Accused College Students Contest Sexual Assault Claims

Students at universities nationwide who have been accused of sexually assaulting others on campus are appealing disciplinary rulings, claiming administrators unfairly rushed to judgment, while some assert campus officials violated the Title IX law.

BOSTON – A number of students who have been suspected of sexually assaulting others at universities across the country are fighting back, saying they have been falsely accused of crimes they did not commit.

In many cases, suspected assailants have been placed on probation, suspended or expelled. The students plan to appeal the disciplinary rulings, claiming that college administrators unfairly rushed to judgment, Boston Globe reports.

Additionally, the accused say the decisions have damaged their reputation, interrupted their education, and have cost them thousands of dollars in lost tuition, legal fees and other costs.

Ironically, some accused students at schools have claimed campus administrators violated Title IX – the very law that many victims have cited in federal complaints to argue that officials mishandled their allegations.

For example, a Brandeis University student has hired a lawyer to appeal the punishment he received for allegedly sexually assaulting and harassing a schoolmate – his ex-boyfriend. He also plans to file a Title IX complaint against the school.

Meanwhile the alleged victim at Brandeis, who has not filed criminal charges, has called for administrators to issue a harsher punishment against his suspected attacker, ideally expulsion. The accuser believes the university downplayed his concerns because he is a man and gay, and is considering filing a Title IX complaint against Brandeis.

Accused students at Brown University, Columbia University, Delaware State University, Drew University, Occidental College, Swarthmore College, the University of Michigan, Vassar College and Xavier University are also taking action against what they call “false claims.”

While specialists say studies show that false allegations of sexual assault are rare, they do acknowledge that the increase in disputed cases highlights the problems administrators face when handling assault allegations.

Many are attempting to handle the claims via the college’s disciplinary system; however, many schools have found investigating and solving such claims to be difficult, as administrators lack experience in handling such matters.

Attorneys representing the alleged assailants believe many administrators are being pressured by on- and off-campus advocates who have called for sharper punishments in many sexual assault cases.

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