What exactly do we know about the events of July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky over Ukraine, killing 298 people?
The latest federal study on crime and safety in schools (at all levels), Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016, is now available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), “the primary federal entity for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to education in the United States and other nations.” A portion of the report concerns sexual assaults on campus (beginning on page 121), and in tables after the narrative. I’ve embedded the full document, below.
The report (pg. 122) makes plain the large national increase in reported campus sexual assaults:
The number of reported forcible sex crimes on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 6,700 in 2014 (a 205 percent increase).
Focusing on more recent data years, the number of reported forcible sex crimes increased by 34 percent between 2013 and 2014 (from 5,000 to 6,700). It should be noted that data on reported forcible sex offenses were collected differently in 2014 than in prior years. In 2014, schools were asked to report the numbers of two different types of forcible sex offenses, rape and fondling, and these were added together to reach the total number of reported forcible sex offenses. In years prior to 2014, schools only reported a total number of reported forcible sex offenses, with no breakouts for specific types of offenses. About 4,400 rapes and 2,300 fondling incidents were reported in 2014.
(Writing about the reported increase in the Daily Beast, Lizzie Crocker (who has reported previously on campus sexual assault) considers a few points: (1) numbers may be higher now because campus assaults are more frequently reported, (2) the federal data do not, necessarily, “confirm the campus rape epidemic narrative perpetuated by high profile cases like that of convicted rapist Brock Turner and Alec Cook, who was recently expelled from the University of Wisconsin after being charged with sexually assaulting multiple women,” but (3) “[b]ecause sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, some advocates say that these figures likely underestimate the prevalence of sexual assault on campus.” Crocker’s article also mentions recent, relevant studies on the matter and the claims derived from them.)
“RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. – Joseph Jakubowski was captured early Friday morning in western Richland County, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
The sheriff’s department told WRCO radio in Richland Center they got a tip last night at 8:30 p.m.Thursday about Jakubowski and that 4 different counties sheriff departments participated in the search.
He was apparently found off County Highway U in Richland County.”
Posted 8:10 AM CDT.
Raquel Rutledge reports that Eric Haertle knew the medical products he sold were infected:
The former co-owner and chief operating officer of a Hartland pharmaceutical company — once among the nation’s largest manufacturers of alcohol wipes — has pleaded guilty to shipping a product he knew was contaminated with dangerous bacterium.
Eric Haertle, who owned Triad Pharmaceuticals and its sister company, H & P Industries, along with his two siblings, made “false representations to FDA,” allowing hundreds of cases of alcohol pads labeled as “sterile” to be sent out when he knew samples from the lot had tested positive for bacillus cereus, a potentially deadly bacterium, according to the plea agreement filed in federal court….
Triad and H & P were named in at least 10 federal and state lawsuits claiming their products sickened and in some cases killed someone, including a case involving a 2-year-old Houston boy.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation in 2011 found the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had been in the company’s manufacturing plants repeatedly during the previous decade, citing the company for numerous health and safety violations.
At one visit, months before the Houston boy, Harry Kothari, died, FDA inspectors warned the company its product sterilization process was insufficient. But the agency took no formal enforcement action. It wasn’t until April of 2011, several months after Kothari’s death from a bacillus cereus infection, that U.S. Marshals raided the company and seized $6 million worth of product, essentially shutting down its operations.
See, also, full coverage of this matter in the Journal Sentinel‘s Shattered Trust series.
There’s an oft-repeated quotation that one should ‘never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.’ (The remark is commonly misattributed to Napoleon; its provenance lies elsewhere, and is more recent.)
In any event, self-professed incompetence is an all-too-easy (and often false) defense among sophisticated wrongdoers.
Eric Haertle wasn’t merely negligent.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday the indictments of two Russian spies and two criminal hackers in connection with the heist of 500 million Yahoo user accounts in 2014, marking the first U.S. criminal cyber charges ever against Russian government officials.The indictments target two members of the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and two hackers hired by the Russians.
The charges include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage, according to officials. The indictments are part of the largest hacking case brought by the United States.
Nancy Brown, mother of 22-year-old John Brown, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee in May 2013 alleging Deputy Wayne Blanchard used excessive force when he shot her son a year earlier at her town of Lyons home, according to court documents.
She had called police because her bipolar son was suicidal and had locked himself in his room with a knife, according to the complaint she filed.
