The California state legislature is eagerly jumping into bed with college students but really killing the mood with some unsexy rules.I think it was the early 90's when we laughed at Antioch College's silly policies about "active consent", and now California is considering making something similar into state law. Would such a law help this man, who has been railroaded despite clear exculpatory evidence?
State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D–Los Angeles) has introduced a bill that would require state universities to set strict parameters on what constitutes consensual sex. According to the text of SB 967, the student initiating sexual contact must establish "affirmative consent," defined as:
an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is informed, freely given, and voluntary. It is the responsibility of the person initiating the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the consent of the other person to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.
Under pressure from the federal government to take action on sexual assault, and in the wake of a multi-plaintiff lawsuit from attorney Gloria Allred last year, Occidental College has found a student “responsible” for sexual assault despite the fact that police refused to charge him with any crime and text message evidence indicates that both parties consented to having sex. Accused student John Doe has filed a pseudonymous lawsuit against Occidental College to invalidate its finding and contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help...Universities need to stay out of the "sexual assault" business. If a crime has been committed, let law enforcement deal with it. That's what law enforcement is there for. Universities should focus on academics and, apparently, football.
LAPD Detective Michelle Gomez interviewed the parties and witnesses. In a charge evaluation worksheet dated November 5, Deputy District Attorney Alison A.W. Meyers declined to prosecute, writing, “Witnesses were interviewed and agreed that the victim and suspect were both drunk, however, that they were both willing participants exercising bad judgment …. It would be reasonable for [Doe] to conclude based on their communications and [the accuser’s] actions that, even though she was intoxicated, she could still exercise reasonable judgment.” This decision ended police involvement in the case...
FIRE asked Occidental to reconsider its finding, pointing out that “[t]he fact that the applied definition of incapacitation would make both parties guilty of sexually assaulting one another brings into stark relief the fundamental unfairness and lack of substantive due process present in Occidental’s actions against Doe.” Occidental’s lawyers informed FIRE to expect a response by May 16, but FIRE has received no response.
“Occidental took many of the steps towards dismantling due process that the federal government and lawmakers have been suggesting or even requiring—a lone adjudicator, the low preponderance of evidence standard, a restriction on cross-examination. Now we’re seeing the result,” said FIRE’s Shibley. “By classifying sex while drunk as rape and stripping students of due process protections, Occidental and the federal government have rendered vast numbers of students unwitting rapists—and ensured that being accused is nearly the same thing as being found guilty.”