UConn Only the Latest - Colleges Losing Date-Rape Suits // May Already Cost Colleges $100 Million

UConn's agreement to pay female students $1.3 million as a result of a law suit over sexual assault is only the latest example of the growing tendency of male and female students to successfully sue their universities over date rape
 
 
Both Male and Female Students Suing Over Colleges' Handling of Date Rape Claims
Both Male and Female Students Suing Over Colleges' Handling of Date Rape Claims
 
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* University Of Connecticut
* Law Suit
* Allred

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* Education
* Legal

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* Washington - District of Columbia - US

WASHINGTON - July 19, 2014 - PRLog -- The total cost of such suits may have already exceeded $100 million and is rising, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who first predicted - and is now helping to chronicle - this emerging trend.

        A detailed study of campus sexual assaults suggests that they may have already cost colleges and universities more than $100 million, and the huge costs are almost certainly going to balloon as the Administration continues to pressure educational institutions to convict more students, and both male and female students begin to realize that taking their colleges to court is a viable option - for female students who allege that colleges didn't do enough, and for male students who claim that the universities violated their rights and wrongfully convicted them.

        According to a Risk Research Bulletin put out by insurance company United Educators [UE], student-on-student sexual assaults - which UE termed “a perfect storm” of "alcohol, mental health, and sexual violence" - cost its members more than $36 million in losses from 2006-2010.

        Since the UE represents only about 1,200 educational institutions - including independent schools and public school districts, as well as colleges and universities - and because the number of complaints and campus adjudicatory proceedings exploded only after that time period, it is likely that the sum of losses at all colleges and universities to date is much higher and will continue to grow, argues Banzhaf.

        Male students have already used legal action successfully at Brown (2X), Central College, Denison,  Duke (2X) , George Washington, Holy Cross, Occidental, Saint Joseph, University of the South, and Xavier.  Meanwhile, law suits filed by male students convicted by their universities of rape and/or sexual assault are pending against Bucknell, Cincinnati, Columbia, Delaware State, Depauw, Drew, Kenyon, U of Michigan, Philadelphia U, Swarthmore, Vassar, Williams, and perhaps others.

        Many critics suggest that colleges should not be involved in date rape allegations, since they involve a serious crime which should be investigated and if necessarily prosecuted by authorities.  But this doesn't work well because the criminal standard of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt" can often not be met in "he said, she said" cases, so both police and prosecutors are often reluctant to act.

        On the other hand, expecting colleges to fairly and professionally investigate such serious matters may be asking too much since their disciplinary systems just aren't up to the task of having university functionaries take time from other duties to investigate rapes, and panels made up of professors assess the evidence, says Banzhaf, noting that colleges may also be under pressure - or at least seen to be biased - not to attract adverse attention, not to expel popular star athletes or the sons of big donors, etc.

        Perhaps one solution well worth trying, suggests Banzhaf, would be to have separate impartial bodies set up jointly by many colleges in a city or geographical area for the sole purpose of investigating and adjudicating date rape complaints.  Unlike individual colleges, they would be able to employ full time trained investigators following established investigatory protocols to impartially get to the bottom of such claims.

        Moreover, by using retired judges and others trained to evaluate evidence, they could better and more fairly - free from any possible biases - determine the truth much better than professors of computer science or geology who today often make up the disciplinary panels on many campuses.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf

Contact
GWU Law School
202 994-7229 / 703 527-8418
jbanzhaf@law.gwu.edu
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Tags:University Of Connecticut, Sexual Assault, Date Rape, Law Suit, Allred
Industry:Education, Legal
Location:Washington - District of Columbia - United States
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