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Fraud Jessica Torres ’12 in the New York Times

From The New York Times:

In recent years, on campus after campus, from the University of Virginia to Columbia University, from Duke to Stanford, higher education has been roiled by high-profile cases of sexual assault accusations. Now Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is stepping into that maelstrom. On Thursday, she will meet in private with women who say they were assaulted, accused students and their families, advocates for both sides and higher education officials, the first step in a contentious effort to re-examine policies of President Barack Obama, who made expansive use of his powers to investigate the way universities and colleges handle sexual violence.

Meanwhile, groups like Know Your IX, which teaches students their rights under the federal law, have been promoting a hashtag on Twitter, #DearBetsy, and asking people to post their personal stories about sexual assault on Twitter. Jessica Torres, a 27-year-old Democratic strategist, tweeted to Ms. DeVos that she had been raped as a student at Williams College.

“My concern is we’re going back to the years when women and queer students were absolutely terrified of coming forward,” Ms. Torres said in an interview.

The tweet in question:


1) Jessica Torres is a fraud. By committing the 2011 Prospect House hate hoax, she did more damage to the Williams community than any other student in the last decade.

2) Do New York Times Erica Green and Sheryl Stolberg reporters know how to use Google? If you are going to quote someone making a serious accusation, then the least you ought to do is to look into their past. Couldn’t they have found someone who isn’t a documented liar to demonstrate the point that false accusations of rape are not a major problem?

3) If Jessica Torres was raped at Williams, then I would urge her to report the crime to the Williamstown police. Law enforcement in Massachusetts takes sexual assault very seriously. Her assailant should be apprehended, charged, tried and, if found guilty, punished. However, if she made up the accusation after the Williams administration got a little to close in its investigation of the hate hoax, I would recommend that she restrict her public statements to other topics. [UPDATE: Thanks to comment below for clarifying the timing. Torres committed the hate hoax after her (false?) rape report, not before it.]

Back to the article:

Investigative processes have not been “fairly balanced between the accusing victim and the accused student,” Ms. Jackson argued, and students have been branded rapists “when the facts just don’t back that up.” In most investigations, she said, there’s “not even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman.”

“Rather, the accusations — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’” Ms. Jackson said.

This quote is causing rage among a certain segment of the Eph commentariat. And that is OK! Ephs differ in their assessments of the problem of sexual assault on campus and what to do about it.

But, as always, at EphBlog, we are interested in the data. Do 90% of the cases at Williams look like that or not? If only the College would tell us . . .

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Comments Disabled To "Fraud Jessica Torres ’12 in the New York Times"

#1 Comment By Kilroy On July 13, 2017 @ 10:51 am

She did take the case to the Williamstown PD and the case had a hearing (I think in Pittsfield?) She got laughed out of court by the judge who thought it was totally merit-less. There are probably public records on this.

She had been cheating on her boyfriend with guy B. She invites guy B to her room, poured her own alcohol, and allegedly blacked out. After her boyfriend found out, she alleged that it was non-consensual.

She tried to use the legal system, but it just wouldn’t play her game. Then she filed a complaint with the school. Bolton issued an order of no contact and had B removed from classes shared with Torres.

It was only after she felt like she wasn’t being taken seriously enough that Torres staged the 2011 hoax. The date of the order of no contact is about a week before the graffiti was found. Then she spoke at an open mic event on the day of mourning or whatever it was called about her sexual assault experience and how she hoped this hate crime would help the community take stories like hers seriously.

Truly truly a despicable person who has no qualms about bringing a community to its knees to serve her agenda.

#2 Comment By Williams Alum On July 13, 2017 @ 1:30 pm

You state opinions like they are facts, DDF, and that is a dangerous thing.

#3 Comment By CHLuke On July 13, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

“She did take the case to the Williamstown PD and the case had a hearing (I think in Pittsfield?) She got laughed out of court by the judge who thought it was totally merit-less. There are probably public records on this.”

No, I doubt there are public records on this because that would NEVER be the procedure for handling this type of case. A hearing? In front of a judge? At that point in the process? Patently ridiculous.

I say this not in defense of the woman involved – she clearly has issues, based upon the graffiti hoax she apparently orchestrated – but out of respect for the truth. No matter what she did or did not do, introducing fiction into the discussion is just plain wrong.

