Original. Student reported. Your daily dose of Right-minded news and commentary from across the nation
Amherst College settles due process suit with ‘blacked out’ male it called a rapist

An accuser who blabbed to HuffPo and ruined Amherst’s case

More than two years after he sued Amherst College for declaring him a rapist because a female student sexually molested him while “blacked out,” the second-generation Asian-American plaintiff known only as “John Doe” has achieved a measure of justice.

A federal judge in Boston dismissed the litigation Wednesday following a settlement that the parties brought before the court Friday.

While the terms are confidential, Doe was “negotiating from a position of strength,” KC Johnson, co-author of The Campus Rape Frenzy and Brooklyn College history professor, tweeted Wednesday.

Though Doe’s accuser seemed to admit in text messages to violating him while he was incapacitated, his lawsuit was not looking good until a surprise ruling this spring by Judge Mark Mastroianni, who had previously sided with another college in a due-process case.

“Sandra Jones” was identified as the unnamed activist in a Huffington Post article that suggested she had an ulterior motive to accuse Doe of rape: forcing Amherst to finally expel a student found responsible for sexual assault.

She had been shielded from deposition by a different judge who argued unconvincingly that it would traumatize her, despite ample evidence she had lied about the allegation. Once Mastroianni cleared the suit to continue – meaning Amherst’s practices would be fully exposed in trial – the college apparently started looking for a way out.

MORE: Rape accuser blabs to HuffPo, ruins Amherst’s defense

The settlement came two days after Ashe Schow of The Federalist highlighted the settlements obtained by falsely accused students “these past couple of weeks”: an Allegheny College student whose accuser made it up to get revenge, according to her friend; Paul Nungesser and Columbia University for its role in aiding his accuser’s art project calling him a rapist; and Colorado State University-Pueblo and athlete Grant Neal, whose own sex partner said it was consensual.

As Schow noted:

To see schools settle with accused students, rather than fight them, is encouraging. What would be more encouraging is if more schools changed their policies to protect the rights of accused students and stopped the witch hunt mentality raging on campus.

That will probably not happen without families of ample means suing colleges and rejecting settlement offers, so that their full adjudication practices – depriving accused students who can’t afford legal counsel of basic rights to see evidence or appeal to an independent body – can be exposed and shamed during trial. Imagine the field day their local media would have.

In the meantime, as more judges look askance pretrial at the adjudication practices that have dribbled out in due process and reverse-discrimination lawsuits by accused males, expect to see a continuing dribble of confidential settlements.

MORE: Rich families must go to trial against colleges to protect due process

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Yepifanova Olena/Shutterstock

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.

Add to the Discussion