Accusing U. Campus Discrimination False Allegations Law Enforcement Prosecutorial Misconduct Sexual Assault Training Wrongful Convictions

PR: SAVE Charges Univ. of Montana with Neglect of Due Process in Sex Cases

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608


SAVE Charges Univ. of Montana with Neglect of Due Process in Sex Cases
Washington, DC/September 12, 2012 — The University of Montana has implemented new policies that are removing key civil rights from students accused of sexual assault, according to a letter sent today to the university’s president by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.

SAVE, a victim advocacy organization, says the new procedures will foster false allegations, thus squandering scare resources and weakening the credibility of victims. A growing number of judges and others assert false allegations harm victims (1).

In March the University of Montana issued a Sexual Assault Report that equated accusers with victims, thus weakening the presumption of innocence for the accused. The document also sidestepped the problem of false allegations.

The University’s efforts to educate students about sexual assault convey a distorted picture, the SAVE letter also charges. The videos claim that only 2% of rape accusations are false. But a legal analysis of that claim concluded the 2% false-rape figure “has no basis in fact” (2).

The university-approved videos teach students that “guilt-tripping” before sex constitutes sexual assault — an idea that weakens the notion of rape as a reprehensible and tragic crime, SAVE says.

“Rape victims often say they do not report the crime because they worry law enforcement will not take their claim seriously,” explains SAVE spokesman Steve Blake. “The University of Montana’s policies serve to trivialize the meaning of rape, encourage false allegations of sexual assault, and ultimately harm true rape victims.”

SAVE is requesting the university to remove the misleading videos from its website and restore the presumption of innocence in sex assault cases.

Some of the University of Montana’s new policies are based on a Sexual Assault Directive from the U.S. Department of Education. The American Association of University Professors and 12 other organizations have called for removal of the federal policy (3). Over 65 editorials have criticized the mandate as unduly restricting due process rights (4).

The University of Montana letter is available on the SAVE website (5).

(2)   Greer E. The truth behind legal dominance feminism’s “two percent false rape claim” figure. 33 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 947 (2000)

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence:

Accusing U. Campus Civil Rights DED Sexual Assault Directive False Allegations Sexual Assault Wrongful Convictions

PR: SAVE Calls on Dept. of Education to Rescind ‘Flawed’ Sexual Assault Policy

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Calls on Dept. of Education to Rescind ‘Flawed’ Sexual Assault Policy

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — College students across the nation are now returning to campuses where student civil rights are being curtailed by a new sex assault mandate issued by the U.S. Department of Education (DED), says SAVE.

SAVE, a victim-advocacy organization, worries the new federal requirements will invite a rash of false allegations, ultimately harming the credibility of true victims and dissipating needed services for victims.

In April of 2011 the DED Office for Civil Rights issued its “Dear Colleague” letter that imposed new standards on collegiate sexual assault proceedings. The letter was issued without prior opportunity for public notice and comment.

Under the new policy, the definition of sexual assault is expanded and the defendant barred from cross-examination of the accuser. Rather than the usual “reasonable doubt” standard used in courts of law, colleges are now mandated to use the 50.1% “preponderance of evidence” standard when adjudicating claims of sexual assault.

Following release of the Directive, a number of high-profile cases have been reported across the country:

— At the University of Virginia, it was announced that a student accused of rape could not be represented by legal counsel.

— At Yale University, quarterback Patrick Witt lost his opportunity to win a Rhodes Scholarship because the university convened an “informal” judicial proceeding that conducted secret deliberations. Witt was never afforded the chance to respond to the allegations made against him.

— At Brown University, the daughter of a powerful university benefactor manipulated the administration’s judicial proceedings to contrive the expulsion of a fellow male student. He later sued and settled for an undisclosed amount.

“Allegations of criminal conduct should be left to the criminal justice system,” says SAVE spokesman Michael Thompson. “The Education Department must revoke its flawed sex assault mandate and restore the presumption of innocence at colleges and universities.”

The American Association of University Professors and 12 other organizations have called for removal of the policy: Over 65 editorials have criticized the federal mandate as unduly restricting due process rights:

SAVE has created a petition for persons who wish to express their dissatisfaction with the policy: