Why on earth would Adelaide University choose to get involved in the messy business of determining which story to believe in a date rape case involving two students? It is notoriously difficult to determine the truth in these he-said, she-said cases, which is why juries so rarely convict young men accused of such crimes.
That low conviction rate has feminists up in arms and that’s the reason why universities across the country are coming under pressure from campus activists to get involved in adjudicating such cases in the hope of achieving a higher conviction rate of accused young men.
Most of our universities have sensibly resisted this course, choosing instead to provide support and advice for students claiming to be rape victims, but where possible referring such cases on to the police. Adelaide is a sorry exception, having established a Student Behaviour and Conduct Committee, which has been given the role of investigating sexual harassment and assault cases, to make decisions (“on the balance of probabilities”) as to whether the misconduct occurred and even to determine appropriate outcomes.
The foolishness of the University’s actions has been amply demonstrated over the past eight months during a botched investigation of the case involving a PhD student accused of sexual assault by a fellow student. What a fiasco.
It was clear from the very first contact with the student that the Committee had no idea what they were doing. The student – I’ll call him ‘David’ – received a series of emails trying to persuade him to attend meetings with the committee, despite being given no details of the accusation, nor any advice as to his own legal standing. Acting upon advice from a criminal lawyer, for months David resisted interrogation by the committee and demanded full details of the accusation. The committee apparently had the power to stop David being awarded his degree, which added considerably to his stress.
Then suddenly the University’s general counsel stepped in and immediately back-peddled, assuring David that he too should be afforded procedural fairness and offering him support services. The lawyer finally presented David with a full statement from the accuser but also gave proper legal advice that he was under no obligation to respond.
As is so often the case, his version of events differs substantially from hers. She claimed he’d been pursuing her, but his social media messages show she was often the instigator of their interactions, including inviting him over on the night in question. The critical issue is whether he immediately stopped their sex play when she said she didn’t want to proceed. She claims he persisted for some time, he said he stopped promptly when she announced she was confused because she was in love with someone else. She claims to have deleted all her social media messages.
The whole business came to an end when the university declared they were dropping the case. David was awarded his PhD and with great relief left the University. I’ve just published a YouTube interview with him, describing the whole harrowing ordeal.
The real issue is not what happened in that bedroom but rather why would a university make it their business to find out? Even the most insular university administration has surely noticed that the American university system is reeling under a wave of lawsuits from the families of young men who have been thrown out of colleges following investigation of alleged sexual assault charges by college committees.
The Trump administration is now winding back the system of college tribunals which were imposed on publicly-funded universities by Obama who acceded to feminists’ demands for college intervention in such matters. As legal cases reveal the abject failure of the colleges to protect due process rights of the accused, more people are now speaking out against the corruption of legal processes when universities get involved in these matters, particularly when investigations are distorted by feminist “believe the victim” ideology. Just recently, 130 leading law professors and legal experts signed an open letter condemning the use of investigative “victim-centred” practices subverting the objective collection and presentation of evidence in such sexual assault cases, particularly on campuses.
You would have thought that universities would be off the hook in Australia after the failure of last year’s fake rape crisis on our campuses. Feminist activists persuaded the Human Rights Commission to spend a million dollars trying to prove there was a rape crisis at our universities. Yet all that survey came up with was some unwanted staring. The reported annual incident of sexual assault was 0.8 percent per year and that included incidents on public transport not even involving other university students or staff.
The fact that our campuses are such safe places for young women should have been celebrated but instead our lily-livered universities still went ahead with various virtue-signalling activities, including establishing committees such as the one being exposed in this latest saga. What we don’t know is whether other young people have already been subjected to their dangerous “victim-centred” investigations that subvert basic legal principles critical for a fair society.