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View Diary: Obama Shines Light On College Rape (136 comments)

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  •  An accusation of rape should certainly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    patbahn, Sparhawk

    be handled as a criminal investigation. I'm not sure it needs to be "exclusive" though, I can see why a school would want to have its own policy as well (assuming the alleged incident occurred on campus).

    That said, I'm not so sure about this:

    Arrangements may need to be made to protect the victim from having to confront the accused rapist in the course of daily activities.
    This sounds a bit like guilty until proven innocent, no? Very scarlett-letterish. There are false accusations of rape, it's tough to be accused when you're actually innocent, it's even worse to then be told you can't go certain places. That's like a shaming sentence when you haven't even been convicted.

    Some kind of restraining-order type thing does sound like it should be handled strictly by the courts.

    •  That is why a separate title IX proceeding (7+ / 0-)

      is required. This is not something new. It has been around since 1972. Many colleges have been lax in following its provisions. Deal with a rape accusation administratively does not require a court conviction. Changes can be made in living arrangements and class schedules. If a person has been the subject of repeated complaints, the college would be entitled to consider suspension.

    •  Rape is a crime, therefore, should be investigated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dicentra, koNko

      and prosecuted, if so indicated, in the legal system, not in some college officials' gathering that's more worried about the U's reputation.  That kind of process is what landed Penn State in its current situation.

      Because a (likely small) percentage of rape accusations are 'false', no victim should be protected?  Sorry, can't come close to agreeing with that.

      Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
      I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

      by watercarrier4diogenes on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:45:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the problems with trying (4+ / 0-)

        to make such a clearcut distinction is when campus police have investigatory jurisdiction. There is also the problem that many victims do not trust the way that rape complaints are handled by the municipal criminal process and actually prefer a college administrative process.

        The reality is that the available options for rape victims leave a great deal to be desired.  

        •  A concurrent investigation by campus police, (4+ / 0-)

          with consent of the local police, would help assure that fewer cases get 'swept under the rug' by either organization, but allowing any of them to just shrug the complaint off is a big part of 'why' victims don't trust the way rape complaints are handled.

          Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
          I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

          by watercarrier4diogenes on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:53:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  these are always tough cases (3+ / 0-)

          1) Lots of alcohol involved

          2) the two parties know each other.

          3) They are of the same background

          so the prosecutors and juries are very
          loath to try and figure this out.

          With the rise in electronic surveillance it's a lot easier,
          if there is a hallway camera that shows the girl unable to walk, well, then it's good evidence for "Lack of Consent",
          if the camera shows them both walking and kissing
          and being very affectionate, that's evidence that at least
          some part of the event was consensual.

          The steubenville case had a lot of camera pics and the girl involved was unconscious and being carried, sure did a lot to show lack of consent, and make a case.

          i suspect in a lot of future cases we will see, collating of instragram and cell phone pics, and that will let a reasonable picture get built.

          •  That raises lots of possibilities (0+ / 0-)

            for new tech apps.

            •  maybe a Party Down app? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon, sethtriggs

              if the phone detects you've spent 2-3 hours in a bar,
              it turns on the camera and audio and records it all for 24 hours before deletion?

              I'm not sure if you could reliably determine if the owner is drunk, maybe a Voice recognition app to tell if someone is slurring their words and then go into record mode for a few hours and delete after 24 hours?

              of course it'd have to be a required app by the school,
              to get any level of ubiquity, most students wouldn't load it otherwise.  Maybe build it into a mandatory school app which you use for buying meals or getting into buildings, but,
              that's about it

          •  Sometimes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, Lost and Found

            But suggesting that is always the case or even typical is really nonsense.

            No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

            by koNko on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:45:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's more commonly the case (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              than you would think.

              The woman gets raped, calls police afterwards, gets a rape kit taken. That's evidence #1.

              Someone, maybe even multiple people, saw the woman falling-down drunk around the same time. That's evidence #2.

              There was a case in Virginia recently where a probably rapist was let off by the college administrative process. He didn't even deny having sex with the victim, which should have been a lucky break for the victim since no rape kit was taken at the time. His only excuse at the hearing was that it was simply "bad sex" or "sex she regretted". But there was a second witness who saw the victim falling-down drunk right around the time of the alleged rape. There was no way she could have sobered up enough to be capable of giving consent for hours after that observation.

