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Non-Rape Update

Former Professor KC Johnson remains the single best source on the Duke Non-Rape Scandal. The Record ought to interview some Williams professors and report what they think.

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#1 Comment By Anonymous On January 21, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

Think about what? The Duke case? Why?

#2 Comment By ephmom On January 22, 2007 @ 2:10 am

Why not?

#3 Comment By Glenn On January 22, 2007 @ 3:35 am

erm… All Things Eph?

#4 Comment By PTC On January 22, 2007 @ 4:06 am

Think about it, because like it or not, rape can be and is falsly reported on college campuses. What what has happened to these young men at Duke, has happened to young men all over the country, at every college campus.
I can think of two examples of false rape claims from my time in College..one on a black football player…they plastered a picture of him in his uniform all over the college newspaper… it was really sad. Anyone else?
This issue is so hard because the majority of the cases are real, and the crime is often not even reported, but there are false claims more than anyone would want to discover or investigate….
No one is going to touch it with a ten foot pole David, no one.

#5 Comment By Loweeel On January 22, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

I remember one when I was on campus, where a student accused her visiting boyfriend of raping her and stabbing her in the thigh. Dean Roseman sent out a breathless email about it, and there was apparently a multi-state manhunt. They eventually found the guy, who was with his new girlfriend, and it turns out that the crazy girl at Williams was upset about being dumped and STABBED HERSELF IN THE THIGH to make it more plausible.

He would have gone to jail, had this been true. She wasn’t even punished — I think all she had to do was talk to a psychiatrist. There need to be harsher penalties — and yes, they should be criminal — for making false accusations of rape or sexual assault. Being accused of a crime like this does not wash away.

Just look at the Duke students — they were suspended from college for a year (and 2 of them were flunked on purpose by one of the group of 88 professors). That students (unfairly, and should not) suffer those sorts of consequences based on mere accusation is reason enough to create a little more disincentive to falsely accuse others.

#6 Comment By Jeff Z. On January 22, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

Quick correction, Lowell, the students who were flunked out of spite were other lacrosse team members, not the three falsely accused kids under indictment. Either way, pretty disgusting behavior.

Rape is such a difficult crime, false accusations are all-too-easy, all-too-common, and as you say, all-too-accepted. On the other hand, there is, I’m sure, a far greater incidence of unreported rapes than of false accusations, and given how hard it is to prove whether a rape actually occurred in a he-said she-said situation, providing extra disincentive to report rapes by discouraging victims with true, but difficult to verify, claims from coming forward could have serious repurcussions. And by the way, there ARE criminal penalties for filing a false police report of any kind (at least in Mass), but those prosecutions are exceedingly rare. There is no easy answer: go after false reporters, perhaps protect some innocents from false accusations, but likely dissuade even more victims on the fence from coming forward — a difficult calculus.

KC’s blog is a masterpiece. Although Nifong is of course the biggest villain in all this, his enablers in the media and the Group of 88 are not far behind. Some of the folks who are permitted to teach at Duke are truly astonishing in their utter lack of academic credentials, intelligence, judgment, or heart. I imagine Duke must be an outlier in the sheer number of these characters running around — I’ve never heard of Williams profs getting hired or earning tenure by publishing the kind of impenetrable, meaningless buzz-word laden gobblydgook some of the Group of 88 has produced, let alone by displaying such naked antipathy towards the students who pay their salaries.

One thing is for sure: as more stories like that of the professor who obviously and transparently flunked two students (almost preventing them from graduating) based solely on their lacrosse affiliation come to light, Duke’s endowment is going to start taking some serious hits in litigation / settlement expenses, not to mention angry alums. Glad I’m not a Duke grad right now …

#7 Comment By frank uible On January 22, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

Society in general and its various segments have been rushing to judgment since time immemorial. It is expected that this phenomenom will continue indefinitely, irrespective of disincentives. Nonetheless the Duke President should be asked to resign for permitting, in so many ways, the atmosphere out of which this jackpot occurred.

#8 Comment By hwc On January 22, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

The practical lesson in all of this is that parents of students heading off the college need to sit down with both sons and daughters for a talk about the consequences of putting yourself in a position where rape charges can occur. This talk has to include discussions about the complications of heavy drinking.

Male students have to understand that legal consent cannot be given by an intoxicated female and that there is real risk associated with these situations. “Drunken he said/she said” situations are just to unpredictable to mess around with.

There was a very serious rape charge at Williams a few years back. Drunken he said/she said. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to sort out what happened with any degree of certainty. It was certainly a big mess for both students involved, their parents, and the college.

The Duke case is a slight variation on a theme. Those boys put themselves in a very vulnerable situation, excaserbated by their long-standing reputations on campus.

The legal climate today makes it extremely difficult to handle these kinds of situations quietly.

#9 Comment By Loweeel On January 22, 2007 @ 7:46 pm

Male students have to understand that legal consent cannot be given by an intoxicated female and that there is real risk associated with these situations.

This is, in my opinion, part of the problem and not part of the solution. Technically, neither party is consenting, and either could be said to be lacking the consent of the other, but you don’t see girls brought up on charges.

Moreover, I’m troubled by any sort of system — ESPECIALLY in this day and age — that says that men are both morally and legally responsible for everything they say and do while drunk, while women are not just free of responsibility but entitled to prosecute and bring civil suits against men for what the woman does when she’s drunk. Male drunkenness is not even an acceptable excuse for failure to recognize female drunkenness.

The logical inconsistencies are as mindblowing as the sexism inherent in the idea that drunk women need to be protected from predatory men and not vice-versa. I’ve seen a few parties at Williams, particuarly early freshman year, where freshman male athletes were probably taken advantage of by older female athletes who they would’ve had nothing to do with if sober.

I’m not saying that there is any readily ascertainable solution to this (though I’m always big on personal responsibility for all parties involved)

#10 Comment By David On January 22, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

1) This is All Things Eph because KC is a former Williams professor.

2) The case that HWC refers to is discussed here.

3) Jeff writes:

I’ve never heard of Williams profs getting hired or earning tenure by publishing the kind of impenetrable, meaningless buzz-word laden gobblydgook some of the Group of 88 has produced, let alone by displaying such naked antipathy towards the students who pay their salaries.

Hmmm. Doesn’t “naked antipathy” describe Professor Shanks comment that “of course, this isn’t a college. It’s a Nike Camp with enrichment classes.”? Or is this “dressed up in pretty clothes antipathy?” Just asking! I am sure all the lacrosse players at Williams thought that Professor Shanks was, uh, congratulating them on combining the life of the mind with athletic excellence.

For the record, I liked Shanks’s comment. There are many, many faculty members who feel the way that she does. The more those opinions are out in the open — and amusingly put! — the better.

#11 Comment By frank uible On January 23, 2007 @ 4:50 am

4) A substantial event occurring at another elite American higher education institution very possibly may be similar to a past or future one at Williams.