Toledo Talk

University of Toledo Troubles

I was saddened to read the article in the Blade (and nationally on MSNBC) about UT being the focus of a Title IX federal investigation. My job requires me to stay up-to-date on laws like Title IX, which I think many people only associate with athletics. In fact, it is a multi-faceted law that covers things like sexual assaults.

This evening I couldn't find the original article from this morning, but my recollection is that UT's Title IX representative, Kevin West, wrote in his investigatory report of a student's rape claim something to the effect that this was a case of nonconsensual sex that didn't require a significant punishment. What? I guess Mr. West believes there are different levels of nonconsensual sex--some requiring only a $25 fine and training for the perpetrator.

In my opinion, Mr. West has demonstrated he doesn't possess the sensibility required of a Title IX official. He should be looking for a job elsewhere.

I think this is going to be a very messy situation for UT.

created by Clancy on Sep 05, 2014 at 12:59:39 am
updated by Clancy on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:02:41 am
    Comments: 31

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The alleged assault was reported to the Toledo Police. What is the outcome of the criminal investigation?

I've found nothing to suggest exactly what Mr. West "believes" in regard to levels of nonconsensual sex. And of course, none of us are privy to the information that he was. What is clear despite the lack of certainty in whether the response of the University of Toledo was appropriate, is that they are not alone. To suggest that it is a UT problem shifts the focus from the true disturbing national epidemic.

Ironically, a month ago, in an editorial, the Blade called for moderation in any new laws being proposed to deal with this all-too-common occurrence on college campuses across the nation.
http://www.toledoblade.com/Editorials/2014/08/06/College-sex-assaults.html

You see, UT doesn't own the problem that 20 percent of college women will be victimized in this way in our country before they finish four years of education. Nor is UT an exception in regard to lenient academic punishments outside of the justice system.

This is a messy situation for all of our colleges and universities. We have an epidemic of sexual assaults on and around our college campuses. While we work on the larger issues that set the stage for many of these incidents, we need to urge victims of sexual assaults to contact the police immediately to allow the justice system to work.
Clearly, the officials at most of our universities do not have the tools that prosecutors have to address these incidents in the criminal arena.

posted by justread on Sep 05, 2014 at 07:34:37 am     #  

The alleged assault was reported to the Toledo Police. What is the outcome of the criminal investigation?

According to toledonewnow:

Toledo Police say detectives have made attempts to contact Amy so the investigation can move forward, but that she has refused to meet.

But Amy says that's not the case. She claims that she would call TPD, only to be told to contact them when she was back in Toledo.

She says that TPD called her advocate and told her that Amy should close the case because she was moving and they didn't want to subpoena her back. "Nor did I want to be subpoenaed back," she adds.

"There's no help for victims," she told us.

The case, as of now, is inactive.

You can't say there is no help for victims when you don't want to assist in the investigation. They need you to testify; if you don't want to be subpoenaed, then they have no case since you waited 6 months to report the rape, any physical evidence is gone. So they only have your testimony to go on. No testimony, no case. Don't blame the judicial system for what you won't do.

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 08:50:18 am     #   1 person liked this

Up front disclaimer: I have not followed this case.

A close friend told me that the "victim" had a consensual sexual relationship with the accused before and AFTER the alleged rape occurred.

Is this correct?

posted by Foodie on Sep 05, 2014 at 09:00:21 am     #  

Foodie posted at 09:00:21 AM on Sep 05, 2014:

Up front disclaimer: I have not followed this case.

A close friend told me that the "victim" had a consensual sexual relationship with the accused before and AFTER the alleged rape occurred.

Is this correct?

Yes, that was covered in the initial Blade article. Just because consensual sex has taken place and might take place in the future, it doesn't justify rape.

posted by clt212 on Sep 05, 2014 at 09:02:40 am     #   2 people liked this

I'm going to get slaughtered for even taking this stand, but when is it the woman's responsibility to stop rape?!? This girl (and I do mean to refer to her as an immature girl, because she certainly wasn't making the adult decisions of a woman or lady) got drunk, got in his bed, and then blamed him! He was drunk too; why is it when both are drunk the man gets blamed?

I have a BIG problem with universities pursuing sexual assault claims in a quasi-judicial proceeding with NONE of the typical defendant protections. The Channel 11 report said that this was a 15 minute hearing that impacted his college career and permanent college record. 15 minutes?!? And yet it wasn't important enough to her, to pursue the case with the police so that he could be prosecuted

If he is prosecuted and found guilty, kick his butt off campus. But don't do it based on a he-said, she-said quasi-judicial hearing. I'm not even sure it should be called quasi-judicial because none of the protections afforded a defendant in court are provided.