The settlement, signed Jan. 23, brings the case to a close with the county and Blanchard denying any misconduct, according to a copy of the settlement document obtained by The Gazette.
The payment “is being made for the sole purpose of avoiding the substantial expense of further litigation,” the settlement states.
The settlement will be paid by the county’s insurer, Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance, County Administrator Dave Bretl said Monday.
The shooting is among seven fatal shootings by law enforcement in Walworth County since 2010….
Phil Koss, the district attorney at the time of the shooting, said Blanchard’s actions were justified as self-defense.
[Plaintiff’s attorney Antonio] Romanucci said he and Brown were glad the legal matter was resolved.
“We’re very pleased with the conclusion of this matter, and that we were able to avoid trial with a very substantial settlement,” he said.”
See, also Thursday shooting is eighth by Walworth County law enforcement since 2010 (“The incident [on 2.2.17 in which twenty-six year old Kris Kristl was shot to death] was the eighth shooting–seven of them fatal–by law enforcement in Walworth County since 2010 and the third in 13 months”).
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, overseer of a contentious and bloody crackdown on drug dealers and users, boasted on Monday about having personally killed criminal suspects when he was mayor of Davao City.
“In Davao, I used to do it personally — just to show to the guys that if I can do it, why can’t you?” Mr. Duterte told business leaders at a meeting in Manila, explaining how he goaded police officers to gun down suspects.
“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also,” he said, according to The Manila Times. “I was really looking for a confrontation, so I could kill.”
See also Philippine President Duterte unveils his Trump impression, complete with profanities. (“Oh, President Duterte,” Duterte’s Trump impersonation begins. “We should fix our bad relations. It needs a lot of, y’know, you just said something good here. And you’re doing great. I know what’s your worry about these Americans criticizing you. You are doing good. Go ahead.”)
He was not alone in his support – SB 656 has support from both sides of the aisle, with both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.
Once again, as with his meeting with sexual assault survivors (despite a refusal of UW-System officials to do likewise), one sees that A.G. Schimel understands that respect for individuals requires that their claims be heard. Whether their claims are meritorious is a matter to be determined after they’ve had a chance to offer a claim – failure to hear them out is deciding a matter a priori, a failure that would be inimical to the principles of a society based on individual rights.
(Those who are accused deserve and must have due process – that due process requires taking and processing a claim, not rejecting or pretending that claims have not been made.)
One alternative to hearing claims and offering due process to all individuals is a crude act utilitarianism in which university officials – in the name of protecting an organization’s reputation but truly to protect their own reputations – bury claims, ignore claimants, and ruin the careers of those who report incidents.
The UW System – and UW-Whitewater officials in particular – are accused by multiple claimants of burying claims (1 and 2), contending falsely that publicly-paid bureaucrats cannot speak to claimants, and insisting self-servingly that claims can only be presented one way.
A.G. Schimel’s support for SB 656 is support for the view that being heard can and should legitimately trump the circumstances surrounding when and how one makes oneself heard. His support further undermines the unpersuasive, risible contention that the Telfer Administration at UW-Whitewater acted on principle in these several matters.
There’s no serious choice in this: one can embrace the reasoned view of a well-educated, experienced prosecutor who has (sadly) seen many cases of assault in his career, or one can side with the flimsy, self-protective claims of lightweight administrators and their press flacks.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Wilmore observes that
“Even if he doesn’t get convicted, this is still a good thing, because for too long, the women who have accused him of this crime were not being listened to, because they were being silenced by a powerful man and a complicit culture. And, now, finally, regardless of what happens next, they’re being heard. And that’s a start.”
Yes, it is.
Today, only after publication of an account of a second Title IX complaint against UW-Whitewater from a second sexual assault survivor, Chancellor Kopper finally chose to issue a statement in her own words (assuming that she wrote it). I have published that statement in full, at the bottom of this post. (For the story on this second complaint, see, Sex assault survivor claims discrimination by university @ Channel 3000, WISC-TV.)
There is no reasonable person who contends that being “committed” is a statement. It’s an action.
And yet, and yet, even the statement finally issued under Chancellor Kopper’s own name reveals the indifference of her prior efforts – she now feels it necessary to begin her second paragraph with the tired phrase, “let me be clear…”
If Kopper had been clear, even in prior words alone, she would not need to remind readers of her self-professed clarity of views.
To those in the university’s Media Relations group – either your chancellor cannot issue a statement without revealing her past indifference, or you cannot draft one for her.
