#MeToo Believe the Victim Campus Due Process False Allegations Investigations Rape-Culture Hysteria Sexual Assault Title IX

$15 Million Verdict Against Thomas Jefferson Univ. Signals Fall of ‘Believe Women’ Movement


Rebecca Hain: 513-479-3335


$15 Million Verdict Against Thomas Jefferson Univ. Signals Fall of ‘Believe Women’ Movement

WASHINGTON / December 13, 2023 – On September 28, 2018, a full-page advertisement appeared in the New York Times that stated simply, “Believe women” (1). These words would be repeated countless times over the years, eviscerating the presumption of innocence and tilting the outcome of sexual assault cases against the accused. But a sexual assault allegation that recently ended with a $15 million jury verdict reveals the days of the vacuous “Believe women” phrase may be numbered.

The former Soviet Union was famous for its notorious Show Trials in which innocence or guilt was decided not by the evidence presented, but rather by whether the accused person came from a favored social group. If an investigation was conducted, it only was intended to create a façade of impartiality for the bogus trial with a predetermined outcome.

Which is exactly what happened in Thomas Jefferson University’s adjudication of medical resident Jessica Phillips’ accusation of rape against attending orthopedic surgeon John Abraham.

The saga began at an alcohol-fueled party on June 23, 2018 in Philadelphia. As the party began to wind down, Phillips forced whiskey into Abraham’s mouth and began to aggressively kiss him, according to the man. She pulled him to the floor, where they had sex. Abraham promptly reported the incident to his supervisor at the university. But inexplicably, his complaint was not forwarded to the Title IX office and never investigated (2).

In the meantime, the woman informed her husband of the incident and filed a complaint with her residency director. Four days after the sexual liaison occurred, Abraham received a Notice of Concern from Jefferson’s Title IX coordinator, alleging that he had engaged in “non-consensual sexual intercourse” with Phillips.

The university Chief Medical Officer also warned Abraham that if he did not immediately take a leave of absence, he would be suspended and reported to the Medical Staff and National Practitioner Database (3). Abraham believed he had choice but to capitulate.

All this happened before the University had completed its investigation.

On January 8, 2019, the University concluded its probe, with no finding of responsibility against the man. A police investigation of the incident likewise did not result in any charges being filed.

But the damage had been done. Abraham had been forced out of his position, his reputation destroyed, his career in tatters. The acclaimed surgeon was the latest victim of a campus Kangaroo Court.

A year later, Abraham filed a Title IX lawsuit against the University, accusing the institution of sex bias for failing to investigate his original complaint of sexual assault. At the trial, attorneys invoked the damsel-in-distress argument, claiming that Abraham “was in a powerful hierarchy position” relative to Phillips, as if a high-achieving woman in a medical residency somehow had lost her ability to utter the word, “no.”

On December 3, the jury met to decide on the case. Appalled at the university’s failure to investigate the surgeon’s complaint, the jury decided in favor of Abraham, awarding him $11 million in compensation for his financial losses, and $4 million in punitive damages for the university’s “outrageous conduct.” (4)

After five years of legal wrangling, a jury of five women and three men unanimously decided to not believe the woman. And the millions of falsely accused Americans could give a sigh of relief (5).


Campus Discrimination Due Process False Allegations Rape-Culture Hysteria Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX Victims Violence

UNC Wants SCOTUS to Review Ruling Mandating Release of Sexual Assault Sanctions

Updated August 8, 2020

 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill intends to ask the United States Supreme Court to review a 4-3 decision by the Supreme Court of North Carolina that ordered the school to release the names of students found responsible and sanctioned for sexual misconduct.

After a nearly four-year legal fight, UNC released a list of 15 names in response to a request for all sanctions issued for sexual misconduct since 2007.

The release of the records comes three months after the state Supreme Court sided with a coalition of North Carolina media organizations that sued the university after it denied a 2016 public records request for the information. The coalition includes Capitol Broadcasting Co., WRAL’s parent company, as well as UNC-Chapel Hill’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.

“We, along with many advocates for  survivors  of sexual assault and interpersonal violence, still believe the release of these records will inevitably lead to an increased risk of the identification of  survivors  and key witnesses and  could discourage others from participating in the Title IX process,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor of University Communications.

“Universities should not be forced to release student records that could identify sexual assault  survivors,” Curran said.

