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Sexual assaults on campus: only one side of story being told?

It's almost impossible to minimize the consequences that follow a false accusation of rape or sexual assault. This is especially concerning due to increased pressure on colleges to crack down on sexual assaults that are occurring on campus.

One college student was accused by a former girlfriend of repeatedly raping her. The information he was forced to share following the allegations apparently was also improperly provided to his accuser. Though cleared of all charges save verbal abuse, he still was prohibited from coming on to campus for a period of time while undergoing a series of psychological tests.

Problems have also arisen concerning the federal probe of this matter. There are concerns that this probe will only tell its story from the perspective of the alleged victim.

There are claims being made that one in five female students have been sexually assaulted while on campus. This figure is based upon a study of two colleges with a low response rate. Also, the results of this study have been questioned in that many supposed victims of drug-or-alcohol-enabled rape that were reported in the study actually did not believe that they were raped.

Many accusations of sexual assault on college campuses will eventually be sent on to law enforcement authorities that may result in felony charges and criminal prosecution. These individuals will then need experienced criminal defense attorneys to tell their side of the story.

No one would ever suggest that sexual assault is a minor concern or that the accusations of sexual or rape should not be taken seriously. However, we do need to make certain that the story of those accused of such actions are allowed to have their story told. The process has to be fair.

Source: Time, "Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Skewed White House Crusade on Sexual Assault," Cathy Young, May 6, 2014

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