              Now, I wasn't on the board and have nothing to do with this case; I read about it in the news afterwards. And I'd be loath to apply the "preponderance of the evidence" standard toward getting someone kicked out of college or worse, or even suspended. Arguably public colleges can't do that because they are an agency of the government, and it violates due process. The federal government can't mandate it of private colleges, for the same reason, regardless of what the staff lawyers for the DoE want to believe. It might be a sufficient standard to justify measures such as ongoing restraining orders, and requiring the alleged perpetrator to bear the burden of avoiding taking the same classes, etc.

              But given the evidence in the news media, and that's a hard thing to say since I don't have first-hand knowledge of what evidence was presented to the hearing board, I would have found him guilty. Responsible. On clear and convincing evidence, perhaps even beyond a reasonable doubt. Why didn't the board find this, even on a lesser evidentiary standard? Arguably because they simply did not want to state that the victim was incapable of giving consent because she was drunk. He wasn't let off because of the burden of proof, he was let off because the board believed in myths from rape culture.

      •  I didn't say "no victim should be protected" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        patbahn, Sparhawk

        I said things like restraining orders should be handled by courts. It seems like the school would be declaring guilt before innocence if it forced the accused into some bunker without any finding by a court. If the accuser would like a restraining order, she is free to request that in court.

    •  You know what's tough? (16+ / 0-)

      Being raped and having to face your rapist day in and day out because you share classes together. Rather than trying to protect those victims you instead sympathize with the very small amount of men who didn't actually rape anyone? Seriously?

      How about it's a smart idea to make arrangements to protect the person alleging rape from the get go just in case? It doesn't presume guilt on the accused, it's just making sure that if the person was indeed raped he or she does not have to face the accuser anymore.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 12:46:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a "very small amount of men" (5+ / 0-)

        A 2009 Slate article (written by two women) cite the Bureau of Justice Statistics to estimate 20,000 false accusations of rape per year, given a rate of 8-10 percent of rape charges being false.

        An older report, by the Department of Justice in 1996, put it at 25 percent:

        Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained (primarily by State and local law enforcement), the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.

        These aren't "very small" numbers. How about instead of scarlett-lettering people without a conviction, we let the courts decide if a restraining order should be issued in the normal course?

        •  Um, that's not a false rape report (14+ / 0-)
          Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained (primarily by State and local law enforcement), the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing.
          That's a bad ID.  While most rapes are committed by acquaintances, the rape cases that get reported to law enforcement skew heavily toward ones where the rapist and victim were strangers to each other.  They skew even further at each step along the way (arrest, prosecution, conviction).  

          The problems with witness ID's of strangers are well known; similar numbers have been found in DNA studies on men convicted of murder.  That doesn't mean the murder victims are lying about being dead; it means the wrong person was convicted, a very different problem.  In the case of rape, the low reporting rate of acquaintance rapes also artificially inflates this statistic.

          Studies on false reports of rape generally put the numbers at 2 to 8 percent; the recent British study put it at 3%.  The other finding from that one was that most false reports don't have a named suspect, so the rate of false accusations was under 2%.

          And if the accuser in any given case was one of the one to two percent  who made a false accusation, it would still be a good idea to make sure the two weren't forced to cross paths in class or on their way to the shower.

          I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

          by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 05:22:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  it's not about sympathy, it's about due process (4+ / 0-)

        if you don't have due process, you blow your
        chances to enforce later.

        you could do something quick pending a probable cause hearing, and if the state finds Probable cause, and particularly indicts immediately, then issue temporary orders
        but if the thing is grinding out, such as the Duke Lacrosse
        case, well, work out a plan that puts burden on both parties.
        One moves to a new dorm, the other moves class sections
        and if you can't move a class offer both the free opportunity to drop a class without cost

        •  A precautionary ban would violate due process? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, Lost and Found, Smoh

          In what respect? Be specific about the statutes of case law.

          Universities and other organizations can take all kinds of precautionary measures.