This from a law review article:

"As will be explained, it also effectuates a presumption that all accused students are guilty and institutes four reforms that will increase convictions without regard to guilt or innocence: (1) lowering the burden of proof in campus sexual assault trials to ďpreponderance of the evidence,Ē (2) establishing suspect evidentiary rules, (3) requiring schools to inform only complainants of their legal rights, and (4) giving a collegeís Title IX coordinator unbridled discretion to revise any sanction issued in a sexual assault proceeding.

Source: http://chaselaw.nku.edu/content/dam/chaselaw/docs/academics/lawreview/v40/nklr_v40n1_pp049-092.pdf

A preponderance of evidence?!? That is the lowest standard within the judicial system and yet it is being applied by non-judicial arbiters who receive 'training' on Title IX.

How fair are these hearings?

Because college disciplinary boards generally do not afford a right against self-incrimination, the accused may be forced to testify or face expulsion. Statements made by the accused during the hearing, or to the investigating dean, may then be used against the student in the criminal case, even though he could not have been forced to testify in the criminal trial itself.

I'm not saying sexual assault is okay; there are rapes on and off campus and they are and should be dealt with by the police. I'm saying that instead of pulling the victim card so fast women need to take control of the situation and not put themselves in positions that make themselves vulnerable to assault. I.e, don't get drunk, crawl in to bed with a guy and then scream rape.

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 09:24:37 am     #   10 people liked this

Thank you for the very common sense post. I couldn't agree more with you.

posted by Foodie on Sep 05, 2014 at 11:00:24 am     #  

Mrs. Archer is absolutely right! UT officials are barely capable (perhaps not capable) of running the university. How can they be counted on to properly adjudicate rape claims? What training have they had in administering justice?

What is more disturbing is they let students participate in these proceedings! Students!

I think women's rights advocates have worked hard to move adjudication from the courts to the universities because, while courts are more likely to make the correct decision, universities are more prone to making the POLITICALLY correct decision.

posted by MemyselfandI on Sep 05, 2014 at 12:23:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

Mrs. Archer...bravo...clap clap..bravo.

In "Tinker v. Des Moines, Iowa School Board" (1968), the US Supreme Court held that "students don't leave their rights at the school house gate."

Sadly this case and various amendments (5th, 14th, etc) have been consigned to the dustbin of history by the "progressives" who truly "care" and therefore should be given a pass.

These "quasi-judicial" hearings run by universities that are devoid of constitutional protections are little more than kangaroo courts. I frankly am surprised that the local feminists haven't demanded that they be public so that they could turn into 1930's-era show trials.

Rape is an awful, life shattering event. If this woman was "raped," why did she sleep with this young man again consensually? Also, his young man was kicked out of school on hearsay. Basically I am gathering that any woman on campus who spends the night with any young man can be (based upon this precedent) be kicked out of school if the young woman later decides she was raped.

I am seriously thinking of counseling my son when he goes to college to satisfy his youthful urges by visiting a bordello as there can be no false accusations of rape and no doubt of anyone's intentions! <smile>

posted by Dappling2 on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:06:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

MrsArcher -

"I'm going to get slaughtered for even taking this stand, but when is it the woman's responsibility to stop rape?!? This girl (and I do mean to refer to her as an immature girl, because she certainly wasn't making the adult decisions of a woman or lady) got drunk, got in his bed, and then blamed him! He was drunk too; why is it when both are drunk the man gets blamed?"

Because he raped her. That's pretty simple. She withdrew consent prior to the act in question, and he still had sex with her. That's rape. Drunk, sober, whatever. I don't care if she had sex with him consensually before that moment - as soon as she withdraws consent, if the guy doesn't comply, it's assault.

Not only is that a moral line-in-the-sand that's REALLY clear, it's also a legal precedent that's been affirmed over and over.

The idea that it's the woman's responsibility to prevent rape is really fucked up, in my book - the responsibility lies on the RAPIST. You never, ever have sex that's anything less than 100% consensual. If you do, you're raping someone. How is that not clear?

posted by endcycle on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:08:29 pm     #   8 people liked this

endcycle posted at 01:08:29 PM on Sep 05, 2014:

MrsArcher -

"I'm going to get slaughtered for even taking this stand, but when is it the woman's responsibility to stop rape?!? This girl (and I do mean to refer to her as an immature girl, because she certainly wasn't making the adult decisions of a woman or lady) got drunk, got in his bed, and then blamed him! He was drunk too; why is it when both are drunk the man gets blamed?"

