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UT president caves rather than tell judge why he personally overturned student’s exoneration

Conflated ‘intoxication’ with ‘incapacitation’

Did University of Texas President Greg Fenves unilaterally overturn a finding in favor of a student accused of rape because the accuser’s father gave the university a hefty donation?

We’ll never know, because the public university settled with “John Doe” rather than risk Fenves having to testify earlier today in the accused student’s lawsuit against him and the school.

The president had said he overruled the decision because “someone who is intoxicated cannot give consent to sexual activity because they are incapacitated,” which is wrong under both criminal law and UT’s own policy. He said because the accuser was “stumbling” before the sexual encounter, she couldn’t consent, despite her own admission that she verbally consented to sex.

Doe’s lawsuit said the accuser’s father gave UT a “significant sum” less than a month after she accused Doe.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that officials were scheduled to be in court Monday morning to explain why Fenves reversed the hearing examiner’s finding that the accuser made “rational decisions” both before and after the sex:

The school had tried to get out of the hearing, announcing last week in a court filing that it had lifted the suspension and was preparing to appoint an unnamed third party to review Fenves’ decision. But [U.S. District Judge Sam] Sparks never took action on that proposal, meaning the case stays in his court and does not go back to UT for review.

Doe’s lawyer Brian Roark called that third-party proposal a “desperate attempt to avoid having Fenves answer questions under oath,” according to the American-Statesman.

Monday morning, the parties reached a settlement “after about 45 minutes of closed-door negotiations.” Roark told reporters that Doe’s reinstatement “will remain in effect and that there will be no further review of the matter by the school.”

In court documents filed before the settlement but after the third-party proposal, UT said it was reinstating Doe, lifting his suspension and letting him register for spring classes “to avoid this litigation’s disruption to the university,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to The Daily Texan, Roark said he wasn’t sure if the president’s office will continue to review decisions in Title IX cases.

Read the American-Statesmen, Chronicle and Daily articles.

MORE: UT prez ruled student rapist because ‘intoxication’ equals ‘incapacitation’

MOREFather on a witch hunt accuses UT student of raping his daughter

IMAGE: Governor Perry/YouTube

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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.

Add to the Discussion

  • Tatiana Covington

    Poor man… he’s not making sense. Know what I mean?

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  • KillGoogleandFacebook

    If the young woman, who is an adult by the way, consented to sex why did daddy get involved?

    • PJD1992

      Umm, because the university is run by a bunch of politically correct beta male faggots? And someone needed to try and intervene to stop this insanity? The woman VERBALLY STATED that she wanted to have sex! WTF? Shall we require a notary, signed consent and a designated observer? Christ almighty, lefties are dangerously stupid hacks.

    • ursafan40

      “Because my daughter can’t be a slut!”

    • Laura in LA

      If she was incapacitated (in this case drunk) legally she could NOT GIVE CONSENT.

      • Brian Wachs

        If he had the same amount of drinks, did she rape him?

        Don’t pretend to be consistent.

      • nicholasstix

        Laura in LA
        “If she was incapacitated (in this case drunk) legally she could NOT GIVE CONSENT.”
        You just told a big, fat lie. Drunk does not equal incapacitated.

  • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

    What about the victim? This is a whitewash.

    • BarksintheCountry

      The only victim here has been exonerated and allowed to resume his education. As to the accusing slut there likely will be no criminal charges because the University has so muddied the evidence.

      • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

        The accuser is a slut? What hole did you crawl out of?

        • Brian Wachs

          The one where people who make false allegations deserve to be derided, not defended by trolls who’s last-gasp efforts at never blaming the woman just sped past the credibility barrier at warp 9.

          • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

            The one that believes women are sluts. I feel sorry for you.

          • Brian Wachs

            I wasn’t defending his particular epithet. My position is that you’re whiteknighting scum who needs to be slapped down a peg or two.

          • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

            Slut and scum. Great attitude. You’re a troll. Took me a while to realize it.

          • Brian Wachs

            Do you have a more appropriate term for someone who rushes to defend a false accuser?

          • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

            Assuming you’re correct and she’s a false accuser, yes: incorrect, mistaken, misinformed.
            Liberals practice politics of personal destruction (Moore, Trump). There is no need for personal attacks on people you disagree with. It debases you, not your target.

          • Brian Wachs

            What part of “she admitted lying” are you having trouble processing? The part where it conflicts with your dogma that women are incapable of lying about rape?

          • Gaius_Suetonius_Tranquillus

            No, I missed it. Therefore “misinformed” would work better than scum, don’t you agree?

          • Brian Wachs

            I am capable of changing my mind when new facts arrive, so yes.

          • John_In_Michigan

            Did you miss the part where the defendant was acquitted?

          • nicholasstix

            “Incorrect, mistaken, misinformed”

            She’s a criminal. She didn’t accidentally give someone the wrong time of day. She belongs in prison, as do her father (bribery) and Greg Fenves (accepting bribes, perjury, conspiracy to violate the vic’s civil rights).

          • nicholasstix

            He’s not a troll. If anyone shows you up, you scream “troll!”, eh?

            Actually, you’re the problem., But you’re not a “troll,” you’re evil.

    • PJD1992

      The young man was the one victimized here you dummy! The women VERBALLY STATED that she wanted to have sex. Is it your intent to accuse every man who has has ever had consensual sex with a woman after a few beers of being a rapist? I suspect that it is. I am, however, POSITIVE, that you are an idiot.

  • John Stephens

    There’s nothing lower than a politician who won’t stay bought (and yes, that includes University Presidents). I hope Dad got his money back at least.

  • Michael Lang

    Effing corrupt morons run the nation’s universities.

  • Laura in LA

    Actually, the university policy (linked above) does state that someone who is incapacitated — including being drunk — CANNOT give consent. That also is the law in many states, maybe nationally, not sure about Texas.

    Arguing about whether she was in fact incapacitated is another matter. But your article is factually incorrect regarding the policy.

  • Servo1969

    When someone informs a college that a crime has been committed against them the police should be called immediately. Colleges should NOT be in the business of adjudicating alleged criminal activity. These matters are not something that should be handled ‘in house.’

  • nicholasstix

    I’m feeling either really old here, or like I woke up in a foreign country. Since when do women actually tell men, “I want to have sex with you”?


    (((Greg Fenves))).