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Harvard Law caves to feds by adopting ‘preponderance’ standard in rape cases

Students accused of sexual assault at Harvard Law School can now be found guilty under the “more likely than not” standard, formally known as “preponderance of the evidence,” under the school’s Title IX settlement with the Department of Education, the agency said Tuesday.

Both parties will now also get “appeal rights” following the adjudication process and the law school has designated a Title IX coordinator.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights said the law school’s current and prior sexual harassment policies didn’t comply with Title IX rules for “prompt and equitable response to complaints,” and that it botched two sexual-assault complaints:

In one instance, the Law School took over a year to make its final determination and the complainant was not allowed to participate in this extended appeal process, which ultimately resulted in the reversal of the initial decision to dismiss the accused student and dismissal of the complainant’s complaint.

Twenty-eight Harvard Law faculty publicly called on the school in October to ignore Office for Civil Rights mandates, even in the face of funding threats, because they stack the deck against accused students, The College Fix previously reported.

Read the department statement.

h/t greg

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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