A statement released Monday on behalf of former men’s basketball captain Jack Montague, who was expelled from Yale for sexual misconduct, has prompted discussion both on and outside the University campus.  

The statement, written by his attorney Max Stern, details the process by which Montague was expelled after an alleged incident of non-consensual sex with a female student. Stern characterized Montague’s Feb. 10 expulsion as “wrong, unfairly determined, arbitrary, and excessive by any rational measure,” and questioned the process of the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct, the body which recommended Montague’s expulsion.

In the days since the statement’s release, many have raised concerns that its language is problematic and could even encourage a culture of victim-blaming. Still, others have said Montague’s suit is symptomatic of a nationwide issue with campus adjudication of sexual misconduct complaints. Meanwhile, Montague himself, as well as his former coach and teammates — preparing for their first NCAA Tournament game on Thursday — have remained silent on the statement and the allegations that prompted it.

Perhaps the most contentious part of the statement is its emphasis on the female student’s prior relationship with Montague at the time of the alleged misconduct. The disputed incident, which the female student told the UWC was non-consensual but Montague and his lawyer maintain was consensual, was the fourth sexual encounter between the pair.

According to the statement, the female student returned to Montague’s bedroom hours after he had allegedly assaulted her. Stern’s statement said this action “defies logic and common sense.”

But victims’ advocates and many students have criticized this characterization as uninformed and even destructive.

“I cannot explain this woman’s behavior, and, perhaps, neither can she,” said a female Yale student who has been through the UWC informal and formal complaint processes but chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the topic. “I did some things during and immediately following my own assault that didn’t make sense. The way that a person reacts to being assaulted doesn’t have to follow a formula, it doesn’t have to be logical.”

Anytime sexual violence occurs within an ongoing relationship, it can be challenging for a victim to determine what to do next, said Laura Dunn, executive director of SurvJustice, an advocacy group for sexual assault victims.

She added that the public statement suggesting that a victim of sexual violence would not return to stay with an accused assailant stems from a “lack of understanding” of the dynamics of dating violence.

The student group United Against Sexual Assault at Yale, which has been vocal throughout recent controversies on campus, released a statement on Monday in response to Stern’s message that also criticized the “false notion” that a woman would not reconnect with her assailant.

Critics have also taken issue with Stern’s critique of UWC processes, which he said imposed on Montague “so drastic a punishment on the basis of such flimsy evidence.”

University spokesman Tom Conroy said the decision to expel a student is made only after “the most careful consideration,” based on facts and disciplinary history when appropriate. That disciplinary history can include any formal Yale discipline, Conroy said, including discipline by the Yale College Executive Committee, which hears complaints of alleged infractions of Yale’s Undergraduate Regulations.

USAY’s statement made a similar argument, noting it was “highly unlikely” that Yale would be anything other than reluctant to expel the captain of a men’s basketball team in the middle of its most successful season in 50 years.

Conroy added that only about one of 10 formal UWC hearings result in expulsion. Since the UWC was founded in the fall of 2011, six students have been expelled, according to the most recent reports available on the UWC’s website.

Stern’s allegation that a report by the Association of American Universities was “highly critical of the incidence of sexual assault on the Yale campus” has also been disputed. The AAU report, which was released in the fall of 2015, showed that more than half of Yale students who responded to the survey had experienced some form of sexual harassment since arriving on campus, and 16.1 percent had experienced attempted or completed sexual assault. Those two figures were higher than the average university’s in the report.

But while the data in the report revealed urgent issues at Yale, Vice President of Public Affairs for the AAU Barry Toiv noted that the report did not criticize universities individually or as a group.

Still, others agreed with Stern’s critique of Montague’s expulsion, and questioned whether a system like the UWC should be allowed to hear and trial students on claims of sexual assault.

Samantha Harris, director of policy research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said that because in cases of sexual assault there are often only two witnesses, determination of credibility is crucial — particularly in cases where there are conflicting statements, she said.

“Cross examination is one of the most important tools in the legal system to assess it, but Yale, like a lot of schools, does not allow for it,” Harris said. “What we are seeing in a lot of schools is that the process wasn’t fair and reliable. That doesn’t mean the student didn’t commit the violation, it just means the procedure used was not a fair procedure.”

