Stanford sex assault case: Sentence was too short — but the system worked

Washington Post

Last week, a California judge sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Allen Turner to six months in jail for a horrifying sexual assault on an unconscious, alcohol-impaired woman. The resulting uproar over the sentence’s undue leniency risks missing the most important lesson of the case. Contrary to campus conventional wisdom, the Turner case shows that the best way to deal with a campus sexual assault problem is to rely on law enforcement professionals to protect women and to pursue justice, not on campus disciplinary systems run by amateur sex bureaucrats. The backlash against Turner’s sentence is being exploited by a […]

The Hollywood Hit-Job on Justice Clarence Thomas

Wall Street Journal

I covered the confirmation hearings in 1991. HBO’s movie heavily edits history to favor Anita Hill. The current battle over President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland is child’s play compared with the lurid brawl over George H.W. Bush’s nomination of Clarence Thomas 25 years ago. On Saturday, HBO marked the quarter-century anniversary with “Confirmation,” a retelling of how Judge Thomas, a conservative, up-from-poverty black jurist from Pinpoint, Ga., saw his nomination nearly derailed by allegations of sexual harassment made by Anita Hill, a black attorney who had worked for him 10 years earlier. Ms. Hill’s calm, graphic testimony during the three-day hearing on her charges […]

Until Proven Guilty: The vanishing of due process in campus rape tribunals

National Review

When it comes to due process on campus, Republicans in Congress, who campaigned on vows to rein in the Obama administration’s abuses of executive power, have largely acquiesced in its bureaucratic imposition of quasi-judicial tyranny. For more than four years, the White House and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) have used an implausible reinterpretation of a 1972 civil-rights law to impose mandates unimagined by the law’s sponsors. It has forced almost all of the nation’s universities and colleges to disregard due process in disciplinary proceedings when they involve allegations of sexual assault. Enforced by officials far outside […]

CNN Panel Discussion on Sex Assault on Campus

CNN.com

While there are infuriating episodes of disgusting, inexcusable male behavior on college campuses,  some shown in CNN’s film “The Hunting Ground,” the film as a whole was not an honest documentary but rather slick propaganda. It gravely distorts the facts of some of the cases it discusses; falsely suggests that there is a campus rape “epidemic” by promoting alarmist statistics that had been amply discredited before the firm aired; and hypes a campus “rape culture” that does not exist. It also ignores how the disciplinary process in American colleges and universities has been  pervasively slanted, under Obama Administration pressure, to presume the […]

A Smoking-Gun E-mail Exposes the Bias of ‘The Hunting Ground’

National Review

A so-called documentary about campus rape, The Hunting Ground, is set to air Thursday on CNN, which co-produced it. But a newly available e-mail from an investigative producer of the film spectacularly belies its pretensions to be honest, balanced journalism. Instead, the e-mail adds to the large body of evidence that that the film is highly misleading if not dishonest.

The Cinematic Railroading of Jameis Winston

National Review

The Hunting Ground joins the movement to ruin a man’s career for the sake of an ideological agenda. A movement is afoot to destroy the career of a young black man whom a young white woman with overwhelming, well-documented credibility problems has accused of raping her. Three separate investigations, including a Florida State Code of Conduct hearing, have found former Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston not to be a rapist. But now The Hunting Ground, a much-touted documentary on campus sexual assault, features his previously anonymous accuser presenting her case publicly for the first time. Senator […]

Is The New York Times Smearing Jameis Winston?

Real Clear Sports

Over the past year The New York Times has published thousands of words about the rape allegation against Heisman Trophy-winning Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston, all pointing to a single conclusion: He is guilty, and the state of Florida and his school have excused his crime because of his football prowess. But there is a large body of evidence that The Times has kept from its readers that would lead a discerning reader to another conclusion: that Winston has been cleared by three separate investigations because the evidence […]

U-Va. Reaction to Rape Claim: Worse Than at Duke?

Real Clear Politics

Depressing similarities link the two highest-profile allegations of campus sexual assault in recent years — the fraudulent gang rape claims against Duke lacrosse players in 2006, and Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Erdely’s multiply discredited portrayal in November of a sadistically brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. Even more depressing is another comparison between the two cases. While campus journalists and many other students at Duke were refreshingly open to evidence and critical thinking as the case there unfolded, the vast majority of U-Va. students have been sheep-like. They have emulated — or at least tolerated — the […]

The Rot At Duke — And Beyond

National Journal

You might think that a university whose students were victims of the most notorious fraudulent rape claim in recent history, and whose professors — 88 of them — signed an ad implicitly presuming guilt, and whose president came close to doing the same would have learned some lessons.

The facts are otherwise. They also suggest that Duke University’s ugly abuse in 2006 and 2007 of its now-exonerated lacrosse players — white males accused by a black stripper and hounded by a mob hewing to political correctness — reflects a disregard of due process and a bias against white males that infect much of academia.

In September, far from taking pains to protect its students from false rape charges, Duke adopted a revised "sexual misconduct" policy that makes a mockery of due process and may well foster more false rape charges by rigging the disciplinary rules against the accused.

Meanwhile, none of the 88 guilt-presuming professors has publicly apologized. (Duke’s president, Richard Brodhead, did — but too little and too late.) Many of the faculty signers — a majority of whom are white — have expressed pride in their rush to judgment. None was dismissed, demoted, or publicly rebuked. Two were glorified this month in Duke’s in-house organ as pioneers of "diversity," with no reference to their roles in signing the ad. Three others have won prestigious positions at Cornell, Vanderbilt, and the University of Chicago.

(Disclosure: I co-authored a 2007 book on the case, Until Proven Innocent, with historian KC Johnson of Brooklyn College and the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. His scrupulously accurate blog details the events summarized here.)

The two stated reasons for the revised sexual-misconduct rules, as reported in the student newspaper, The Chronicle, almost advertise that they were driven by politically correct ideology more than by any surge in sexual assaults.