Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Judge says "regret" at root of rape case

UCSD student exonerated of sexual assault charges

Administrators at the University of California San Diego failed to properly investigate sexual assault allegations against a male student and increased sanctions against him for appealing their decision, ruled superior court judge Joel Pressman on Friday, July 10. 

A female student accused the 20-year-old male, known as John Doe, of inappropriately touching her on the morning of February 1, 2014. The male student denied these allegations and later told an officer who was investigating the accusations that the two had had sex both the night before and after the alleged touching occurred. However, John Doe's statements to investigating officers, as well as other evidence, was not allowed to be presented during the Title IX sexual misconduct hearing.

"The Court finds that substantial evidence does not support the finding of non-consensual sexual activity," reads judge Pressman's July 10 ruling. "First, as stated above, crucial findings...were based upon [the officer's] investigation summary that was not presented at the hearing in any meaningful way. Given the fundamental unfairness of relying on this report without a meaningful opportunity for petitioner to challenge its contents, the court has no choice but to exclude the report from consideration in evaluating whether substantial evidence exists to support the conclusion."

Furthermore, ruled Pressman, "The only evidence presented in any meaningful way at the hearing was the testimony of [the woman]…. Additionally, Ms. Roe admitted that she voluntarily continued consensual sexual activity with Mr. Doe later that very same day. The court is not weighing Ms. Roe's credibility. But the incident on the morning of February 1, cannot be viewed in a vacuum. When viewed as part of the entire narrative, the sequence of events do [sic] not demonstrate non-consensual behavior. What the evidence does show is Ms. Roe's personal regret for engaging in sexual activity beyond her boundaries."

Judge Pressman simultaneously found that the school's dean Sherry Mallory and the council of provosts increased the period that John Doe would be suspended from school each time he tried to appeal the board's decision.

Initially, the Title IX panel ordered that John Doe serve a semester suspension, avoid any contact with the woman, sexual harassment classes, and counseling. Doe, however, appealed their ruling to Mallory. In response, Mallory increased his suspension from a semester to an entire year, forcing the student to reapply to the school. The student then appealed to the council of provosts. They denied his appeal and added an additional semester to his year-long suspension.

"Given the lack of rationale by both Dean Mallory and the Council of Provosts for the increased sanctions, it appears the increased sanctions are punitive towards Petitioner for appealing the decision of the Panel," ruled Pressman.

The handling of sexual assault investigations has come under increased scrutiny at colleges across the country. Title IX grants colleges the authority to investigate and conduct hearings on alleged assaults. The hearings are not criminal hearings, but school administrators do have the authority to expel students. 

In April 2015, a male student at San Diego State University filed a lawsuit against the school for expelling him after a female student accused him of forced copulation. According to the complaint, the student, Francisco Sousa, was not allowed to provide text messages and other evidence that proved his innocence. He has since filed a claim with the California State University's risk management department, a prelude to a lawsuit.

Attorneys for the UCSD student celebrated Pressman's decision as a step in the right direction.

“It’s encouraging to see courts recognizing that sexual misconduct complaints on campus cannot be resolved at the expense of Constitutional rights and fundamental fairness,” said Mark Hathaway, an attorney for John Doe in a statement. 

“Colleges and universities must treat all students fairly, regardless of gender. All too often the male student is just presumed responsible and given no access to any campus resources. Hopefully Judge Pressman’s ruling will help correct the imbalance.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Pepper covers Sublime for The House That Bradley Built comp

Hirie, G. Love, the Expanders, Common Kings, the Skints, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Trevor Young also contribute
Next Article

Alcaeus: Greek poet from the island of Lesbos

One of the Nine Lyric Poets of Greece

Administrators at the University of California San Diego failed to properly investigate sexual assault allegations against a male student and increased sanctions against him for appealing their decision, ruled superior court judge Joel Pressman on Friday, July 10. 

A female student accused the 20-year-old male, known as John Doe, of inappropriately touching her on the morning of February 1, 2014. The male student denied these allegations and later told an officer who was investigating the accusations that the two had had sex both the night before and after the alleged touching occurred. However, John Doe's statements to investigating officers, as well as other evidence, was not allowed to be presented during the Title IX sexual misconduct hearing.

"The Court finds that substantial evidence does not support the finding of non-consensual sexual activity," reads judge Pressman's July 10 ruling. "First, as stated above, crucial findings...were based upon [the officer's] investigation summary that was not presented at the hearing in any meaningful way. Given the fundamental unfairness of relying on this report without a meaningful opportunity for petitioner to challenge its contents, the court has no choice but to exclude the report from consideration in evaluating whether substantial evidence exists to support the conclusion."

Furthermore, ruled Pressman, "The only evidence presented in any meaningful way at the hearing was the testimony of [the woman]…. Additionally, Ms. Roe admitted that she voluntarily continued consensual sexual activity with Mr. Doe later that very same day. The court is not weighing Ms. Roe's credibility. But the incident on the morning of February 1, cannot be viewed in a vacuum. When viewed as part of the entire narrative, the sequence of events do [sic] not demonstrate non-consensual behavior. What the evidence does show is Ms. Roe's personal regret for engaging in sexual activity beyond her boundaries."

Judge Pressman simultaneously found that the school's dean Sherry Mallory and the council of provosts increased the period that John Doe would be suspended from school each time he tried to appeal the board's decision.

Initially, the Title IX panel ordered that John Doe serve a semester suspension, avoid any contact with the woman, sexual harassment classes, and counseling. Doe, however, appealed their ruling to Mallory. In response, Mallory increased his suspension from a semester to an entire year, forcing the student to reapply to the school. The student then appealed to the council of provosts. They denied his appeal and added an additional semester to his year-long suspension.

"Given the lack of rationale by both Dean Mallory and the Council of Provosts for the increased sanctions, it appears the increased sanctions are punitive towards Petitioner for appealing the decision of the Panel," ruled Pressman.

The handling of sexual assault investigations has come under increased scrutiny at colleges across the country. Title IX grants colleges the authority to investigate and conduct hearings on alleged assaults. The hearings are not criminal hearings, but school administrators do have the authority to expel students. 

In April 2015, a male student at San Diego State University filed a lawsuit against the school for expelling him after a female student accused him of forced copulation. According to the complaint, the student, Francisco Sousa, was not allowed to provide text messages and other evidence that proved his innocence. He has since filed a claim with the California State University's risk management department, a prelude to a lawsuit.

Attorneys for the UCSD student celebrated Pressman's decision as a step in the right direction.

“It’s encouraging to see courts recognizing that sexual misconduct complaints on campus cannot be resolved at the expense of Constitutional rights and fundamental fairness,” said Mark Hathaway, an attorney for John Doe in a statement. 

“Colleges and universities must treat all students fairly, regardless of gender. All too often the male student is just presumed responsible and given no access to any campus resources. Hopefully Judge Pressman’s ruling will help correct the imbalance.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Space Truckin’

Ace Frehley, Travis Barker, Tolan Shaw, Andy Robinson, Thousand Below
Next Article

Don't forget Escondido

We're still spaying cats in San Diego
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close