Title IX For All

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Milestone: 200+ lawsuits alleging due process and related claims

After a series of updates, our database tracking lawsuits filed against universities for violating the rights of students accused of sexual assault has reached the mark of 200+ cases. You may view the database here.

This is quite a milestone, and one which will continue as schools resist interim guidance from the Department of Education, and as the movement for due process and gender equity in education gains steam. My thanks to those who have supported the database by sending me new cases and helping me keep it updated. As always, if you come across a lawsuit that is not in the database, please submit it via our submission form.

The database continues to serve many purposes. In addition to being a resource for attorneys, advocates, parents, students, journalists, and academics, it is a public record of the bias men face when they step into certain sectors of higher education, and the dangers of administrative overreach.

The battle for due process has a long way to go, but it has also come a long way in a few years. It is increasingly being fought on many fronts, and many voices who were previously silent are now speaking. I look forward to expanding the resources of this site further to help those interested in advocating a more genuine model of educational equity.

A new class of victims: abuse of Title IX at the University of Southern California

The Title IX Inquisition of today is largely the product of a small group of ideological feminists pushing Alexander v. Yale (which yoked sexual harassment claims to gender discrimination theory) to its logical extreme, an effort crystallized in the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter[1]. Like all extremists in history, these advocates had little concern for the welfare and happiness of the vast majority. The 2011 DCL sought to favor accusers and penalize the accused by depriving the latter of important legal protections, and shielding the former under a general metaphysical principle best known as “trauma theory”[2].

Many institutions in the nation have already undergone two waves of legal pushback, first from female complainants and then from male respondents, both groups citing Title IX to defend their civil rights. Generally speaking, the Obama administration has come under fire from libertarians and criminal defense lawyers for what was perceived as unlawful overreach. However, some institutions have also gone far beyond anything ever required by the Obama administration.

The legal case against the University of Southern California [hereafter, USC] is complex and massive. The dossier contains at least nine lawsuits at the Superior Court level, all by male respondents who have contested the fairness of their sanctions. Among these lawsuits, at least one of them is final: Doe v. University of Southern California. Here, USC attempted to suspend a male student not because he was accused of rape, but because he did not stop a different male from committing “sexual assault,” the assault in question being an instantaneous butt-slap that happened during otherwise consensual sex. The Second Court of Appeals sided with Doe and particularly condemned the institution for using hearsay instead of material evidence; the verdict was written by Audrey B. Collins, former Chief Judge of the Central District of California.

Other lawsuits are ongoing, but miscarriages of justice abound. BS155312 involves a “drunken hookup” in which only the male was penalized. BS157112 involves Bryce Dixon, a star athlete expelled from the institution because he could not pass the “affirmative consent” standard, despite his roommate testifying that he heard “normal people having sex” sounds, and despite the woman agreeing to come to his house after prior sexual interaction. Lo and behold, the accuser’s family are wealthy donors to the University.

BS159332 involves an international male student suspended for “groping,” accused by a feminist with mental health issues, the accuser in question being on the record for asking, “Can I suck your d***?”  BS163736 involves another accuser, again with mental health issues, who accused a male student of sexual assault despite agreeing that she had consensual sex with him before and after the alleged incident.  This case is especially worth noting, since USC’s lawyers have jeopardized the independent conscience of the Court with the prospect of violent protests against judges in the event of an unfavorable ruling.

BS170473 involves Matt Boermeester, a star athlete summarily expelled from college due to a surreal accusation. Interestingly, the alleged victim (Zoe Katz) has publicly falsified the accusations attributed to her. However, overzealous administrators believed that a third-person report, uncorroborated by evidence and refuted by the woman’s testimony, was sufficient to ruin the life of a star athlete. Yet another male student, Armaan Premjee, faced criminal charges which were dropped at a preliminary hearing; his student discipline process is ongoing. He was denied the right to legal counsel during the Title IX tribunal. There is video footage of the accuser flirting with the accused, as well as supportive testimonials from the accuser’s best friend and a taxi driver.