#4 Comment By CHLuke On July 13, 2017 @ 3:17 pm

“3) If Jessica Torres was raped at Williams, then I would urge her to report the crime to the Williamstown police. Law enforcement in Massachusetts takes sexual assault very seriously.”

This comment is misguided, to put it mildly. If you we’re referring strictly to 1) child rape, and 2) forcible rape (under the threat of violence), I would agree with you. Such cases are pursued aggressively by D.A’s across the board, and you rarely hear about a victim of child rape or forcible rape not being taken seriously.

HOWEVER, almost every rape case that arises on a college campus like Williams centers on the issue of capacity-to-consent, and how “seriously” law enforcement treats an accusation made under such circumstances varies, subject to the local D.A.’s unilateral discretion. No way can you say that, as a rule, law enforcement takes these types of cases very seriously.

Take a look at the track record of Berkshire County D.A. David Capeless, as an example. He is the long-time chief flaw enforcement officer for a county that includes multiple college campuses, and NEVER ONCE has he brought rape charges in a capacity-to-consent type case. He pursues child rapists and violent rapists with zeal, but I challenge you to find one single instance where he charged, let alone convicted, a man for assaulting a woman who was incapacitated and legally incapable of providing consent. Capeless clearly refuses to go there, and since he has unilateral, unchecked authority regarding such matters, there’s not a damn thing the complainant can do about it.

As for Williams in general, I would invite you to peruse its Title IX reports, as it very much appears that the Williamstown Police Department allows the College to police itself. For instance, in the last three years, crimes reported to Campus Security and the WPD include: 36 rapes, 8 cases dating violence, 5 cases domestic violence, 3 cases stalking, 1 aggravated assault, 18 burglaries and 2 cases arson. NONE of these cases led to either an arrest or the case being determined to be “unfounded”. Which means that none ever became “official” investigations.

During this same 3 year period the WPD made only a few alcohol-related arrests: one on-campus arrest, and 7 off-campus citations (presumably open container).

#5 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On July 13, 2017 @ 3:35 pm

> NEVER ONCE has he brought rape charges in a capacity-to-consent type case

Who prosecuted Mark Foster?

#6 Comment By ambiveph On July 13, 2017 @ 3:58 pm

That case was brought before Capeless was D.A., by his predecessor Gerard Downing.

#7 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On July 13, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

Do have reason to believe that Capeless would not have brought that case if he had been DA at that time? Do you believe that there are cases that Downing would have brought over the last decade that Capeless declined to bring?

Honestly curious! I know nothing about local law/politics and am always eager to learn more.

#8 Comment By CHLuke On July 13, 2017 @ 6:40 pm

DDF: I believe that question was directed at me. You are correct, if Capeless had been D.A. at the time I believe the Foster case would never have gone forward. In 13 years as D.A. he has never pursued such a case – where capacity was the issue – so his track record speaks for itself.

The main point is that it is a mistake to believe that by turning to law enforcement, victims are assured of an objective, truth-seeking investigation that leads to justice. Throughout the process, various players – particularly the D.A. in charge – have the authority to steer things in whichever direction they wish, up to and including just making it all go away.

#9 Comment By JCD On July 13, 2017 @ 11:54 pm

I’m just sick of this phony rape crisis on college campuses. Women are much safer on college campuses than they are just about anywhere else in the world.

Thank God that Betsy Devos appears to be ready to tip the scales back in the direction of justice.

See, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/us/devos-college-sexual-assault.html

The way these young men are being treated under this current system is just despicable. I would never send a son to Williams College under the current, abusive and unfair rules.

#10 Comment By frank uible On July 14, 2017 @ 3:12 am

Once again politics brings out the seamy side of the human race. As for me resignation from that club was the solution long ago.

#11 Comment By Pissed Off Eph On July 14, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

It is absolutely pathetic that Jessica Torres was allowed to graduate from Williams at all. She should have been expelled as soon as the racial hoax was uncovered.

Now, Williams can live with having a graduate that is a total fraud. Thanks, Falk.

#12 Comment By Alum-Anon On July 15, 2017 @ 4:29 pm

@ Pissed-off Eph,

Agreed as to the top paragraph.

As to the final two sentences, I’m certain she’s not the only total fraud Williams has graduated.

#13 Comment By frank uible On July 16, 2017 @ 1:32 am

It is very difficult to be a complete and unconditional fraud. Even POTUS fails the test.