Monday, May 19, 2014

It's About Time Someone Takes This Seriously

I'm all for throwing the book at rapists.  Too often, though, we don't do much, if anything, to those who falsely accuse others of rape.  Here's some hope that that's about to change:
After a school tribunal at Saint Joseph's University found a male student to have committed sexual assault arising out of an incident of allegedly consensual sexual intercourse, he took legal action, says Banzhaf, who has been successful in over 100 sex discrimination proceedings.

The federal court held that he was entitled to sue the private university under the state's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and that he could also sue the university, university employees, and the female complainant for defamation (slander), with the court holding that their accusatory statements about him were not legally privileged.

Interestingly, the court said that he could also sue the female complainant for intentionally interfering with his contractual relations with the school; an important ruling, suggests Banzhaf, because for such an intentional tort he can seek much higher punitive damages in addition to general damages.  Also, the court ruled that the mere fact that the tribunal found that the male student had committed the wrongful act complained of was not conclusive as to his guilt or innocence, and did not shield the female complainant from this type of legal liability.
I want liberty and justice for all.


Mike Thiac said...


One of the local scandals in Houston over the last few years was there were (if memory serves) over 8000 rapes kits in the Houston Police property room that had not been tested. Now the usual suspects screamed about this not being done, the idiot mayor said “we need to test these because there may be innocent men in prison (but for some reason the thought they may put guilty in jail never occurred to her), etc.

But one thing wasn’t written that puts this into a better context. Rape kits are not tested unless the investigator asks for it. Now if Mrs. Jane Doe calls the cops and says “I got raped”, she’s taken to the hospital where a rape kit is conducted. The hospital calls the cops and they pick the kit up and tag it into property for eventual disposal. In speaking with many friends who work Houston Police Homicide, a significant number of times, after a day of looking into the matter, the woman was not raped but had consensual sex with someone and reported, for some reason, it as rape. Or they refuse to prosecute and without her willing to go to trial that can be the end of it.

The accused has the right to face his accuser and without that the DA will not take it to court. So for a number of the kits they were not sent in for destruction.

Yes, shocking but sometimes women lie about being raped. And hopefully now the wrongfully accused can also get some justice. BTY, did you hear the Duke Lacrosse players just settled their case.

maxutils said...

I'm in full agreement with you here. But ... didn't you just write a post in support of legislation that would fast-track the firing of teachers accused of sexual abuse of students, with a lower standard of process than for other problems? That doesn't seem consistent to me. Especially, since by definition, the teacher / student thing would imply that the 'victim' (and I'm assuming a false accusation, not a real one) was a minor, and therefore would be virtually immune to any serious consequences? The idea of the consequences is great, but they need to actually be there.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Like I wrote over at Instapundit, the really momentous part of this decision is:

"he could also sue the university, university employees, and the female complainant for defamation"

Much of the success of the left in higher education results from the fact that administration's unwilling in general to resist the left's pressure. It's just easier to given in on issue after issue because there's no obvious reason not to.

It's not like administration's worried about the institution. The college will be around forever so worries about damaging the school are ridiculous.

More immediately important is that the administrator has no personal stake in the outcome. Good idea, bad idea, the administrator doesn't have to worry about being personally liable. Since the left's happy to make the administrator's lives as uncomfortable as they can there's no good reason for administrators to not indulge campus lefties.

Just as in K-12, college administrators have lots of authority but not much responsibility.

It's that lack of responsibility, and a lack of a means to impose responsibility, that's at the heart of the explosion of feminist, racist and politically-correctness enforcing university officers and agencies. This decision holds the promise of changing all that.

Look for the first adverse decision that beggars an administrator, for doing just what the administrator did in this case, and campus radical leftists of every stripe will notice a sudden chilling of the previously welcoming college atmosphere.

Darren said...


What I wrote about before was a curtailing of what I refer to as "undue process", where it can take upwards of 4 years to fire a teacher. That is totally separate from a criminal trial, which is also necessary.

The point of this new ruling is to penalize those who WRONGLY accuse people of heinous crimes. Those who actually are guilty of heinous crimes are unaffected by this ruling.

maxutils said...

Darren, I understand your point. I'm not sure you understood mine. Are we assuming that the fast tracking occurs AFTER the charges have been prooved to be true? If so, I'm with you. I'm not sure it helps that much, because the criminal proceedings can take just as long ... I think a better way to go would be to create a provision where we let the legal system do the work. Stipulate in the contract that a criminal conviction for any of these offenses automatically results in termination, with no process. I think even the staunchest union supporter would have difficulty disagreeing with that clause. My point is that teachers are very vulnerable to false claims, and until it has been proved, the teacher is presumed innocent. Remove them from the classroom, sure. But don't try to fire them until you know they're guilty. And ... upwards of 4 years is an exaggeration, at least in most cases involving these types of cases. Performance issues...yes. But that's because they are subjective; molestation and drug sales are not.