Category Archives: Sexual Misconduct

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U.S. Asks Court to Put Hold on Lawsuit as It Reviews 2011 Title IX Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday asked a federal court to put on hold for 90 days a lawsuit challenging hotly contested guidance from the Obama administration on campus sexual-assault policy, while the department reviews the guidance that is being challenged.

In 2011 the department’s Office for Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that ratcheted up pressure on colleges to deal with reports of sexual misconduct promptly and equitably. The letter argued that the federal gender-…

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Groups Call on Civil-Rights Official to Reject ‘90 Percent’ Statement on Campus-Rape Cases

More than 50 groups have signed a letter demanding that Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, reject a statement she made this month in a New York Times interview. Ms. Jackson told the newspaper that “90 percent” of campus sexual-assault accusations resulted from an accuser’s regret over a sexual encounter. Ms. Jackson has since apologized, calling the remarks “flippant.”

In the letter the National Women’s Law Center, joined by other…

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Key Democrat Calls for DeVos to Remove Top Civil-Rights Official

Updated (7/17/2017, 6:53 p.m.) with statement from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The top Democrat on the Senate education committee, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, is calling for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to remove Candice E. Jackson as the top civil-rights official in the Education Department after her “callous” comments on campus sexual assault.

“In the three months she has been acting head of the Office for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson’s words and actions have made it clear wh…

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Civil-Rights Official Apologizes for Saying 90% of Campus Rape Cases Stem From Regret

Updated (7/12/2017, 7:06 p.m.) with Ms. Jackson’s statement apologizing for her comments.

Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, apologized late Wednesday for telling The New York Times, in an article published earlier in the day, that “90 percent” of accusations of sexual assault on colleges campuses stemmed from an accuser’s regret over a sexual encounter.

In a statement released by the department, Ms. Jackson said: “As a survivor o…

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U. of Oregon Athlete Played a Season While Under Investigation for Sexual Assault

Updated (6/23/2017, 11:14 a.m.) with a statement from the university.

A University of Oregon men’s basketball player, Kavell Bigby-Williams, played the last basketball season while he was under criminal investigation for alleged sexual assault, according to the Daily Emerald, the campus’s student newspaper.

Mr. Bigby-Williams has been under investigation by the campus police of the Northern Wyoming Community College District since September 19, the newspaper said. He is accused of sexually assau…

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UC-Berkeley Fires Professor Accused of Harassing Students

The University of California at Berkeley has fired a professor after a committee found that he sexually harassed four students. The professor denies the allegations.

Blake Wentworth, an assistant professor in the department of South and Southeast Asian studies, had been suspended since June of last year in connection with the claims.

“The committee found by clear and convincing evidence that Wentworth had engaged in the misconduct and recommended his dismissal,” a news release from the unive…

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Berkeley Settles Suits With Law Dean and Assistant Who Accused Him of Harassment

Updated (4/15/2017, 8:10 p.m.) with further comment from Ms. Sorrell.

The University of California at Berkeley has settled lawsuits with Sujit Choudhry, a former law-school dean, and Tyann Sorrell, a former executive assistant who accused him of repeatedly sexually harassing her, the Associated Press reports.

Under the terms of the settlement — which was reached in March but not disclosed until Friday — Mr. Choudhry will pay $50,000 to Ms. Sorrell’s lawyers and another $50,000 to a charity of he…

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2 Former Penn State Officials Plead Guilty in Sandusky Case

Two former administrators at Pennsylvania State University pleaded guilty on Monday to child endangerment, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, after years of maintaining their innocence for failing to report the sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Charges of conspiracy against the two men, Timothy M. Curley, a former athletic director, and Gary C. Schultz, formerly a vice president, were dropped in exchange for their pleas.

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St. Olaf College to Remove Accused Professor’s Name From Building

St. Olaf College is removing the name of a once-beloved professor from a campus building because of what it calls “credible evidence” of sexual misconduct over several decades, the Star Tribune reported.

Since 2002, the college’s arts building has been named for Reidar Dittmann, a Holocaust survivor who taught art and Norwegian at St. Olaf for more than 45 years. He died in 2010 at the age of 88. On Thursday, St. Olaf’s president, David R. Anderson, announced that after investigating reports…

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Stanford U. Says Lawyer Was Not Dismissed Over Criticism

Responding to several news articles about Stanford University’s Title IX cases, the university released a Q&A with Lauren Schoenthaler, senior associate vice provost, about the adjudication process.

On February 9, The New York Times reported that Stanford had dismissed Crystal Riggins, a lawyer who had been hired to help students while they pursued sexual-assault complaints. The Times reported that Ms. Riggins had been fired for criticizing the university’s adjudication process to the newspaper.