Harris, who said she is familiar with Yale’s sexual misconduct procedures, said the University restricts cross-examination by only allowing the victim and accused to submit a list of questions to the UWC hearing panel, whose members then decide which questions, if any, to ask the other party. She added that although both the victim and the student are allowed an advisor throughout the hearing, that advisor does not have “concrete participation” because they also cannot direct questions to the other party.

Since 2011, there have been more than 85 lawsuits by students accused of sexual misconduct against their universities, alleging they were denied due process rights, Harris said.

Despite the controversy surrounding their former captain, the men’s basketball team and head coach James Jones have kept quiet on the topic as they prepare to play against Baylor on Thursday.

On Wednesday at an NCAA press conference, players declined to comment when asked about Montague or how the recent events have affected their season.

“I really can’t comment on the Jack situation specifically, but like I’ve said before, basketball is a sanctuary,” forward Justin Sears ’16 said. “We go to one of the hardest academic schools in the country, and when we step on the court all the outside distractions are gone.”

Maya Sweedler contributed reporting.

  • Concerned Individual

    I’m glad that Justin Sears has the luxury of a “sanctuary,” of “distractions” disappearing in the zone of his performance. Because right now, it’s highly unlikely that the complainant of this case feels the same thing about her ability to perform academically or socially on campus. Montague’s being removed from campus probably helped her, but this lawsuit against Yale is likely a distraction she cannot rid herself of. Also, Samantha Harris and the rest of FIRE should watch out! A basketball team member is now openly claiming the team to be a “sanctuary” – a safe space! Oh no! We aren’t supposed to have those in our college educations, right?

    • theonlyone

      I think Sears is the last person to be attacked. An African-American male who could have gone to other schools and played basketball at schools where sex with a basketball player on four different dates would never turn into an expulsion from school. Sears made the choice to go to our nerdy school known as Yale and now he realizes that if he has sexual relations with a woman and there is any controversy he can easily be demonized. He has a right to be worried. I am not making any judgment on the Montague case but as a Black alum I am worried for the Black male students at Yale. They could easily be destroyed over a misunderstanding with a woman over whether a sexual relationship was consensual or not. Put yourself in his shoes.

      • ArchieBunker

        I’m worried about the white students at Yale. They cannot play the race card and aren’t treated as “special.”

        • theonlyone

          Whites get special treatment in the real world. Look at what Donald Trump gets away with…

  • highstreet2010

    > many have raised concerns that the its language is problematic

    Copy edit pls YDN thx then delete 🙂

  • ShadrachSmith

    Yale’s Feminist Star Chamber is subject to judicial review. Yes, No, Discuss.

  • guyAtHockeyBiasDotCom

    Read http://sports.yahoo.com/news/complete-system-failure–everyone-loses-in-yale-s-mishandling-of-alleged-sexual-assault-case-202822200-ncaab.html It points out the insanity of having a university handle something as serious as a rape accusation. What a self-inflicted disaster by Yale.

  • wal

    I have no idea whether Montague mistreated his accuser during the fourth sexual encounter. But is there a good reason all the news stories about this matter — including this piece and YDN’s timeline story — avoid providing or even summarizing the details about the four encounters that are laid out in Montague’s lawyer’s public statement and might help explain why his friends are supporting him? Those details:

    “The University hired an independent investigator to investigate this matter and, as
    reported by her, the facts not in dispute and as stated in the female student’s account are these:

    The two students developed a relationship that led to them sleeping together in Jack’s room on four occasions in the fall of 2014.

    On the first occasion, the woman joined Jack in bed and stayed the night.
    On the second occasion, she entered his bed voluntarily, removed all of her clothes and, during the night, woke him to perform oral sex.
    On the third occasion, she joined him in bed, voluntarily took off all her clothing, and
    they had sexual intercourse by consent.
    On the fourth occasion, she joined him in bed, voluntarily removed all of her clothes, and they had sexual intercourse. Then they got up, left the room and went separate ways. Later that same night, she reached out to him to meet up, then returned to his room voluntarily, and spent the rest of the night in his bed with him.

    The sole dispute is as to the sexual intercourse in the fourth episode. She stated that she did not consent to it. He said that she did.

    A year later she reported the incident to a Title IX coordinator. …”

  • CentralJerseyMom

    “The way that a person reacts to being assaulted doesn’t have to follow a formula, it doesn’t have to be logical.”