Because he raped her. That's pretty simple. She withdrew consent prior to the act in question, and he still had sex with her. That's rape. Drunk, sober, whatever. I don't care if she had sex with him consensually before that moment - as soon as she withdraws consent, if the guy doesn't comply, it's assault.

Not only is that a moral line-in-the-sand that's REALLY clear, it's also a legal precedent that's been affirmed over and over.

The idea that it's the woman's responsibility to prevent rape is really fucked up, in my book - the responsibility lies on the RAPIST. You never, ever have sex that's anything less than 100% consensual. If you do, you're raping someone. How is that not clear?

Since I wasn't there, it's not nearly that clear for me. Although I am predisposed to give the alleged victim the benefit of the doubt, there are aspects to this case that seriously reduce that benefit.
The most mystifying question is not whether she withdrew consent in a moment, for a moment. It is why in the hell a victim would get back in a relationship with someone who raped them.

When the alleged victim won't participate in the prosecution and gets back in bed with the alleged perpetrator, I'm no longer interested in it as a crime. At that point, it's simply a screwed-up relationship.

posted by justread on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:22:03 pm     #   3 people liked this

Endcycle...let me be the Devil's Advocate. There was no physical evidence. Unless the guy admitted that everything went down like the girl claimed it did, isn't it just "he said/she said?"

posted by Dappling2 on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:43:01 pm     #  

There were two red flags in this story. The first one, as MrsArcher already addressed, is the fact that the "victim" regularly got high, drunk, and then had sex with her "perpetrator". She did this before and after he "raped" her. Sorry, don't feel sorry for her. If she was really that distraught and traumatized by the assault, then the fact that she didn't want to have to come back to Toledo for a trial should be no concern to her. This is setting a very dangerous example for girls. Ex-boyfriend/fuck-buddy betray your or piss you off? Perhaps he brought some sub-par weed to your apartment? No biggie, just accuse him of rape six months later but don't forget to have sex with him a few more times for good measure!

Second red flag: the college interviewed the victim once and the perp three times and then claims that the perp was more believable because his story did not change. If the victim was only interviewed once, when would she have had the chance to change her story? Did she change her story in the middle of the one interview?

posted by dell_diva on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:44:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

I agree Dell_diva. This story shows me that any girl can claim she was raped and, despite any physical evidence, the alleged "rapist" will be kicked out of college.

Endcycle has suggested that the onus is always on the guy to make sure he has consent. What constitutes "consent?" lack of the girl saying "no?' How about a simple "nod?" Perhaps a notarized affidavit?

posted by Dappling2 on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:49:52 pm     #  

Because he raped her. That's pretty simple.

It's not that simple. She said he did, he said he didn't. She went six months without reporting it, leaving no physical evidence that would stand up in a court of law.

This wasn't a court case, so legal precedent doesn't apply. Yes, states have taken the position that when consent is withdrawn further 'activity' is rape. But he said he didn't, so why do you believe she said he did?

It is the woman's responsibility IMO to avoid situations that could lead to rape. Is rape bad? Yes. Should it happen? No. Does it happen? Yes. So why put yourself in a position where you are at risk? Avoid putting yourself at risk, avoid rape, everyone stays happy.

And again, why if both parties are drunk is only the man responsible?

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 01:53:49 pm     #  

Dappling2 - I can only hope that the escort your son chooses for the evening doesn't whisper "no" during the process. I suppose that would start a new thread.

posted by jimavolt on Sep 05, 2014 at 02:07:17 pm     #  

So, is this really "University of Toledo" troubles?

posted by justread on Sep 05, 2014 at 02:32:53 pm     #  

justread posted at 02:32:53 PM on Sep 05, 2014:

So, is this really "University of Toledo" troubles?

Yes, because the University determined that the accused was "responsible" for the alleged rape and punished him with a $25 fine (two 30-packs of Natty Light) and counseling.

Either they need to revamp the way they investigate find people "responsible" or they need to change the punishments for them. The message they are sending here is that a rapist can be free on campus with nearly a whole slap on the wrist as punishment.

posted by clt212 on Sep 05, 2014 at 02:43:43 pm     #  

**Should say, "investigate and find"

posted by clt212 on Sep 05, 2014 at 02:44:17 pm     #  

MrsArcher-
"It is the woman's responsibility IMO to avoid situations that could lead to rape. Is rape bad? Yes. Should it happen? No. Does it happen? Yes. So why put yourself in a position where you are at risk? Avoid putting yourself at risk, avoid rape, everyone stays happy."