Annie Clark, a former student who has spent seven years advocating for more transparency about sexual assaults on campus, says the release of the names is a step in the right direction.

“We have a lot of survivor advocates and survivors themselves who want these names released, who want to have that vindication,” Clark said. “But you also have a lot of folks who don’t want that, who feel like, if their perpetrator’s or alleged perpetrator’s name is released, that it puts them in danger.”

Clark was one of five women who filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education in 2013 accusing UNC-Chapel Hill of underreporting sexual assault cases for 2010 in an annual report to the federal government on campus crime. It also alleged that campus officials allowed a hostile environment for students reporting sexual assault.

“It is very surprising that, over the course of years, that there are only 15 people who have been found responsible that the university released,” Clark said. “What we know is that one in four or one in five women, depending on the statistics used, are sexually assaulted before they graduate, drop out or leave college in another way.”

Clark wants UNC-Chapel Hill and other universities to release even more information, including how many total assaults are reported, how many are investigated and how many result in sanctions.

“There is a lot further to go,” she said. “I think we need to look beyond this one story of releasing names and look more towards why are people still doing, why are people are still getting away with and where are those aggregate numbers and where are people falling through the cracks.”

On UNC-Chapel Hill’s website for its Equal Opportunity Compliance office, sexual assault victims are encouraged to report criminal activity to law enforcement; however, accusers can choose to pursue a case through a university process that’s been kept completely confidential.

As for its internal process, Curran said, “The University’s Title IX policy and process are mandated by the federal government and are separate and distinct from any criminal process.”

“Sanctions are tailored to the unique facts and circumstances of each report, and the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office investigators and hearing panelists consider a variety of factors when determining the appropriate sanction,” said Leslie Minton, associate director of media relations. “Those factors are listed in the procedures associated with the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. This is an educational process focused on maximizing equal access to educational programs and activities and the safety and well-being of our students and campus community.

WRAL News has a team of reporters gathering more information on the students named and intends to share more information.


Accountability Accusing U. Affirmative Consent Due Process Press Release Rape-Culture Hysteria Victims

PR: American Law Institute Pulls the Plug on Affirmative Consent

Contact: Gina Lauterio
Telephone: 301-801-0608

American Law Institute Pulls the Plug on Affirmative Consent

WASHINGTON / May 23, 2016 – By a resounding margin, members of the American Law Institute voted down a controversial “affirmative consent” standard being considered for the group’s proposed Model Penal Code for Sexual Assault. Instead, the ALI membership approved a definition proposed by attorney Margaret Love that states, “’Consent’ means a person’s willingness to engage in a specific act of sexual penetration or sexual contact. Consent may be expressed or it may be inferred from behavior, including words and conduct—both action and inaction—in the context of all the circumstances.” (1)

The historic vote took place at the ALI annual conference on May 17 in Washington, DC. After two hours of at times acrimonious debate, approximately four-fifths of the 500 members present voted to remove the affirmative consent language (2). Leading judges, law professors, and practicing attorneys comprise the membership of ALI, which develops model laws for adoption at the state level.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers had sharply criticized the proposed affirmative consent policy, charging the ALI draft used “the bludgeon of criminal sanctions to impose the new and yet untested concept of ‘affirmative consent’ upon society.” (3)

The affirmative consent standard has been struck down in two state-level decisions, as well.

In August, Judge Carol McCoy ruled the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s affirmative consent policy “erroneously shifted the burden of proof” to the defendant. The administrative judge noted that “requiring the accused to affirmatively provide consent… is flawed and untenable if due process is to be afforded to the accused.” (4)

Last month the Massachusetts District Court ruled against the Brandeis University affirmative consent policy, saying “it is absurd to suggest that it makes no difference whatsoever whether the other party is a total stranger or a long-term partner in an apparently happy relationship.” (5)

Decrying the rigidity and intrusiveness of the affirmative consent approach, Newsday columnist Cathy Young asks, “While there’s still time, we should stop and ask just how much government we really want in the bedroom.” (6) More information about affirmative consent can be found on the SAVE website (7).


SAVE is working for evidence-based, constitutionally sound solutions to campus sexual assault:

Accusing U. Affirmative Consent Campus Press Release Rape-Culture Hysteria Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment

Campus Anti-Rape Efforts Go Silly

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments
October 7, 2014

Three percent of women are victims of rape during their college years. And that number appears to be declining. But that hasn’t stopped campus activists from declaring that a sexual assault “epidemic” is sweeping our campuses and advocating for rape prevention programs that are downright silly, if not absurd.

