FAMILIES ADVOCATING FOR CAMPUS EQUALITY
FAMILIES ADVOCATING FOR CAMPUS EQUALITY

Amherst College

Behind every FACE, a story.

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The story of a falsely accused Amherst College student. This summary is taken verbatim from an online article

 

In December 2013, 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, according to a lawsuit. To one, a dorm counselor, she described the sexual encounter in language that suggested it was consensual and she wrote, “It’s pretty obvi [obvious] I wasn’t an innocent bystander.’’

To the other student, she sent text messages inviting him over later that same night to “entertain” her — an invitation that resulted in a second sexual encounter, according to text messages and an affidavit by the male student. The accuser testified during the disciplinary hearing that she had texted a friend to come over after the alleged attack.

In the weeks after he was expelled and ordered to leave campus, Doe was alerted to the existence of the text messages and obtained copies of both sets of texts with the help of friends, according to Stern. The text messages are included in the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the expelled student is in academic and professional limbo. His transcript, which he would need to finish his degree or get a higher position, says he was expelled for disciplinary reasons, according to the lawsuit.

Now 22, he was looking forward to a career that probably would have been enhanced by a degree from one of the country’s most prestigious liberal arts colleges. For now, he said in an interview, he works at a small company where he started as an intern last year before getting his first promotion. His superiors wonder why he did not finish college. And he said he is so embarrassed about what happened that he stays home at night, and is so ashamed of being seen by former classmates that he wears sunglasses when riding the subway.

He has a teenage brother. “I had wanted to be a good role model for him, so this is so disappointing,” he said, as his eyes filled with tears. His father knows he was expelled, but not why.

He asked that he not be identified. Though he wants his name cleared, he said he does not want notice of the case to follow him on Google for life. As for his accuser, it is the Globe’s policy not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they decide otherwise.

The disputed sexual encounter began late on a Friday night, when Jones, the accuser, and Doe were sophomores. He had been dating her roommate, who was out of town, for a month.

According to accounts by the accuser and witnesses given to Allyson Kurker, the outside investigator brought in by Amherst, Doe arrived in a fourth-floor dormitory lounge where several friends had gathered. He was very drunk. She was tipsy. Within minutes, they were “making out’’ in front of the others, and then left and went to her dorm room.

In her initial written complaint, Jones said that in the dorm room, the entire encounter was forcible. But in her interview with Kurker and during the hearing, she said the oral sex was initially consensual; then, after Doe boasted about “hooking up” with both her and her roommate, she told him to stop. He refused to do so, she said, according to the hearing transcript.

In his defense, Doe said he was not the kind of person who would do such a thing. But he told the disciplinary board he was so drunk that night he had no memory of the encounter. During the 2013 

hearing, Jones’s roommate testified that she had learned Jones had exchanged text messages with a resident dorm counselor just after the alleged rape. But the school made no effort to contact the counselor or obtain the texts, according to the hearing record. When a hearing officer asked Jones about those texts, she replied: “I didn’t want to address what had happened to me and I was in no position yet to accept that it had been rape. So in my text messaging [to counselor] I only said things about the hook- up as if it had been consensual.”


In the texts, which extend over several hours, Jones and the dorm counselor exchanged the following messages:

Jones: “Ohmygod, I jus[sic] did something so [expletive] stupid.”
Counselor: “What did you do?”

Jones responded that she had sex with Doe. Then she expressed concern that her roommate would find out, noting that her roommate’s friends had witnessed the start of the encounter.
The counselor’s recommendation was to blame Doe for the encounter.

Her reply: “But I mean [roommate] knows me it’s pretty obvi I wasn’t an innocent bystander.’’

As she was texting with the counselor, Jones was also texting another male classmate to come to her room: “I mean I happen to have my room to myself this weekend if you wanted to come over and entertain me.”

Hours later, Jones had another text exchange with the counselor that indicated she and that classmate had sex after hours of conversation. In an affidavit he signed in April 2014, the classmate, who turned over his text messages to Doe early last year, said he had sex that February night with Jones, who was friendly and flirtatious, and did not appear “anxious, stressed, depressed or otherwise in distress.’ 


 

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