PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Chris Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: cperry@saveservices.org

Milestone ACTL Report Recasts Sex Assault Debate; SAVE Calls for End to Campus Kangaroo Courts

WASHINGTON / March 27, 2017 – The American College of Trial Lawyers has issued a watershed White Paper that highlights how the current system of campus rape tribunals shortchanges both victims and accused students, thereby undermining the goal of curbing campus rape. The report issues a bold indictment of the current federally mandated regime, charging, “Under the current system, everyone loses.” https://www.actl.com/library/white-paper-campus-sexual-assault-investigations

“Procedural justice can reduce recidivism and ensure sexual assault investigations are regarded with seriousness and respect,” the ACTL paper notes, “ending the backlash incurred by any public perception that these investigations serve only to railroad and scapegoat individual men.”

The ACTL statement further explains, “if alleged perpetrators are treated fairly, they are more likely to accept a decision of culpability.” Likewise, Harvard law professor Nancy Gertner has noted that “It takes only a few celebrated false accusations of rape to turn the clock back.”

The statement cites a case at Washington and Lee University in Virginia in which a student was persuaded to file a sexual assault claim after reading an article positing that “sexual assault occurs whenever a woman has consensual sex with a man and regrets it because she had internal reservations.” Such cases serve to invite public ridicule and undermine the effort to rid sexual assault from college campuses, SAVE believes.

The White Paper makes recommendations regarding the need for procedural due process; impartial investigations; the rights to counsel, access evidence, and notice of allegations; cross-examination; and the inadequacy of the preponderance of evidence standard.

“Under the current system everyone loses: accused students are deprived of fundamental fairness, complainants’ experiences are unintentionally eroded and undermined, and colleges and universities are trapped between the two,” the report concludes.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments calls on the Office for Civil Rights to retract its unlawful campus sexual assault directives, and encourages the referral of felony-level allegations of rape to criminal justice experts: http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/cefta/

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for effective and fair solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org