These are 5 recent examples around the country:

1. Crazy-Making at Michigan
The new University of Michigan policy provides several examples of sexual violence. One type of “violence” listed in its policy is “withholding sex and affection.”

That’s right, U of M no longer believes that “no means no.” Columnist Susan Kruth recently wrote: “This is utterly unconscionable, and, frankly, insane. It is the absolute last message we should be sending to college students.”

2. Taco Runs at ASU
Arizona State University has come up with a novel solution to rape: having by-standers suggest that intoxicated men go out and grab some tacos.

If that doesn’t work, an intoxicated male should be persuaded that the girl he is talking to is “ugly” and “not worth sleeping with,” according to the student group Always Get Consent.

3. Whistles for Rapists
At the University of Colorado, campus activists claim that encouraging women to take common-sense protective measures like carrying a rape whistle constitutes “blaming the victim.”

So the Student Health Center is now distributing flyers to men instructing them that the “only use for a rape whistle is: If you are about to rape someone, warn them. Blow the whistle.”

4. Big Sister at Clemson
At Clemson University in South Carolina, students were required to complete a survey asking detailed questions such as:
• “How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?”
• “With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?”

Failure to complete the questionnaire was deemed to be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and subject to disciplinary action.

5. Sex Week in New Mexico
Last week the University of New Mexico Women’s Resource Center co-sponsored Sex Week. The week included lectures on topics such as “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” “Reid’s Negotiating Successful Threesomes,” and “O-Face Oral.”

According to the media account, “The events are designed to prevent sexual assault, but organizers have taken a new approach…Instead of teaching students how not to get hurt, they’re teaching them how to have safer and better sex.”
We’re hoping the event organizers will explain how escalating the already hyper-sexualized environment of college campuses will serve to deter sexual assault.

Time to Get Serious About Rape

Let’s state the obvious: Rape is a crime.

Stopping rape requires improved police reporting, professional investigations, and vigorous prosecutions.

Rape cases should be handled by the criminal justice system, not by ill-equipped campus Kangaroo Courts.

Accusing U. Campus Innocence Press Release Rape-Culture Hysteria Sexual Assault

PR: SAVE Deplores Orwellian Claims Surrounding California Campus Sex Bill

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

SAVE Deplores Orwellian Claims Surrounding California Campus Sex Bill

WASHINGTON / March 25, 2014 – Senate Bill 967, which would impose an “affirmative consent” standard on sexual activities at California colleges, has attracted national attention. SAVE believes that campus sexual assault is a problem that deserves greater attention. Since its inception, however, the controversial California bill has been surrounded by exaggerated and inflammatory claims that bear little relationship to the truth, SAVE says.

When Sen. de Leon introduced his affirmative consent bill on February 10, he highlighted reports in the Los Angeles Times that Occidental College had withheld 27 sexual assault cases from its Clery Act reports:

But a March 14 LAT editorial retracted the newspaper’s prior claims, noting that the 27 unreported incidents “did not fall under the law’s disclosure requirements:”,0,1134632.story#axzz2wHq5eFQN

De Leon has insisted his bill would reduce the number of campus sexual assaults. But his bill would not require assault cases to be reported to law enforcement authorities, meaning many rapists would be expelled from college, but not imprisoned. SAVE believes mere expulsion to be a woefully inadequate punishment for rape.

Dramatically expanding the definition of sexual assault would result in many more cases being processed by campus disciplinary boards. As a result, real victims will encounter longer delays and greater skepticism from university investigators, SAVE predicts.

Without offering evidence, de Leon claimed that current campus culture “stigmatizes survivors, not the perpetrators.” Given that media accounts typically name the accused but not the accuser, SAVE believes most stigma is placed on the accused, whether or not he is actually guilty of the alleged assault.

“The measure will change the equation so the system is not stacked against the survivors,” de Leon claimed, apparently unaware of the irony that civil rights experts say his bill would create a “vicious double standard” against the accused:

“The California bill was inspired by a policy that was tried at Antioch College in the 1990s. Student enrollments declined, and Antioch was forced to close its doors,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “We can only imagine what would happen if a similar misguided policy is imposed on California colleges.”

See SAVE’s Ten Steps to Turn Any Student into a Sex Offender:

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments—SAVE—is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault: