A landmark judicial decision was handed last week that will have important implications for college men wrongly accused of sexual assault. In Doe v. Washington & Lee Univ., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102426 (W.D. Va. 2015), a federal judge appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton ruled that when a college promotes the idea that a woman’s post-intercourse regret is tantamount to rape, it manufactures a climate of gender discrimination against male students that can “railroad” (the court’s word, not mine) the innocent who are wrongly accused of sex offenses. Read the decision here–and I summarize it in the next section below. The Doe v. W&L decision is among the most important events for wrongly accused college men in a long time because it shines a light on the root cause of the so-called campus rape “epidemic”–something this blog has called the “regret asymmetry” that separates the sexes. Women, more than men, regret casual sex, and it is these unsatisfying sexual unions caused by regret–not rape–that is the real sex problem on campus. Read about it here.
What is chilling is the allegation in the case by the accused male student that a college administrator openly promotes the idea that regret is tantamount to rape–an idea that is absurd, unjust, and hateful all at the same time. Sadly, this thinking appears to be gaining ground among college women (see below), and it needs to be stopped. It is time for a national conversation about the single most important issue when it comes to campus sexual assault, the “regret asymmetry” that separates young men and women.
Doe v. W&L
In the Doe v. W&L case, a W&L student, pseudonymously called “John Doe,” sued W&L for, inter alia, violating Title IX (which forbids gender discrimination in colleges) in connection with his expulsion for alleged nonconsensual sexual intercourse with a W&L female student, pseudonymously called “Jane Doe.” W&L filed a motion to dismiss, which the court granted in part and denied in part. All of the facts in the case are taken from Doe’s complaint–whether they are accurate will need to be proven at trial. Doe’s complaint averred that John and Jane met at a party then proceeded back to his room where Jane initiated sexual intimacy, and the two proceeded to have consensual sex. The next morning, he drove her home, and they exchanged phone numbers. Jane later told a friend she “had a good time.” Thereafter, John and Jane became Facebook “friends,” and John texted her, “. . . I felt like we had a pretty good connection,” and she responded, “haha I thought we did as well.”
Approximately one month after their initial encounter, they again had consensual sex. But then, Jane saw John at a party kissing another female and left upset. That summer, Jane went to work at a women’s clinic that dealt with sexual assault issues. Seven months after the initial encounter, Jane visited a therapist, who said Jane’s had “an evolution” about how she felt about the initial encounter.
Thereafter, Jane attended a presentation by W&L’s Title IX Officer, Lauren Kozak, who introduced an Internet article the court would later label “gender biased” against males to alleged that “regret equals rape.” Kozak said that “everyone, herself included, is starting to agree with” that.
Almost nine months after the encounter in question, Jane initiated an internal disciplinary investigation of John. Ms. Kozak interviewed John and refused to allow him to involve an attorney. A hearing was held, and, among other irregularities, Jane was not asked about inconsistencies in her various statements about the encounter. After the hearing, Rolling Stone published an article about a later-debunked gang rape at UVA. The next day, W&L found John responsible for sexual assault. John maintained the decision was prompted to avoid a backlash similar to the one felt by UVA from the Rolling Stone article.
In the lawsuit he filed, John alleged all manner of bias in W&L’s handling of his case, including ignoring evidence that supported his position. The court held that John Doe alleged sufficient facts – including the Title IX coordinator’s suggestion that regret is tantamount to rape – to plead a Title IX violation, and the court denied W&L’s motion to dismiss that claim. “Plaintiff’s allegations, taken as true, suggest that W&L’s disciplinary procedures . . . amount to ‘a practice of railroading accused students,’ and, if true, it amounts to gender bias.
Read the rest HERE