May 19, 2014
PUNCHING BACK TWICE AS HARD: Students Accused of Rape Can Fight Back // Court OKs Suits Against University, Employees, and Female.
With so much attention focused on the alleged failures of many universities to forcefully prosecute male students accused of date rape and sexual assault, the problem of universities whose judicial proceedings are unfair to the accused, and/or are overzealous because of pressure from female students or otherwise, have been largely overlooked.
But now a new judicial ruling gives those wrongly convicted a powerful new weapon – they can sue the university, the employees who participated in the proceedings, and even the accused herself in federal court for substantial monetary damages and other remedies, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who was twice called a “radical feminist.”
After a school tribunal at Saint Joseph’s University found a male student to have committed sexual assault arising out of an incident of allegedly consensual sexual intercourse, he took legal action, says Banzhaf, who has been successful in over 100 sex discrimination proceedings.
The federal court held that he was entitled to sue the private university under the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and that he could also sue the university, university employees, and the female complainant for defamation (slander), with the court holding that their accusatory statements about him were not legally privileged.
Banzhaf has a nose for developing legal trends.