We don't just tell our stories, our stories tell us.
At least two hundred students claiming to have been falsely accused or found guilty of sexual assault on their campuses have filed lawsuits against their colleges, administrators and/or their accusers over the past several years. We also know there are more lawsuits of which we are unaware, pending in state courts across the country.
Nearly one hundred court decisions have been issued in favor of accused students since 2013. These lawsuits claim violations of due process, breach of contract and infliction of emotional distress, as well as decisions tainted by gender bias under Title IX.
There also are many, many more unjustly accused students who have resolved their disputes without legal action or are constrained by college-imposed confidentiality policies, and those whose claims have been settled are almost always bound by confidentiality clauses in their settlement agreements. And of course, there are those whose futures have been devastated because they did not have the knowledge or resources to challenge the findings, and their college or university refused to acknowledge their innocence.
Finally, in this Google-savvy world, accused students understandably are fearful disclosure; sexual violence accusations destroy dreams as well as reputations, career prospects, and earnings potential; students expelled from one institution for sexual “violence” have little or no chance of admission to any other college, university or graduate school. Some have even been fired from their jobs and others have had difficulty securing employment.
One of FACE’s primary stumbling blocks in advocating for the rights of falsely accused students has been our inability to publicize most of the approximately one thousand accounts provided by students and families who have shared their stories with us since our website was created in July 2014.
Stories from the Trenches
First of all, I would like to tell you a little about my son so you can picture him in your mind. He’s super smart, kind, conscientious, honest, and humble. In high school, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Throughout the years he played a variety of sports and always enjoyed being part of a team...(read more).
The Parent of an accused student who was exonerated following a long unbalanced and incompetent process:
My son John Doe was charged by an ex-girlfriend with misconduct, and exonerated -- completely and unanimously -- by the hearing panel. The accuser was a deeply troubled young woman (drug overdoses, psychiatric hospitalizations, fantasy rape claims, etc.) who - 5 months after the fact and 3 months after their relationship ended - accused John Doe of attempting to go slightly farther than they'd gone before...(read more).
I am the proud parent of college-aged students, one of which was falsely accused of sexual assault in 2012. Proven innocent of these accusations, suspicion and discrimination follow my student on campus three years later...(read more).
As I described in part in “Until proven guilty,” an article I wrote for The Cavalier Daily last year, I had just completed the most significant project for my History and Civilization of Classical India class half an hour before lecture started. When I got to the classroom, instead of turning in my assignment and taking some time to find a good seat in lecture, I found a University police officer talking to my professor...(read more).
The nightmare began when the phone rang late one night in 2013...”Don’t worry Mom, I’m fine but I’ve been taken out of my dorm room and moved elsewhere.... A girl and I had sex a few weeks ago ... she filed a complaint against me....She agreed to have sex, I have it in writing... I don’t know why she filed... Also Mom, I’m on suicide watch"...(read more).
My son, John Doe was expelled from the University for sexual misconduct as per Title IX in 2014. His accuser also filed a report with the City Police Department (they did not contact John in regards to the complaint). We immediately requested a hearing to appeal the expulsion and retained a law firm to represent John Doe at the hearing.
Over the summer, John was evaluated for and diagnosed with “high functioning Asperger’s.” We believe this developmental deficit may have contributed to his inability to defend or advocate for himself when questioned by the Title IX Investigator...(read more).
In March my son received an email from the assistant dean of students telling him to read an attached letter and to read the instructions to meet with her. The letter stated that he was accused by two girls of violating the Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention and Response Policy.
It was Sexual Assault Awareness Month...(read more).
I cannot share details about my son’s case because of a confidentiality agreement with the university. There were no criminal charges filed against him and we haven’t filed a lawsuit, so there is no public information about his case. His story is the same one that is happening all too frequently – drunken consensual sex that the young woman (usually many months later) decides was not consensual because she was drinking...(read more).
"Under this new regime of sexual policing, college students are being stigmatized as rapists and expelled from college even in cases where there is compelling exculpatory evidence. Vassar College student Xialou “Peter” Yu, a Chinese national with a 3.8 GPA, was expelled from Vassar in February 2013 for having sex with Mary Claire Walker, a female student who is one year Peter’s senior and whose father is a professor at Vassar"....(read more).
Former Rhodes Scholar Candidate and NFL Prospect, Patrick Witt. This summary is taken verbatim from an online article:
I am a first-year student at Harvard Law School, and I join the 28 members of our faculty who recently protested the university’s adoption of a new and expansive sexual harassment policy. While I agree wholeheartedly that universities have a moral as well as a legal obligation to provide their students with learning environments free of sexual harassment, I echo the faculty’s concern that this particular policy “will do more harm than good”...(read more).
In December 2013, UMASS-Amherst expelled a senior “after a disciplinary board concluded that he had forced a female classmate to perform oral sex during an alcohol-infused encounter nearly two years earlier. In April 2014, however, the expelled student presented the college with new evidence — a series of text messages the woman sent to two other male students immediately after the alleged rape...(read more).
On May 30th of 2011 at a party at a friend’s house, I was introduced to the person who would later become my accuser. We both were students at Auburn University. She asked me to spend the night at her condo the very first night...(read more).