There should be – and so there will be – no end of effort until the institutional misconduct that has failed two women (and perhaps more men and women) ends.
One sees, also, that Kopper falsely professes to avoid speaking about this pending complaint, but simultaneously declares that “[a]ll complaints are reviewed with respect and compassion for all involved.”
No, and no again: that’s the very question at issue here. By asserting that all complaints have been reviewed with “respect and compassion” Kopper most certainly does address the allegations in this pending investigation, by categorically denying their possibility of being true.
A future assault survivor will read Kopper’s words and recognize that past survivors’ claims have been categorically denied. This is an assurance of a chilling effect against future reporting.
Why can she not see this? Honest to goodness, is there no one in her office who can think matters through?
Thus she hides behind a pending investigation selectively, contending that she cannot speak only when it suits her.
In any event, a statement will not suffice. A change of institutional conduct – and removal of those culpable of misconduct – is needed here.
Chancellor Kopper’s statement immediately follows —
Message regarding recent Title IX complaint
Dear Campus Community,
You may be aware through media reports that a second complaint has been filed with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that UW-Whitewater may have violated Title IX. Because of the ongoing investigation, I am not in a position to discuss specifics. Our campus will cooperate fully with the Office for Civil Rights as it investigates.
Let me be clear, UW-Whitewater has been and remains committed to raising awareness about the impact of sexual violence and taking steps toward preventing any occurrence of sexual violence on our campus. All complaints are reviewed with respect and compassion for all involved.
I know that all across campus there are faculty, staff and students who are engaged in efforts to help promote a campus climate that is free from violence and discrimination, and I applaud those efforts. As a community, we pride ourselves on being a safe and welcoming place for all.
Please understand that if you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are not alone. There are people within the UW-Whitewater community here to support you. Retaliation for reporting is strictly prohibited. We encourage you to report sexual assault to UW-Whitewater Police at 262-472-4660 or the Dean of Students office at 262-472-1533.
The campus website offers many resources to help keep you safe: http://www.uww.edu/sexual-misconduct-information/keeping-safe
Raechel Liska, aged 22. Photo from Channel 3000.
Link to Ms. Liska’s video interview, available online.
Raechel Liska, aged 22, an honors student and Army ROTC candidate at UW-Whitewater, has filed a sexual discrimination action with the U.S. Department of Education, Civil Rights Division, against our local university.
This is the second federal action that a sexual assault survivor has filed against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the last eighteen months.
At WISC-TV, investigative journalist Adam Schrager reports on Ms. Liska’s complaint, one that contends that the university’s conduct in her case is “reflective of a systemic gender-based (response) that favored [her] male assailant.” See, Sex assault survivor claims discrimination by university @ Channel 3000, WISC-TV.
Ms. Liska was violently assaulted, but when she sought recourse – as federal law (and mere humanity) – requires, she met with a further tragedy:
“I got assaulted twice,” Liska said. “Once by my attacker, which was the traumatic, horrific part, but again by the school, which was the betrayal.”
Liska said UWW Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin violated her civil rights by refusing to interview two witnesses and by not accepting either the police report or her medical records stemming from the incident. She also asserts Mackin did not issue a no-contact order against her alleged attacker, even as he retaliated and intimidated her after she spoke to authorities. Further, it was the Army that stepped in and removed her assailant from her classes three months after the incident in question, even after she’d asked the university to do the same multiple times, only to be rebuffed.
“The reason I filed my complaint is because something here needs to change,” she said. “I thought the dean of students would be protecting the students, protecting me. She’s the dean of students. I thought I’d be her priority, but I walked out feeling like protecting the school was her top priority.”
Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin’s gross misconduct
Ms. Liska accomplished much, and loved the university, but that university treated her injuriously and shamefully:
She also asserts that Mackin never informed her of her Title IX rights after she made her initial report and did not provide her with a sexual assault advocate on campus. Liska remains on campus now studying to become a high school history teacher. She said she’s coming forward now because she doesn’t want any other UWW students to experience what she’s gone through.
“It doesn’t matter to me specifically what their opinions are of the assault itself. What matters to me is how people feel I was treated by the institution I trusted most,” she said. “I want my face and my name attached to this story. I want it to be personal. I want people to take it personally and I want there to be change out of it.”
