Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Carleton’s Title IX Star Chamber

Couple gets drunk, hooks up. Biased Title IX hearing kicks guy out of school as a rapist

You have to read this Robby Soave piece about a male student at Carleton College. The guy and a female student got roaring drunk, and had sex. Later, she claimed she was raped. From Soave’s report:

County prosecutors also filed criminal charges against John, but these were eventually dropped. The Carleton proceedings were adjudicated under the auspices of Title IX, the gender equality statute that looms large in campus sexual misconduct trials thanks to aggressive guidance from the Obama-era Education Department. John’s lawsuit argues that he had no shot at a fair hearing, since the entire matter was handled by just two administrators: one who produced a report based on the evidence she had gathered, and another who passed judgment.

John was found responsible, and he was given five days to appeal the verdict to the Community Board on Sexual Misconduct. He did so. Prior to the hearing, he was finally allowed to review the administration’s report on the dispute, which contained the Title IX officer’s characterization of interviews with witnesses but not the transcripts of the actual interviews. John was also concerned that key text messages, which portrayed him in a favorable light, were not included in the report.

At the actual hearing, John was told that he could not introduce questions to be asked of Jane, who was questioned separately. He was also told that “witnesses would not be necessary at the hearing, as he would not be allowed to present any.” Unsurprisingly, the committee confirmed that he was responsible for sexual misconduct. After it suspended him, John appealed the decision—as did Jane, who considered it too lenient.

Get this — the dean of students was so offended that John appealed that she had him expelled from the college. Now he has filed a lawsuit. Read Soave’s entire report.

Why won’t Republicans try to reform Title IX? Or are they hoping that the courts will take care of it for them, by awarding big judgments to students like John?

What if this happened to you, or your son, or brother? If either of my sons, or my daughter, were to behave as these two are said to have behaved, I would be ashamed of them … but I would also recognize that this is ordinary college student behavior. If my daughter covered her shame by accusing her male partner of rape, I would be disgusted.

To be clear, it is possible that John raped this woman. What’s at issue here is whether or not he got a fair chance to defend himself. It seems that he did not — that the deck was stacked in the woman’s favor. Why? What privileges her point of view? Soave says that county prosecutors filed sexual assault charges against John, but dropped them. The kid was expelled from college by this star chamber Title IX process. I hope he wins a massive judgment against the school.



Want to join the conversation?

Subscribe for as little as $5/mo to start commenting on Rod’s blog.

Join Now