August 13, 2014

SAMANTHA HARRIS: Law Enforcement Must Take the Lead in Campus Sexual Assault Cases.

To ensure that sexual assault is treated like the crime it is, law enforcement must take the lead. Only our criminal justice system can properly protect the accuser and the accused — and punish those found guilty accordingly.

Currently, internal university proceedings are used both to provide Title IX remedies to the alleged victim (such as changes in dorm assignments and class schedules, no-contact orders and so forth) and to adjudicate an accused student’s guilt or innocence.

In these proceedings, accused students are routinely denied the most basic elements of due process, such as the right to see the evidence against them and the right to confront, even indirectly, the accuser. Not only is this terribly unfair to students accused of serious wrongdoing, but it undermines the integrity of the process in a way that harms everyone involved.