After Raechel Liska was assaulted, and after her mistreatment from one of the university’s leading administrators, the university still used Ms. Liska’s picture to promote UW-Whitewater as a safe and welcoming place:
The university is currently distributing a pamphlet to new and prospective students that prominently features Liska in uniform on a page titled, “Leaders and Mentors.”
“I am really bothered that the university still uses me as an exemplary image but is so resistant to helping me at my most vulnerable time,” she said.
Raped, ignored and mistreated by her university, and yet used as a public-relations pawn by that same university.
What would be worse: that this university media-relations team is so obtuse that they cannot see the injury use of Ms. Liska’s promotional picture represents, that they are so indifferent they simply do not care, that they are so parsimonious that they will use the picture rather than publish a new one, or that they manipulatively think use of the picture would somehow impress Ms. Liska?
So let us hope, Dieu aidant, that we should never become so contemptible as officials of this ilk.
Chancellor Beverly Kopper hides behind her spokeswoman
Astonishingly, Chancellor Beverly Kopper cannot be troubled to respond to these allegations in her own voice. Instead, she hides behind a spokeswoman’s dull, stale statement:
“UW-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper believes that providing a safe environment for students, faculty and staff is her first priority,” wrote Sara Kuhl, UWW’s director of marketing and media relations, in a statement to News 3. “UW-Whitewater has been and remains committed to raising awareness about the existence and impact of sexual violence and taking active steps toward preventing the occurrence of sexual violence on campus. UW-Whitewater takes all complaints very seriously and every complaint is handled with care and compassion for all parties involved.”
Scripture records that God spoke thorough Moses, and Moses spoke through Aaron, but I am quite convinced that Beverly Kopper is neither Creator nor Prophet – it is a measure of either profound ignorance or arrogance that Kopper would not speak in her own words.
This is the second accusation that directly and specifically names Mary Beth Mackin:
The first Title IX complaint against the school was filed in January 2014. The survivor in that case alleged that UWW administrators, specifically Mackin, missed appointments, hurried conversations and failed to interview key witnesses to her claims. Federal investigators have been on campus interviewing students and administrators about those allegations.
I would invite readers to read Mr. Schrager’s full account. See, Sex assault survivor claims discrimination by university @ Channel 3000, WISC-TV. The WISC-TV broadcast story is scheduled to air @ 10 PM Thursday evening, 11.5.15.
Previously, see How UW-Whitewater Treated a Sexual Assault Victim (referring to a story, also from Adam Schrager at WISC-TV, on another assault survivor’s gross mistreatment while at UW-Whitewater).
There will be more to publish on this matter, and updates as developments warrant.
One assault survivor abused was too many; two similarly abused are a grave offense against individual dignity, common morality, and American standards of justice and fairness.
There’s an account from WISC of injuries an adult BB gun shooter inflicted on others in Whitewater on July 4th. I’ve embedded it below. It’s a thorough recounting, and the report offers some of those who suffered personal injury or property damage the opportunity to speak directly.
Personal injury, in particular, can be a hard thing, but there’s nothing hard about forming an opinion on a crime like this: there’s no justification worthy of the term for any part of the alleged accused’s conduct. It’s wholly wrong.
That residents and emergency workers responded quickly is all to the good, and deserves commendation.
I’ve written before about the handling of sexual assault complaints nationwide and at UW-Whitewater. The more one reads on the matter, the more concerned one becomes, both generally and locally.
There’s a new and troubling story about how UW-Whitewater handled an assault victim’s Title IX assault complaint at WISC-TV. In the report, entitled, Graduate speaks about filing Title IX complaint against UW-Whitewater, one learns that a sexual assault victim felt that her experience filing a complaint – in her own words, was
worse than the assault. Worse. A lot worse. I regret with every… coming forward and saying anything.
In response to these specific injuries, as you’ll see in the video, Chancellor Telfer can bring himself to do no more than issue a general, bland statement that all is well on campus. It is impossible to overstate how unworthy is his response, so far beneath the standard of a man or woman in respect of another’s injuries.
There’s much more to write about this administration’s conduct – and one may be assured that I am committed to that long and thorough effort – as to remain indifferent or silent would be inconceivable. Simply inconceivable.
Above one finds the video and a link to the online story. Below one finds a transcript from WISC-TV of the report.
Transcript: Transcript from WISC-TV.
