaults on campus. All this changed one night, when he got drunk and texted a female friend, saying they should “hook up.” She said they could hang out, but didn't want to have sex. He continued texting her incoherently, calling her derogatory names. The next morning, Kevin felt horrible after seeing what he had done (he didn't remember sending the texts). So, he called the woman, apologized, and wanted to get to together to talk. The girl told him “not to worry about it.” The two remained friends, even working together in the student government. Nothing happened until a few months later, when the woman began working on a resolution that Kevin was against. Then, the woman informed authorities about the texts, and Kevin was banned from his student government meetings. He lost the resolution. Then, a few weeks later, two more students (who also worked on the resolution he was against) came forward – one accused Kevin of “nonconsensual kissing and touching” on their first day of college 4 years ago, and another accused him of kissing her without consent.[pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”100%”]One man who was accused of sexual misconduct, said his case wasn't heard, and that he was treated like “some kind of monster.”[/pullquote]
College activists have fought for the “affirmative consent” concept, which means the accused has the burden of proof when showing the court that a sexual encounter was consensual. But, in Kevin's case, his proof wasn't considered. Adjudicators at his hearing didn't think it was “relevant” that one of his accusers attended a dance with him only a few months after the alleged nonconsensual incident, or that the first woman said she wasn't bothered by the text messages. They also didn't find it relevant that one of his accusers remained good friends with Kevin after the alleged “nonconsensual kissing,” even asking Kevin to live with her over the summer. Kevin also wasn't allowed to call witnesses, have a lawyer present at the hearing, or have his own copy of the complaint file for preparation of his defense. Instead, he was required to write his account of his actions (even though it was 4 years previous), but he didn't know exactly what he was being accused of because he didn't have a copy of the women's complaint until five days before the hearing. This is all too common. Another student mentioned in the article, who is filing a lawsuit against a college says that the police investigation in his case was “in good faith. But the disciplinary hearing was not. They treated me as if I was some kind of monster.”
Men's Lives are Ruined by Unfair Treatment
Statistics have shown that the so-called ‘rape culture' doesn't exist.
Kevin's life was harmed by the way the college treated his case. He moved to D.C. after an unsuccessful appeal, and was hired by a member of Congress. But, about a month into working, an anonymous person called in, demanding to know why a member of Congress would hire a person found guilty of multiple sexual misconduct occurrences. He was let go, even though his boss “didn't know if the claims were true.” Now on antidepressants and going through counselling, Kevin struggles, wondering what the college wanted from him. “At first I thought they didn't want me to participate in campus activities. Then I thought they didn't want me to graduate. Now they don't want me to have a job or be part of society. Do they want me to commit suicide? Is that what they want me to do? What is the endgame?” The sad thing is, many men are being falsely accused at colleges. This is due to the general belief that we live in a “rape culture.” Thankfully, statistics have shown that the so-called rape culture doesn't exist. Yet, the accused are still treated as if they are criminals. We have written about college students here in Colorado being treated unfairly by their schools; one of them attended Western State University.
Why You Need a Lawyer if You've Been Falsely Accused
Don't stand alone in court if you've been falsely accused – work with an attorney who can help you get a favorable outcome in your case.
Kevin says he is furious about the current process of how schools deal with accusations of sexual misconduct. “Activists are furious with the current process, but so am I. It's clear that colleges are inept at handling the disciplinary process. A kangaroo court of untrained amateurs was commissioned with the power to literally control my fate. To me, it was a mockery of the process we're supposed to respect.” As sex crimes defense attorneys with 40 years of combined courtroom experience, the skilled lawyers at the O'Malley Law office couldn't agree more with Kevin's perspective on how the accused are treated by colleges in Adams, Denver, and Jefferson County. Courts often have similar shortcomings. If you've been falsely accused or overcharged, contact an attorney immediately to begin working on your defense. You need to protect your future, and here at the O'Malley Law Office, we fight to win!Request a Free Consultation