News & Politics

It's No Longer 'He Said, She Said' in Sexual Assault Claims on Campus

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

The former captain of the Yale basketball team who was expelled in February on charges that he assaulted a female classmate is suing the school for damages.

Senior Jack Montague was accused by a woman of “nonconsensual sex.” Montague claims not only that the sex was consensual, but that they had several previous consensual sexual encounters.

The woman who filed the complaint waited several months before doing so. But the real story is the kangaroo court that heard the complaint and booted Montague from school.

Yale News:

A formal complaint was filed against Montague with the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct in November of 2015, several months after an incident of alleged misconduct occurred. The decision to expel him was made on Feb. 10, 2016, and a week later the University provost chose not to grant Montague’s appeal of the decision, according to sources familiar with the facts of the case. It remains unclear if the November formal complaint was the only complaint brought before the UWC.

Montague’s story about what happened is the stuff of nightmares.

ESPN:

The lawsuit claims that Montague was made “Yale’s poster boy for tough enforcement of its Sexual Misconduct Policies” after the university had come under criticism from the Department of Education for its response to sexual assault allegations.

Montague was expelled in February after a university investigation into an incident in October 2014 in which a woman said she had nonconsensual sex with Montague. Montague maintains that the encounter was consensual — one of multiple sexual encounters between the two of them — and that the woman left his room but then returned to spend the night with him.

According to the lawsuit, the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education issued a ruling in 2011 that Yale was “deficient in a number of areas” when it came to sufficiently responding to complaints of sexual harassment. This led the school making an example of Montague, the lawsuit claims. It argues that the woman, referred to as Jane Roe, did not want Montague punished, only counseled, but was pressured by Yale’s Title IX department into filing a formal complaint.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Connecticut Thursday, actually makes its own Title IX complaint, arguing that Montague was a victim of gender inequality in that he would not have been prosecuted had he not been a man.

The lawsuits names Angela Gleason, a Yale deputy Title IX coordinator at the time of the incident, and Jason Killheffer, a senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the school at the time in question, as co-defendants.

The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and asks that the court offer relief in the form of: reinstating Montague as a student, reopening the proceedings against him, expunging complaints against him and awarding damages — both for attorneys’ costs plus interest and for punitive damages.

A Yale spokesman says the lawsuit is factually inaccurate and baseless and the university plans a vigorous defense.

It should be noted that this is only one side of the story. The woman’s account of what happened is shrouded in secrecy.

Why did the woman wait nearly a year to bring the “assault” to the attention of the school? Shouldn’t that have raised red flags with the UWC? And with no physical evidence whatsoever, how can a university expel a student based on the word of one person and then refuse to grant an appeal?

The lawsuit will seek to determine if the complaint was filed by the Title IX office and not the alleged victim. If true, that would be an outrageous example of misuse of power. The guidelines for a Title IX office filing a complaint for sexual assault state “such a move is supposed to occur only in ‘extremely rare cases,’ and only when there is serious risk to the safety of individuals or the community.”

With the caveat that we can’t know the full story, it really sounds like Montague’s ordeal was, indeed, a bid by the university to make an example of him as the lawsuit alleges.

Even if Montague is guilty, he was not given due process nor any semblance of a fair hearing. The hearing and punishment were arbitrary and capricious and Yale should look hard at the actions of the UWC and enact needed reforms.

Beyond that, the notion that there are two sides to stories like this has been thrown out the window in favor of always — always — taking the woman making the complaint at her word. While one can certainly understand the need for sensitivity and compassion when dealing with a rape victim, that shouldn’t obscure the fact that there is another party involved and that his understanding of what happened may be 180 degrees different than that of the woman. In these situations, the man’s entire future could be ruined by a false complaint of assault.

But to the SJWs on campus, that’s a small price to pay to be able to stick it to men. After all, it’s not their lives that are being ruined. Any questioning of the woman’s motives, her emotional stability, or her sanity is angrily and violently denounced as anti-women.

There’s no “he said, she said” anymore. There’s only “she said and you damn well better believe her.”