It’s both a pity and a disgrace that a fourteen-year-old victim’s mother had to plead with the Hon. James Carlson to sentence to jail the men who assaulted her daughter:
ELKHORN—The mother of a 14-year-old girl sexually assaulted by three men in an Elkhorn basement in 2013 pleaded with judges Tuesday to send two of the men to prison and require sex offender registration.
At the final man’s sentencing Tuesday, the mother’s frustration boiled over when the judge ordered no prison and no sex offender registration.
“This has got to stop,” the mother told Walworth County Judge James Carlson. “We’re not setting a good example for other children in our community. They think this is OK, that all you’re going to get is a slap on the hand.”
About two hours after the mother’s pleas, Carlson sentenced Braden D. Mann, 19, of W5244 County ES, to nine months in jail and five years probation….
See, Elkhorn men get jail, probation for sexually assaulting same 14-year-old girl @ Gazettextra.com (subscription req’d).
It is – and should be – deeply unsettling that a layperson displays a better sense of justice than those who ostentatiously wear the black robes.
Learn the Craft
One reads that Justin K. Laxton, an employee of a public relations firm, has pled “guilty to theft in a business setting, forgery and fraudulent writings for thefts at Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies, where he worked.”
(The Dane County District Attorney’s Office is recommending probation with conditional jail time for Laxton, for taking at least seventy-thousand from his private employer.)
Poor Mr. Laxton: he was simply too ignorant, or too impulsive, to see how to get away with taking large sums.
Laxton foolishly chose a particular victim, when he might have found many victims.
Taking tens of thousands from his white-collar PR firm rightly made him a criminal; taking many times as much from blue-collar taxpayers would likely have earned him praise, headlines, and a seat at the table to take still more.
In a private setting it’s called stealing. In a public one it’s called grant-seeking, project-funding, and investing in the future.
Ah, well, he’s young. There’s time enough for Mr. Laxton to hone his skills, redirect his efforts, make a long-term career of profiting on others’ earnings.
If universities want federal money (and they want as much as they can get), then it’s wrong for them to shirk federal legal standards for reporting assault and for proper treatment of those alleging assault.
(Make no mistake: I’d contend that universities have a duty to manage campuses well and fairly even if there were no federal laws. Ethical obligations of this kind are prior to law, and exist independently of it.)
Here, though, there’s a despicable hypocrisy: university officials gulp as much federal money as they can get, but of federal procedural standards for victims there may be not even a drop of support.
This libertarian has argued against any number of federal, state, or local governmental intrusions; I’ve argued against as many federal, state, and local expenditures.
It’s impossible to respect university administrators who seek federal money while simultaneously concealing & mishandling assault claims, or trivializing federal or state standards about assault reporting.
Administrators of that ilk want to promote themselves at taxpayers’ expense, and then hide their own misconduct from any and all.
No, and no again: no one’s entitled to that.
In the Wisconsin State Journal this morning, one reads that a second Wisconsin school is under investigation for its handling of sexual assault complaints. Dan Simmons writes that
UW-Madison is now the second university in the state to be included in a growing probe of possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The investigation now targets 101 schools, including UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater. The initial investigation was launched last May and included 55 schools, Whitewater among them.
Investigations of this sort can involve either how a university reports incidents of sexual assault, or how it treats those who are trying to report allegations of sexual assault.
One should be clear: federal law does not mandate – needless to say – that there will be no crimes on campus. Federal law simply requires that, following allegations of sexual assault, universities that receive federal money will process complaints thoroughly and treat those involved in complaints fairly.
One would hope for campuses without violence; these present laws simply require that institutions taking federal public money should address allegations of assault to the high standards of which America is capable.
There are thousands of four-year colleges in America; each one should be able to meet existing reporting and procedural requirements.
That’s not asking too much; it’s asking only for the fundamental fairness and thoroughness our society deserves.
When someone alleges a sexual assault, or other violent crime, the immediate significance of that claim affects the alleging victim, and one or more alleged assailants. Fundamentally, violent acts are about actual people, not headlines, policies, politics, etc.
Even if there were no criminal law, if there were no statutes criminalizing any kind of conduct, still there would be violent, immoral acts. Even if there were no publications, to report any news, still there would be wrongs and injuries.
There are, however, both criminal laws and reports about legal proceedings.
Not everyone will see these laws and reports, even the same laws and reports, in the same way.
Consider these headlines:
DA Will Not Prosecute in Alleged Sexual Assault Case
No charges filed against recruit in sexual assault case
For some, these headlines will suggest that there was no actual assault between a complainant and her alleged assailant. For others, the same headlines will suggest that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute an alleged assailant. For yet others, there will be concern that a prosecution might have been made, but wasn’t.
