25 juillet 2015

COUPAAAAAAABLE!

Un étudiant du Massachusetts est accusé de viol. Il est immédiatement expulsé, évidemment. Pourtant, l'étudiant a en sa possession des preuves de son innocence, notamment des textos envoyés par la présumée victime.

Pas grave. Le collège maintient sa décision et refuse de réexaminer son dossier. C'est juste un gars, après tout, alors on s'en fout. Et comme chacun sait, être accusé de viol, c'est aussi grave que d'être trouvé coupable de viol. La présomption d'innocence n'existe plus dans ces cas-là...

Extrait de la nouvelle:

A preponderance of the evidence suggested that John Doe, a male student at Amherst College, raped his girlfriend’s roommate, Sandra Jones, according to the college’s sexual assault adjudication process. But text messages sent between the alleged victim and other Amherst students point toward the opposite conclusion: that Doe did nothing wrong.

He was expelled anyway—and Amherst has utterly refused to take a look that text messages that might acquit him.

(...) Doe wasn’t able to procure new evidence supporting his side of the story until many months after his expulsion. That evidence establishes that Jones—in her own words, no less—was an active participant in the sexual encounter. Amherst just doesn’t seem to care.

(...) The adjudicators never looked at the text messages, instead relying on Jones’ recollection of them. Had they read the messages, they might have reached a different conclusion. In reality, Jones admitted to her residential advisor that she “did something so fucking stupid” and “fucked” Doe. She was the active party, not “an innocent bystander,” she claimed in the texts.

(...) Of course, it’s possible that everything happened exactly as Jones described it. It’s possible Jones withdrew consent and Doe continued anyway. It’s possible that Jones was unable to process the fact that she had been assaulted, and omitted this detail in her recollection of the encounter to her residential advisor. It’s possible that Jones was ready for sexual activity with a different, reluctant partner immediately after she was victimized by Doe. It’s possible that the claims she made more than a year later represent the truth, and the claims she made on the actual night in question were merely a coping mechanism.

But how could anyone say this explanation is more likely? That the facts should not be taken at face value? That they should be ignored to the extent that they conflict with Jones’ assertions and Amherst’s decision?

On Twitter, KC Johnson—a campus due process expert—called the Doe/Jones dispute a “He-said/she-said situation—along w/numerous text messages undermining credibility of accuser's version of events!”

It seems clear to me that a preponderance of the evidence does not establish Doe’s guilt. Quite the opposite: a preponderance of the evidence casts doubt on Jones. Amherst’s decision to ignore that evidence and defend the conviction of Doe is itself evidence of something: systemic anti-male bias—and manifest unfairness for accused students—in college sexual assault trials.



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