The University cannot defend its actions by saying, “we were applying gender-neutral laws.” The University has been in legal trouble with the Department of Education for dismissing the sexual assault complaint of a male student, filed against a female martial artist [3]. As of April 2016, the Federal investigation was expanded in scope to investigate allegations of systematic anti-male bias and denial of counselling to male students. The Department has also recently opened a retaliation investigation because USC threatened the male complainant with de facto expulsion. The evidence of anti-male bias compiled during the investigation far exceeds the Leval standard set in the Second Circuit of Appeals, recently adopted in California in Doe v. Regents of the University of California, 2:15-cv-02478. There are other documented incidents, such as a feminist group attempting physical violence to stop a gay man from attending Women’s March. In addition, Daily Incident Log Reports [4] denote that campus officers were willing to arrest a man for indecent exposure, but cover up a similar incident by a woman.

So, the question is – why does USC sustain such a hostile atmosphere against male students despite so much legal trouble? Back in 2013, USC found itself under fire by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who filed a federal complaint with the Department of Education on behalf of Tucker Reed. Reed was a feminist who believed her rape accusation was unjustly dismissed. She waited for +700 days before coming forward with her claims, however, which coincided with his boyfriend breaking up with him; she was pregnant with the lovechild of the accused man after the alleged incident. She was hospitalized due to mental health issues. It is also worth noting that she murdered her uncle after a property dispute in the summer of 2016.

Gloria Allred’s complaint specifically asked the Department to go beyond the already excessive accuser protections adopted in the Resolution Letter with the University of Montana. For example, Allred insisted that %99 of all sexual predators are men while repeating the oft-cited and much-rebuked “1 in 4 women are raped in college” statistic. Neither claim can be taken seriously anymore[5]. Allred nevertheless insisted that USC should monitor the student population until at least %40 of all rapes were reported and disciplined under Title IX theory. If 1 in 4 women are raped, and if USC has ~20,000 female students, Allred’s proposed model would have the University prosecute/punish approximately 2,000 male students every year. This “rape quota” theory is objectionable and absurd.

There are other reasons behind this institutional bias, such as investment in identity politics and the fact that Title IX lawsuits filed by women lead to six-figure settlements while due process complaints filed by men receive far more modest settlements[6]. There are also more parochial reasons unique to USC, such as the fact that the area surrounding the University Park Campus has been undergoing gentrification. The neighborhood has a high crime rate; gang violence and murders are not unheard of. This is a cause of ongoing embarrassment for an institution which demands the highest tuition rates in the nation. Supercilious hysteria about general campus security also infects Title IX proceedings.

USC is currently using an eccentric version of the single-investigator model. In this system, a Title IX investigator collects and reviews the evidence and writes a report which also decides whether a breach of policy occurred or not. One person acts as police, prosecutor, and executor. The report is then relayed to Panel E, who decide whether any sanctions would be appropriate, despite facing discretionary limitations. The decision is then relayed to the Appeals Panel, who arrive at a final conclusion[7]. This system may seem like a multi-tiered and neutral approach, but the illusion unravels under closer scrutiny.

Much of the investigative/adjudicative power is concentrated in the hands of two highly biased individuals, Kegan Allee (Assistant Title IX Director) and Gretchen Means (Title IX Coordinator). Kegan Allee is a feminist hired soon after the 2013 debacle. She has no legal training, but boasts dual degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies. A detailed analysis of her investigative practice reveals bias at every stage. For example, she engages in dissuasion towards male students who want to file sexual harassment complaints against women, while seeking to maximize the punishments against men. She invents allegations of her own not voiced in the original claim, and routinely cites hearsay above material evidence. She even changes dates and merges events whenever necessary. Also, her policy seems to be towards persuading female students to press charges even when they would decline to do so, including situations that involve mutual intoxication [8]. In addition, she seems quite preoccupied with deviant pornography [9].

