Kevin Parisi is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and barely weighs 120 pounds.
He’s hunched over and walking with a cane after back surgery earlier this year. He suffers from severe anxiety and digestive disorders, along with extreme allergies and panic attacks.
But in his junior year at Drew University in Madison, N.J., Parisi was accused of forcing a fellow student — one who is now a professional athlete — to have sex with him.
He was kicked off campus and placed under investigation. Three months went by before he was found “not responsible” in a campus disciplinary proceeding. Local police never filed charges against him.
Being accused, however, was enough to cause his world to collapse. Now he is suing Drew for assuming he was guilty from the outset and treating him as such until it was determined he was innocent.
He is also suing his accuser and her boyfriend at the time, claiming they concocted the false allegation to preserve their relationship. The Washington Examiner has chosen not to publish their names.
“The whole world seems hopeless and like, your heart pounds and the world — the walls — kind of close in on you,” Parisi, 21, told the Examiner of his frequent panic attacks, which he says were made worse by the allegations.
“It’s just, it’s … If you haven’t experienced one, I don’t know how you could understand. It’s just really — dread. A sense of dread. Nothing’s ever going to be better,” he said.
Parisi is one of at least 30 men who are striking back against campus rules on sexual assault that deny them due process by assuming their guilt. Their ranks have quadrupled since 2011.
This reversal of one of the bedrock principles of the American justice system stems from a bizarre interpretation of the Title IX provision in the Education Amendments of 1972 designed to protect women from discrimination.
The interpretation has been forced on universities by the Obama administration, and it thrives on many American college campuses, thanks to politically correct cultures that take women’s words at face value while assuming the worst about men.
Elizabeth Price Foley, a Florida International University law professor, described the problem with the interpretation of Title IX as benefiting women at the expense of men in a “he said/she said” situation.
“The Department of Education under the Obama administration has adopted shockingly broad new guidelines under Title IX that not only encompass off-campus behavior — that should be no business of a college or university — but also require the use of a low ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard for sexual assault claims,” Price Foley told the Examiner.
“The individuals who hear these claims are generally predisposed to find in favor of a female accuser, and young men are sometimes severely punished by colleges and universities based on little more than a bare accusation made by someone whose memory of events is questionable,” she added.
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