    Of course. Nothing a person does has to be logical. But in a case like this, observed and/or admitted behavior is the only thing you have by which to judge the probability of contested behavior. It might be the case that my next door neighbor came over to my house and threatened me with a gun and stole money from me and later that evening I went over to his house and had a pleasant dinner with him and then we went out to the movies together. But if there were zero witnesses to the robbery and no physical evidence such as the gun or money being in my neighbor’s possession, then my chance of getting a conviction based only on my testimony, in light of my admitted subsequent behavior, is pretty much zero.

    • Al Bell

      “The way a person spins a story doesn’t have to follow a formula. Keep telling the lie and it will become the truth.”

    • theonlyone

      Thank you. You have hit the nail on the head. People who have been victimized may have delayed reactions that may seem strange. We can all acknowledge that. At the end of the day, it is about evidence and due process and you cannot ruin anyone’s life based on a “he say, she say” situation. If I were him I would sue as well because at this point they basically are saying you cannot graduate and we are going to ruin your reputation. He has to fight to survive at this point.

  • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

    “Montague statement sparks debate”

    Except for, of course, on the YDN discussion boards, where such sparks are regularly extinguished, largely through lack of oxygen.

  • Ulmanor

    There is no such thing as implied consent.

    • Terry

      of course there is, there is a definition and everything.

    • andy 123

      Do you have a signed notarized form for each time you had intercourse? Do you sign one yourself when you masturbate?

  • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

    By the time this gets posted, it will likely already be out there, but one wonders nevertheless: How is it that the BRITS always get the “exclusives?”


    • notyetagm

      Wow, if that article is true, his lawyers are going to take Yale to the cleaners.

    • Goldie ’08

      I think they have less strict libel laws, which is why most of their papers are considered “rags”

      • Peter

        Actually, their libel laws are much stricter. Frankly, much in the YDN could be libel.

        • Goldie ’08

          Yeah – I knew it was something like that. Just, you know, the exact opposite of what I thought.

      • Al Bell

        That doesn’t sound correct to me. US news sites don’t care what yellow journalism they produce.

    • ShadrachSmith

      This is memory hole data for the left…and Duke memories hurt the Feminist’s PR ethos even worse.

  • sy

    Not victim blaming, Yale blaming. The case is about a four-time hookup who waited over a year to call rape. Yale decided: “If you just say rape 13 months after your repeat hookups with absolutely no corroborating evidence or witness, that’s plenty good enough for us. He’s expelled.” What were the miserable circumstances of the other five secret expulsions? How could you make up a weaker case or evidence for rape and expulsion? Tell me what facts possibly could make this case weaker. Yale should be trying to settle this case this month before more applicants, recruits, alumni and donors hear any more about it. Yale’s administrators and their secret procedures and tribunals cannot be trusted ever again. Although I think Yale can win the lawsuit on legal technicalities without a jury trial, it will pay now or pay more for the next 10 years for its defective political project. If it wins or loses, it loses. The highest cost to Yale will not be the legal fees.

    • Tripper

      If I were a college athlete, I would steer completely clear of Yale. And hopefully Yale’s success will shine a spotlight at the anti-male war by Obama and by Yale University.

      • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

        It’s not a “Yale” problem; your statement would better read “If I were a college [student], I would steer completely clear of [sexual liaisons].”

    • notyetagm

      No wonder there is no criminal case against this guy.

    • eli1143770312

      You are assuming that the only relevant facts are the ones set forth in the statement by Jack Montague’s lawyer. His statement didn’t even purport to claim that; he said he was setting forth the facts not in dispute. There could have been corroborating evidence or witnesses. This could have been one of a series of similar complaints against him. Anyone not privy to the information provided to the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct lacks information to draw definitive conclusions and that includes people distributing fliers labeling Montague a rapist and commenters here.

      While we don’t know all of the facts with which to draw conclusions, the design of the process that led to Montague’s expulsion is troubling. Expulsion isn’t a criminal conviction but it is plenty severe. The standard of proof, preponderance of the evidence, means that in weighing the evidence, you can act on a 51/49 belief. Think about that. An accused person has almost none of the rights of a criminal defendant to counsel and cross examination. The identity of the fact finders are secret with the process shrouded from view. And while Yale and all universities go to great lengths to ensure confidentiality and privacy in these proceedings (as legally required), there is nothing confidential and private about being expelled from school in the middle of a semester.
      No single university is able to make significant changes in these processes; they answer to federal mandates. Design of a fairer system is going to require action by Congress and federal regulators.

