News and Commentary

A Male Student Expelled Even Though There Was No Evidence Of Sex Is Fighting To Clear His Name
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A male student at Syracuse University is trying to clear his name after the school’s investigation into sexual assault allegations failed to allow him to properly defend himself.

The student, whom The Daily Wire will call John Doe, was previously accused of raping a female student, who will be called Jane Roe. Both were Syracuse students. The two attended a party in 2017 co-hosted by John’s fraternity and Jane’s sorority. Surveillance footage from that night showed the two students enter John’s room at about 12:30 in the morning. The two, according to court documents, awoke in the same bed the next morning – fully clothed – and had no memory of what occurred the night before, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

After John was expelled, he filed a lawsuit against the school alleging his due process and Title IX rights were violated. He also sued his accuser for defamation because she called him a rapist online and to his friends even though there was no evidence the two even had sex. Jane tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but a judge denied her motion.

Syracuse, likewise, is trying to get John’s lawsuit against the school dismissed. The Daily Wire was provided a copy of John’s legal response to Syracuse’s motion to dismiss, which outlines the ways the university violated John’s rights.

For starters, the man assigned to investigate the allegations, Bernerd Jacobson, was a victim’s advocate, not an impartial observer, and, according to John and his attorneys, acted as an advocate. John’s attorney argues that by the time Jacobson spoke to Jane for the first time, she had changed her story multiple times. She initially said she thought she was drugged – though a test showed no drugs other than caffeine and marijuana in her system. She also repeatedly said she didn’t remember what happened that night in the months before meeting with Jacobson. Yet months after the alleged incident, and only after going to therapy for her alleged trauma, did Jane start to “remember” things, including sexual intercourse with John. Such memories are not accurate and bring to mind the “recovered memories” of the 1980s Satanic daycare panic.

Jacobson, according to John’s lawsuit “blatantly disregarded objective facts and failed to collect highly relevant evidence – which Defendant Jacobson knew existed – that exonerated Doe and pointed to the implausibly of Roe’s sexual assault claims.”

For instance, Jacobson didn’t speak to a veteran sex crimes prosecutor who said there was no evidence sex even occurred between the two students, the detective whom Jane repeatedly told she didn’t remember what happened that night, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who found no evidence of sex, or the representative who helped Jane fill out a Family Court Petition against John.

Jacobson didn’t even obtain a copy of the SANE report or Jane’s clothes from the night in question. Instead, Jacobson alleged that a finding in the SANE report regarding two tears in Jane’s labia was enough evidence of sexual assault, even though that isn’t evidence of anything. Even with the tears, the examination found no “abrasions to vaginal walls and she had smooth hymen edges,” according to Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf’s summary of the case contained in her ruling. Also, a DNA analysis of Jane’s vagina found no male DNA.

John maintained throughout the proceedings that he didn’t remember the night in question. Jane initially said she didn’t remember either, but later changed her story months later. Jacobson, however, found ways to dismiss issues with Jane’s story. Even though a toxicology report found Jane was not drugged, Jacobson noted that “it was not implausible” that Jane was drugged, according to John’s lawsuit. Jacobson even dismissed police detective works, saying “well you know how detectives are, they’re great, but they write down what they think they heard.” Further, Jacobson dismissed Jane’s claim in her Family Court Petition that John raped her with a foreign object by claiming it was Jane’s claim, but an exaggeration written in by the representative who helped her. He made this determination without speaking with this representative.

With all the deficiencies, Jacobson concluded that Jane was credible, but that John’s version of events was also “plausible.” Somehow that translated into finding John responsible for sexual assault even though there was no evidence of sex.

John was not provided the evidence against him and was not allowed to cross-examine Jane or any witnesses. He also didn’t have access to the exculpatory evidence, since Jacobson didn’t obtain it. A Syracuse Conduct Board found John responsible despite finding both students were credible and didn’t remember what happened.

Syracuse, in its motion to dismiss, claimed that because Jacobson briefly mentioned the inconsistencies in Jane’s story, it meant he wasn’t biased. The Conduct Board, however, wrote off those inconsistencies, which John’s lawyers maintain further proves the school’s bias. The Conduct Board also had no access to the SANE report, just the conclusion about the tears to Jane’s labia. The Board tried to claim that because it used a lower standard of proof (a preponderance of evidence, or 50% plus a feather), it could ignore the Assistant District Attorney’s assessment that “[t]here is no credible proof of any sexual conduct in this case, consensual or non-consensual.” As John’s lawsuit notes, this is a “red herring.”

“ADA Barry concluded there was no proof of any sexual contact whatsoever – thus any debate surrounding the standard of proof required in a criminal action is irrelevant to the allegations presented to the Conduct Board.,” the lawsuit states.

John claims in this lawsuit that Syracuse ignored the forensic evidence and findings of veteran law enforcement officials in order to find John responsible. In an email to The Daily Wire, John’s attorney, Seth Zuckerman, blasted not only Syracuse, but also the accuser for their actions:

Syracuse is no longer a safe place for male students. While claiming to protect its female students, the university’s extreme policies discriminate against males accused of sexual assault, regardless of the lack of evidence, as they are treated as guilty from the outset. Syracuse has gone overboard, trampled on the rights of male students, and created a dangerous environment for these young men. Our client was expelled as a result of a false allegation and the school’s bogus and biased investigation which denied our client due process while completely ignoring the police and district attorney’s office determination that there was no sexual assault. The school’s investigator intentionally failed to gather critical evidence. Following his unjustified expulsion, our client has been left to pick up the pieces of his life. The so-called victim has celebrated on social media our client’s expulsion and branded him a rapist and intentionally went out of her way to contact his employer to get him fired. He will never get his undergraduate life back, nor the social media anonymity, he had before these false allegations were made.