In 2011 the Federal Government pressured colleges and universities into adopting special procedures for handling sex-related complaints on campus. Under the new guidelines schools, like Penn State, were ordered to lower the standard of proof required to prove a student guilty of sexual misconduct. Rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt or even clear and convincing evidence the new standard was a preponderance of the evidence. In addition schools were required to permit the accuser to appeal not guilty findings and they also curtailed the accused right of cross-examination.
Earlier this year a book entitled The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack Of Due Process At American Universities entered the marketplace. Quoting from the Wall Street Journal, the authors "K. C. Johnson and Stewart Taylor, Jr. dismantled this myth of a campus rape crisis and show how, with alarming frequency, colleges mistreat students accused of assault by failing to allow them any meaningful opportunity to prove their innocence". It should be noted that the authors also wrote another book titled Until Proven Innocent about the Duke Lacrosse rape case and how outside factors, which have nothing to do with the truth, affected the outcome.
It's no secret that sexual assault is a growing problem on college campuses across the United States. It also isn't surprising that many incidences of assault occur alongside heavy drinking.
If you read my blog in August of this year entitled College Campus Sex Offense Discipline you know that parents of students who are charged with unfounded sexual assault are striking back.
Students returning to Penn State this semester or any college campus might be interested in a recent article from the Washington Post, August 29th. The title of the article is "Toxic Environment For Sons Accused Of Campus Sex Offenses Turns Mothers Into Militants".