For it all, however, there will be others who will rush to another view: that because there was no prosecution over particular and specific allegations, there is no problem of assault at all. From one development (decided such as it was), these few will declare the absence of any problem.
Those few who seek to deny any problem, to absolve institutions, organizations, and officials of any wrongdoing – even any possible wrongdoing – will see these headlines differently from others. They’ll see them – and hope others see them – as a general exoneration.
It’s not, of course.
It’s just that they’ll hope others see it that way.
Video Link: Sarah Tubbs of Montrose talks about her ordeal after she says she was sexually assaulted at Stony Brook University, and then forced to prosecute her own attacker. Updated with video as link, 3.4.15.
Sarah Tubbs attended (and was graduated from) SUNY Stony Brook, part of New York’s state university system. It’s part of a public university system not unlike the UW System. (Commonly called just ‘Stony Book,’ the school is about twice as large as UW-Whitewater, but similar in many other respects.)
When Ms. Tubbs sought recourse under federal law after being sexually assaulted, she found that Stony Brook met her rights with an inadequate – indeed a perverse – remedy:
She’s had nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks since being sexually assaulted last year at Stony Brook University.
Yet when Sarah Tubbs sought the university’s help to proceed with disciplinary charges against her alleged attacker, officials required her to personally prosecute him, she said. Tubbs has no legal training. Yet she had to question and be cross-examined by the man she claims sexually assaulted her in his dorm room.
Tubbs, 22, of Montrose, is suing Stony Brook, which is part of the State University of New York system, and her alleged attacker in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender at schools that receive federal funding. Under the law, such discrimination can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.
Her lawsuit, filed last month in federal court in White Plains, seeks monetary damages and a court order abolishing the practice of having sexual-assault victims “prosecute their own cases and to cross-examine and be cross-examined by their assailants.”
The alleged attack occurred nearly a year before State University of New York campuses adopted a more comprehensive sexual assault policy in December 2014 at the urging of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Tubbs wants the new policy broadened to specifically prohibit victims from having to prosecute their own attackers at student disciplinary hearings.
When Ms. Tubbs submitted to a university hearing as was her right, that hearing did not even consider adequately – in a case about sexual assault – whether she had given consent:
Tubbs was granted an appeal by the university in August, based on a finding that the disciplinary board didn’t properly consider the definition of consent to weigh whether the sex was consensual.
A university official, Jay Souza, wrote in a letter to Tubbs that “he found no evidence that the Hearing Board considered the definition of consent” as spelled out in the university’s student conduct code or applied that definition to “the facts of this case,” the lawsuit says.
Souza said in the letter that Tubbs would be contacted by the university about the next steps, but Tubbs said she hasn’t heard anything, despite her own efforts to reach school officials….
There Sarah Tubbs found herself at a campus hearing – entitled by federal and state law, but by her university denied representation, and afforded a process so paltry that officials did not consider something as fundamental as lack of consent.
Sarah Tubbs has now filed a federal lawsuit against Stony Brook, but the school she attended – as a citizen with rights under state and federal law – compounded an assault with institutional indifference and further harm. For it all, she’s still resolute:
“I don’t think it’s the rape that makes the person a victim,” said Tubbs. “I think it’s the systemic failure that makes someone from a survivor to a victim. … I can honestly say I won’t stop fighting until those systems change.”
Academy-award nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have a new film now in limited-release, entitled, The Hunting Ground, about campus sexual assault. The film addresses violence, institutional cover-ups, and the damage done to victims & families from both assault and subsequent, institutional misconduct.
The official trailer for the film is embedded above.
(The same filmmakers received an Oscar nomination for their 2012 film, The Invisible War, about sexual assault in the military. The Invisible War earned widespread professional acclaim, having received eleven professional nominations and having won nine.)
Taking the Pledge. “Take the Pledge: commit to holding your college accountable. It’s not only survivors jobs to hold their schools accountable, it’s everybody’s job – students, parents, alumni, teachers. Pledge here and we’ll keep you informed of news and actions taking place on college campuses across the US. We’ll also ask you to take a stand and show your support as our campaign heats up and we solidify screenings of THE HUNTING GROUND on more college campuses.”
Not Alone, a site with supportive resources for those who have experienced sexual assault.