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Why Campus Rape Tribunals Hand Down So Many ‘Guilty’ Verdicts

Why Campus Rape Tribunals Hand Down So Many ‘Guilty’ Verdicts

THE WEEKLY STANDARD – K.C. JOHNSON, STUART TAYLOR JR./PHOTO CREDIT: CHASE CARTER

In November 2014, a female member of Brown University’s debate team had oral sex with a male colleague while they watched a movie. Eleven months later, she filed a complaint with Brown, accusing him of sexual assault.

Both parties in the case had credibility issues; he had violated a no-contact order, she had withheld from the university the bulk of their text messages. But the accused student possessed strong exculpatory evidence. He produced the full record of their communications, which included texts from the accuser to him discussing the encounter in a highly positive fashion and referencing a “plan” to have sex again. Further, a friend of the accuser, who saw her shortly after the incident, recalled her raving about her “really hot” experience.

Nonetheless, Brown’s disciplinary panel returned a guilty finding by 2-to-1. The decisive vote came from Besenia Rodriguez, the university’s associate dean for curriculum.

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