As for Gretchen Means, she is a former prosecutor who specialized in sex crimes in her past. Multiple attorneys and witnesses have raised concerns about her integrity, neutrality, and professionalism. For example, after she has engaged in verbal harassment against a male student by ridiculing his appearance and calling him a “motherfucker,” she denied making the comments in Court papers. Needless to say, a male administrator to utter such words against a female student would have been relieved of his duties immediately. The University received protest e-mails after her behavior, but no action has been taken.

The damage caused by their extremist politics is significant. Multiple star athletes have already been ruined by their Title IX policy, including Bryce Dixon and Matt Boermeester. Their archaic “women cannot commit crimes” mentality, coupled with their “always believe the woman, even when evidence says otherwise” policy, has created a systematic pattern of invidious and blatant discrimination.

The enrollment rate for male students at USC has dropped down to ~45%, an unprecedented low, for 2016-17. Many male students have reported that they were unhappy with the anti-male climate during their education at USC. The fact there are so many male plaintiffs should speak for itself; since many students fear retaliation and/or cannot afford legal counsel, this number is only a minor fraction of the male victims harmed by Title IX terror at the University of Southern California.

 

Sources & Notes:

[1] The 2011 Dear College Letter is an (in)famous document published by the Department of Education, offering extensive protections to (predominantly female) accusers. Critics have noted that the 2011 DCL contradicted the principle of double jeopardy by allowing accusers to appeal a non-responsible finding while abandoning cross-examination rights, once called “the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth” by the Supreme Court.

[2] There is no clear agreement on what “trauma theory” means. In practice, it is a much-abused principle which is cited to justify even the worst excesses of false reporting, including retroactive withdrawal of consent.

[3] The female perpetrator has also filed a victim-blaming complaint against the male complainant, since “he was manipulating [my emotions by telling me that he was never attracted to me” and “I felt threatened by the way he was making himself a victim” [verbatim statements].

[4] Report 1701734 v. 1701592.

[5] The myth that “all rapists are men” has been sustained for decades due to an archaic definition of rape as “unwanted penetration.” Perhaps the most radical challenge to this myth came from Lara Stemple, Assistant Dean at UCLA. According to her studies, men are equally as likely as women to report sexual violence and the majority of men report female perpetrators. Changing the definition of rape to “coercive sex,” which allows men to speak up against female perpetrators, reveals that men and women suffer and perpetrate almost equal degrees of sexual violence (even though men are far overrepresented in prosecution). Also, a Department of Education study entitled Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature has found in 2004 that %43 of all teachers who engage in sex with underage partners are women, even though more than %95 of all disciplined/prosecuted individuals are men. The “1 in 4” statistic has been repeatedly debunked for pandering to confirmation bias, defining sexual assault as “any unwelcome act,” and bribing female students (with $5 per survey) into reporting that they have been harassed.

[6] As noted by Stephen Henrick in A Hostile Environment Against Student Defendants.

[7] The Appeals Panel is very effective at rubber-stamping the decisions served in front of them. Ainsley Carrey, who currently leads the Appeals Panel, was involved in the Auburn University decision which found Joshua Strange guilty of rape despite exonerating evidence.

[8] As can be inferred from her citation in a 2013 article, A World According to Rape: “in Allee’s experiences with sexual assault victims, she has noticed that many of them are unaware they have been raped. The victims find excuses to mask rape in college, such as saying that the man was drunk as well” (p. 5).

[9] Her Facebook page quotes Anais Nin, a pornographic author “who is best known for her two volumes of erotic literature, Delta of Venus and Little Birds, works that explored extremely dangerous sexual undertakings which included pedophilia, necrophilia, sadomasochism and even bestiality.”