      • Al Bell

        Hey eli, your post is all speculation. Maybe there wasn’t any of the things you think happened. Either way, this athlete was never charged by the police for any crime but his life was ruined by a girl he used to sleep with.

        • eli1143770312

          Right, the first paragraph was intentionally speculative. It was responding to this assertion from sy: Tell me what facts possibly could make this case weaker.

          • Al Bell

            Your conclusions are totally speculative. You’re defending the indefensible.
            You’re the one challenging Montague, you come up with some proof.

  • louthebowler

    The process needs to be fair. Believing the female no matter how she acts or what she does is not the answer.

  • Tripper

    Jack Montague was expelled from school as an example, as a scalp. The Obama Department of Education is run by the most anti-(straight) male feminists in this country. They threatened schools with the lost of federal funding if they didn’t change the way they adjudicate “sexual assault”. In effect, they forced schools to rip away due process from boys charged. In multiple cases, schools have expelled boys after sexual encounters where not only was rape not proven, but the vast majority of evidence showed the boy’s innocence. As the facts come to light about Montague, we are seeing something similar. There is no evidence he raped anyone, but Yale wanted a high-profile scalp to throw the feds off their case. Yale’s administration showed disgusting callousness and cowardice, but the real villain is the Department of Education as run by the Obama administration. Our federal tax dollars are going to a witch hunt against college boys, and Jack Montague is only the latest in a string of victims.
    Rape is a CRIME. It must be handled by police and prosecutors. College administrators have no business handling these issues, because they refuse to give the accused any rights whatsoever. And if federal funding can be used to force the school to comply with federal law, then the federal right to due process must also apply.
    Not surprisingly, Montague was never charged with any crime.

  • slayer

    The way Yale has handled this situation is utterly embarrassing unforgivable. Anyone can smell a huge rat in this case, so I cannot even fathom how Yale decided to expell the student. tjis lapse of judgement will probably cost Yale a lot on the long term ( and I m not talking about the money they ll have to pay Montague). What are these administrators even thinking?!

  • Al Bell

    Blame the man. So sick of it and the Yale paper defending these defenseless claims. The fact that Montague is white makes it double good. If he’s Christian that’s the trifecta for the liberals who thrive on hating people who don’t think or believe as they do.
    How truly sad one of our nations great institutions has become another Salem. Witch hunting white premier athletes to satisfy some need.
    This whole incident is eerily similar to the Duke lacrosse team who were railroaded by a lying dancer.
    Yale is dead.

    • Bruce Coleman

      I am beginning to better understand how former longtime english professor and Dean of Yale College, Richard Brodhead, now President of Duke, could have so completely botched the handling of our lacrosse team’s alleged rape fiasco of almost 10 years ago…having spent a virtual lifetime at Yale before coming to Duke, President Brodhead’s rather flawed thinking process [not to mention character], likely was influenced and evolved from the Yale culture that has resulted in the seemingly botched handling of this matter as well [although obviously we will need to see how this actually plays out]…Duke paid out in excess of $100,000,000 to settle all the lawsuits which arose from its Administration having so improperly handled our lacrosse matter and it would appear that Yale may quite possibly be pulling out some yet to be determined sum of money from their much deeper pockets too…at any rate, a great many of us Duke alumni wish our Board of Trustees had sent President Brodhead packing and back to New Haven after that nightmare but no, in their infinite wisdom and much to the shock of many, they renewed his contract for an additional five years…and so in Durham he remains, continuing to make one boneheaded move after another, although thankfully on a smaller scale…thanks Yale, for sending us someone who has only proven time and again that he is not up to the task of being our President…oh, and good luck with your little problem…we certainly know the feeling…Bruce Coleman, Duke ’82

      • ldffly

        It couldn’t have been said better.

  • Al Bell

    How to keep the other side from being heard is practiced at Yale. Just delete any post you don’t agree with. Shame on you all.

  • jmdiaz10

    I cannot even begin to understand this case, but it seems that expulsion for someone about to graduate cannot be the right answer. No one knows what kind of relationship these two had, but it went on for a while and at some point they decided to break up. That really should be the end of this matter.

    It seems the accused has not been given a fair hearing by Yale, and in a civil court this is not going to go well for Yale. Columbia had a similar case recently (the famous “mattress lady”) and the accused is now suing the University. If the punishment is going to be expulsion, Yale has to allow for cross-examination and for character witnesses to submit testimony. This seems like a subterfuge by Yale to perhaps try to clean up past issues, not so much with students, but with faculty members.