          Or are you just making things up to further an argument.

          Frankly, your comments here seem to be based on anecdotes and assumptions that make you sound a bit uninformed, might be a good idea to exercise some self-criticism before hitting the post button, you are digging a hole here.

          No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

          by koNko on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 08:55:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  depends, public universities or private colleges (0+ / 0-)

            You have public universities which are bound by
            due process and private universities that are
            bound by contract law,

            it gets more complex from there.

            Let me ask you this :

                "If a white woman were to accuse a black man of sexual misconduct, would you want the school to on a precautionary
            basis order the black man to move out of dorms, be removed
            from his classes and lose a year pending action"

            •  OK, let me ask you this: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon

              "What does race have to do with it?"

              Seriously, black, white and combinations of every color in-between include rapists and victims and what we are talking about is whether schools would take measures to protect assumed victims while active cases grind through the system, not branding a scarlet letter on anyone's forehead.

              If you really need a detailed explanation about the situation actual (verses theoretical) rape victims experience reporting their cases, going through the process and even facing their assailants in court, then maybe you should seek information outside this thread.

              When it comes to trials, both parties are obliged to participate and can get due process, and that's good, but up to that there is room to protect assumed victims from assumed perps as a protective and precautionary measure with authorities given responsibility and authority to exercise them.

              Have you ever heard of a preliminary hearing, bail (or refusal of it) and protective custody?  Happens all the time.

              Statistics suggest:

              (a) a majority of rapes are not reported
              (b) of those that do, a minority result in convictions for various reasons
              (c) actual rapists tend to repeat their crimes because they like it

              Therefore, it seems to suggest a pretty low probability that innocent  people will be convicted of rape although I'm sure that occasionally happens.

              No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

              by koNko on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:11:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The funny thing about Due Process (0+ / 0-)

                is that it doesn't work on statistics or probability
                or likelihood, it works on a process.

                You follow the process, and it works the same way
                every time.

                and if someone doesn't get bail the school won't have to
                do anything about it. The Defendant will be in jail
                and not in dorms or class, so, if the case isn't strong
                enough to make a Probable Cause hearing but has to
                go to a grand jury, or is sitting there while the police
                and State's Attorney try to work up a bill, well, it's
                probably not as open and shut as you would like.
                And those are the people who deserve due process.

                The one good thing is the rise in DNA technology is helping
                out a lot here.

                •  Due process does not require (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pasadena beggar

                  a standard of evidence of beyond reasonable doubt.

                •  Yes, it is a process. (0+ / 0-)
                  You follow the process, and it works the same way
                  every time.
                  That I am not so sure about, but if you believe it then I don't understand why you object to the process we are discussing.

                  Personally, I think it should be mandatory the criminal investigation be done by the legal system and not school authorites of police beyond a preliminary investigation, but what we are discussing here is protection of assumed victims in a daily setting where protection might be appropriate and should be a option that can be exercised.

                  And that is equally important since, if victims are not supported, then the process is never initiated or may fail and then justice cannot be done.

                  And statistics suggest that is actually the predominant trend, a fact your attempt to dismiss statistics does nothing to change.

                  No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

                  by koNko on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:36:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Regardless of what happened (15+ / 0-)

      the accusation itself creates tension and trauma between two people, and it most likely benefits both if they don't have to live in the same hallway, share the same bathroom facilities, and constantly interact with each other.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 01:04:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A precaution does not constitute a judgment. (5+ / 0-)

      If you think keeping the accused away from the accuser constitutes a "guilty" judgment, do you think that's really all that should be done if he's actually guilty?

      In the judicial system, you can be arrested, held prisoner until you make bail (or without bail!), and have your movements legally restricted (e.g., not being permitted to leave the country) until such time as you can be brought to trial -- all for something you haven't yet been found guilty of doing, and may in fact be innocent of.

      That's not being found guilty.  That's being charged with a crime.  It really sucks to be charged with a crime you haven't committed, but if there's enough evidence to suspect you ...

      Maybe college men shouldn't put themselves in situations where they're alone with a woman.  It's sad, but there's not much you can do if a guy isn't more careful.

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