Due process victory! Dept. of Education withdraws 2011 “Dear Colleague” guidance letter

As of 9/22/2017, the U.S. Department of Education has withdrawn the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter (DCL). From their recent guidance letter:

Legal commentators have criticized the 2011 Letter and the 2014 Questions and Answers for placing “improper pressure upon universities to adopt procedures that do not afford fundamental fairness.” As a result, many schools have established procedures for resolving allegations that “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused, and are in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.”

Among other things, the new letter revokes the following:

  • The mandate that schools use the insufficiently low burden of proof – the preponderance standard – in adjudicating sex-assault accusations against students.
  • The ban on cross-examinations of accusers’ statements.
  • Various other provisions which created rushed and haphazard investigative and adjudicatory processes that – rather than encouraging schools to defer criminal matters to law enforcement professionals – encouraged schools to instead act independently of them, and at times contradictory to them.

This is a definite step in the right direction, and a solid victory for due process.

Pointing at the illegitimacy of the 2011 DCL, the letter further remarks that the previous administration “imposed these regulatory burdens without affording notice and the opportunity for
public comment.” The Dept. of Education has issued interim guidance via a Q&A, and announced an imminent new rulemaking process.

As for Title IX For All, there are no plans to wind down maintenance of the lawsuits database. In fact, the database has seen a wave of recent updates, and will see more in the near future. If you have any updates that we have missed, please submit them via the submission form.

Rape and sexual assault are crimes, and it is the purview of the criminal justice system to investigate and resolve such accusations. School administrations are not – and can never be – sufficiently equipped or trained to handle every such accusation. Instead, their primary role should be to coordinate with and defer to the criminal justice system, making necessary accommodations for accusers and the accused, and making sure to never discourage accusers from filing charges. While issuing new guidance to make school-based investigations more equitable is certainly needed, the long goal should be to move toward a model that defers these cases to the appropriate avenue of redress: the criminal justice system.

We can expect all manner of belligerence from the enemies of due process over the coming weeks. What differentiates us should be clear: due process is a human right, and human rights – just like the rights Title IX embodies – should be for everyone.

Interactive attorney map & sub-database implemented!

In addition to several new cases, the lawsuits database now sports a new feature: an interactive map of attorneys, as well as an attorney sub-database. This feature merges Google Maps with our existing database structure to help users sort and filter a gallery of attorneys who are litigating cases across the country.

As with all key database features, you’ll still need to be logged in to a registered account to use it. As with new lawsuits and lawsuit updates, you may also submit new attorneys (or updates to the address / firm name / etc of existing attorneys) via the submission form. However, we can only enter a new attorney if there is a related case that is entered or can be entered into the lawsuits database, as the focus of the database is on litigation.

Here is what the map looks like (click to enlarge):

You can type your address in the search bar below to find an attorney closest to you. Alternatively, you use the scroll wheel of your mouse or the navigational tools on the map. Selecting from the scrollable list on the right will also re-orient the map to that attorney.

Below the map itself (not pictured in this post) is a traditional spreadsheet-style database, if you prefer to view information that way.

Click on “View reports, lawsuits, & more” on the scrollable list next to the map to bring up more info on that specific attorney, such as reports, lawsuits, and more. Here is an example of what you will see when clicking on a specific attorney:

Below the graphs you will also see a list of lawsuits by that attorney.

Stay tuned for future updates! More to come.

Happy New Year! Onward to 2017!

2016 has (finally?) come to a close. 2017 presents unique opportunities and challenges, particularly regarding the incoming executive U.S. administration’s stance on education policy. I predict that the theme for the next several years will be that of a crossroads, and there is much to be done to prepare for it.

Thank you to those who have helped support this site and its databases in 2016. We are ramping up for 2017. We will be implementing several waves of database updates in January (lawsuits, events, and scholarships databases in particular), and then rolling out some new features for the lawsuits database in February and March. That will be a decent kick-off to 2017, with more plans in the wings (stay tuned).

2017 is going to be a very busy time – and there’s no time like the present to get started!