"And again, why if both parties are drunk is only the man responsible?"

That's... fucked up. I mean, really fucked up.

I am sure you mean well, but... that's fucked up.

What should the woman's responsibility be in avoiding being assaulted? Maybe she shouldn't smile at guys? Maybe she shouldn't wear anything that shows any skin? Maybe she shouldn't leave the house?

The responsibility lies entirely with the rapist. Blaming the victim for someone else's actions is way, way wrong.

Dappling2-
"Endcycle...let me be the Devil's Advocate. There was no physical evidence. Unless the guy admitted that everything went down like the girl claimed it did, isn't it just "he said/she said?""

Exactly right, and that's what the courts (or, in this case UT's boards) are for. I should have been more clear and probably inserted an "if" in there somewhere - "IF she revoked consent, it's rape".

posted by endcycle on Sep 05, 2014 at 03:09:24 pm     #   6 people liked this

The bottom line is that universities must do a better job of establishing and following policy with regard to matters of sexual assault. UT itself acknowledges that changes must be made. But it sure didn't take long for people in this thread to start judging the woman who made the complaint.

That's some pretty sad commentary, in my book.

posted by valbee on Sep 05, 2014 at 03:14:37 pm     #   4 people liked this

Exactly right, and that's what the courts (or, in this case UT's boards) are for. I should have been more clear and probably inserted an "if" in there somewhere - "IF she revoked consent, it's rape".

But what evidence did the UT board have? She said, he said. Why was her statement taken at more weight than his with no other evidence?

Ever heard of defensive driving? Avoiding the appearance of impropriety? All the same concept - avoiding possible harm by watching your actions. Why should rape be any different?

I never said don't smile, don't show skin, don't go out of the house. I said don't get drunk, crawl in to bed and scream rape.

The women's movement wanted power, they wanted respect, they wanted to be acknowledged. But they don't want to take responsibility for their part in sexual assault.

And I'll ask it again - third time I believe - if they are both drunk why does the guy have more responsibility than the girl?

I found this article very interesting, I'll post a link and not quotes because some of it is a bit graphic:

http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/consensual-rape-in-california

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 03:19:03 pm     #   1 person liked this

MrsArcher - But saying, "Don't get drunk" just opens a slippery slope. Getting drunk doesn't equal consent. What about stone-cold sober females who are raped? That's when you start hearing victim-blamers say, "She was dressed in a short skirt, she was asking for it."

To answer your question, in the case that is being discussed here, the only person who did any penetration was the accused. He was the only one who could have committed the rape. Just because they are both drunk doesn't throw consent out the window, regardless of what the experts on here and Cee-Lo Green say.

posted by clt212 on Sep 05, 2014 at 03:32:20 pm     #   2 people liked this

So a woman can never rape a man?

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 04:45:42 pm     #  

MrsArcher posted at 04:45:42 PM on Sep 05, 2014:

So a woman can never rape a man?

They certainly can. There are many different types of rape and sexual assault.

In this case, it was penetration against the consent of the female. If the male believes she raped him in this case (like you say she did), then he should speak up. I'm all for justice if he was raped.

posted by clt212 on Sep 05, 2014 at 05:20:29 pm     #  

Second red flag: the college interviewed the victim once and the perp three times and then claims that the perp was more believable because his story did not change. If the victim was only interviewed once, when would she have had the chance to change her story? Did she change her story in the middle of the one interview?

I thought the victim was interviewed 3 times and the accused once?

And they said that he "never changed his story" which made no sense to claim, because he was only interviewed one time.

posted by mom2 on Sep 05, 2014 at 06:47:56 pm     #  

Your typical 'interrogation' will have the person repeat the story repeatedly even in one session in an attempt to trip them up and catch them lying.

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 05, 2014 at 07:05:46 pm     #  

I think that the MSNBC article was a lot more informative than The Blade's (link below). It indicates that the student accused of rape admitted that the female did not consent to having sex.

I was able to find the Blade article that quoted Kevin West's investigatory report--it said, "Mr. West wrote that the rape was a 'nonconsensual sexual encounter which is not serious enough to warrant the extreme punishment [the victim] has requested.' (Expulsion.) "

To my original comment, apparently Mr. West thinks there are different levels of "nonconsensual" sex requiring varying penalties. The statement seems ludicrous to me.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/students-file-four-new-sexual-assault-complaints

posted by Clancy on Sep 05, 2014 at 11:53:37 pm     #  

So he admitted that she didn't consent? Seems like the Blade article should have made that more clear.

Stories like this and the public commentary about the victim that follows are exactly the reason I didn't do anything when an acquaintance attempted to assault me in college.

I knew the guy because he was the roommate of a guy I'd been on a few dates with.

(Not that it should matter, but I wasn't sleeping with the guy I'd been seeing - I was still a virgin at the time.)

Thank god the asshole stopped on his own, because he was much stronger than me. I was fighting back, but he easily overpowered me.

I did try to talk to the guy I had been dating, to let him know what his roommate did. His response was that the guy stopped eventually, so he wasn't sure his friend did anything wrong.

I guess the terror I felt when he had me pinned down and was trying to get my clothes off didn't matter, because he stopped eventually. {Insert eye roll here}

Oh...and then they accused me of keying a car in their parking lot that night. (I did not.) Guess their twisted logic was that since I complained about what the asshole did to me, I must have been mad enough to key a car.

But I wasn't mad that night - I was shaken and terrified. I didn't get mad until years later. Now my 40 year old self is angry on behalf of the terrified 20 year old girl I was, and the way I was treated afterwards.

I only attempted to tell one person after that. I wrote a letter to give to the school counselor, hoping that someone would listen to my feelings.

My mom found the letter, and confronted me about it. She tore up the letter and told me never to speak of it to anyone again.

And I've never told the story again...until right now.

posted by mom2 on Sep 06, 2014 at 08:08:33 am     #   8 people liked this

The article that I read said that the perpetrator reported during the interview that the girl never said "no", she told him to "go slow."

posted by dell_diva on Sep 06, 2014 at 08:39:12 am     #  

I tried to find a copy of the report, thought the Blade had linked it, but I couldn't find it. It does seem like the Blade missed something if the aggressor admitted she said no, in which case I will admit it changes things if that is the case.

But my position with regard to 1) colleges acting as faux-judicial arbiters without the criminal protections is wrong and 2) don't get drunk and crawl in to bed with someone have not changed.

You know, don't get me wrong - should men not be as aggressive as they sometimes are in the dating/college scene? No. Should we work on getting that message across to them? Yes. But until there is a change on THAT end of the equation, women have to protect themselves, thus no getting-drunk-crawling-into-bed behavior.

There was a recent announcement about a new product being developed by college students (men no less) - its fingernail polish that changes color if drugs have been put in your drink. A quick dip of your finger and you can tell if someone has messed with your drink. But women groups have been critical of it, one of them saying:

"Yes, we need to take steps toward ending rape and preventing rape, and itís really not the responsibility of people who might be raped to do that. Itís actually the responsibility of two groups of people," she said. "One is the perpetrators. People need to stop raping people. And then itís also the responsibility of communities and our country."

I'm just speechless at the thought that I am not responsible for my own safety. People are not going to stop raping just because they want it so. Let me rephrase that - bad people are not going to stop doing bad things. Whether it is rape, or selling drugs, or murder, or assault, or drunk driving. if stopping crime was simply that easy we wouldn't have so many people in prison. But we can be more proactive in protecting ourselves from being a victim.

Bad people look for victims; they don't look for people who are proactive in protecting themselves, they look for people who are not taking steps to protect themselves. By having this mentality, that women shouldn't do anything to stop rape you are in fact increasing the likelihood of being raped, especially acquaintance rape.

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 06, 2014 at 10:20:11 am     #  

Wanted to bump this thread after I heard a commercial for a anti-Medicare fraud program this morning on WSPD. The program was targeted to senior citizens so that THEY won't be a victim. Here is a website:

http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov/preventfraud/smp/

SMP volunteers show Medicare and Medicaid recipients how to protect against, detect, and report fraud.

So, it's okay to teach one group of victims not to be victims, but its not okay to teach other groups of victims how not to be a victim?

No one is blaming the seniors for being a victim, they are just trying to reduce Medicare fraud - which, to a certain extent is a victimless crime - its the taxpayers as a whole who are getting defrauded, the individual victim usually is not directly harmed (they may have a scooter they don't need, but are not physically or financially harmed as I understand how the fraud works).

Just wanted to point this out.

posted by MrsArcher on Sep 11, 2014 at 08:47:36 am     #