    I realize faculty is sacred at Yale, but that is no reason to throw a senior about to graduate under the bus.

  • Tom

    Yale’s attempt to stonewall is despicable.

  • Citizen X

    If the kid possessed an ounce of class, he would have stayed away from the game today. Time to recognize that he is a major embarrassment.

    • Al Bell

      If you possessed an ounce of class you would realize that this kid was railroaded to satisfy some liberal need to persecute white athletes and you wouldn’t make such inane statements.

  • michael_montesano

    It is a shame that the YDN does not clarify the comment attributed to (the historically maladroit) Mr Conroy. Was he implying that the decision to expel Mr Montague took into account previous infractions that he had committed while at Yale, or not? If yes, then the lack of transparency surrounding all of this becomes a cause for greater and greater concern, I’m afraid.

  • Terry

    Like the others, Yale will be forced to settle, they can’t win and don’t want this Alice in Wonderland justice too public.

    Instead of expulsion, the University should just offer the accused $20 million to leave campus, it would save them money.

    • sy

      Yale will not have to pay $20 million, but it will lose much more than $20 million in alumni donations, if it does not come clean asap. Copy Joan O’Neill. Yale will lose some better applicants, acceptances, recruited athletes, alumni and donors, starting this spring. The Montague case reveals that Yale’s defective political project extends up at least to Holloway and Polak, and not just down to faculty, administrators and “Title IX coordinators.” Yale’s defective political project is a deep, systemic problem, not the surface problem that I assumed. Yale may change again in my (our) lifetime; I will change my beneficiary designations within 90 days, and can change them back.

      • Terry

        I disagree, Yale very likely will need to pay, these suits are becoming easy to win if the university presumed his guilt, did not allow the questioning of the accuser or treated him differently because of his gender.

        With Montague, Yale will need now to compensate him for missing the NCAA tournament.

  • NYAttorney

    It is shocking that when a student is publicly branded a rapist, based on a kangaroo-court-style “hearing”, his statement against the kangaroo court is called blaming the victim. From what we know of the Universitywide committee, it is entitled to no respect or deference. We don’t know what happened, but we know Montague was the victim of the university’s unfair and restrictive procedures. When will the YDN call for due process for accused students?

  • Charybdis

    This whole disaster strongly suggests that there are lots of big problems at Yale. Certainly the administration’s preference for harsh reactive disciple over positive leadership has worried me for some time. And, whatever the specific truth of the matter, this incident suggests that there is a real, pervasive problem with the campus culture. Has it gotten to the point where Yale men need to avoid all sexual contact with Yale women because of the risk of an administrator choosing to identify that contact as meriting disciplinary action?

  • theantiyale

    Love and infatuation are so irrational to begin with, that traditionally these matters have been relegated to what the French call a “crise de coeur”—-crisis of the heart — and judicial systems have been invoked only as a last resort.
    Now we in America education are engaged in desperate social engineering in an effort to provide fairness as required by federal law.
    But is it not wishful thinking to throw the mesh net of administrative justice over such feelings and expect the explosion to be contained?
    And of course a lover would return to an abuser. It is the nature of the human heart in conflict with itself regardless of gender. Isn’t that what now diminished humanities courses once taught us all ?
    Paul Keane
    M. Div. ’80

    • sy

      This case was four hookups, not about love and infatuation. Not a “relationship,” not a “crise de coeur.” Title IX, consensual, sober sex administration is about trying futilely to make hookups and unromantic sexual partners enjoyable for Yale women students. Instead, 13 months later, the unenjoyed 3 am hookups become rape, sexual violence, or sexual misconduct. You are right that administrative justice and sex-positive feminism will not make any of this enjoyable for most women, or for most men.

      • theantiyale

        Once is a hookup. Thrice is a bit more. Returning to your abuser is a crise de coeur by definition. It certainly isn’t rational.

  • Peter

    Those complaining of “victim blaming” presume there was a victim. This is Alice-in-Wonderland, verdict first, then trial, thinking. All we know is that there is an accuser. To ascertain if the accuser is, in fact, a victim, we should first look at the evidence. Absent any physical evidence, outside witnesses, etc., the her, and his, actions and statements are the only evidence we have to ascertain if she was, in fact, a victim, and give more credence to her version of events than to his.

  • http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lists/the-10-worst-ways-to-die-in-a-hieronymous-bosch-painting-53872 Hieronymus Machine

    For general insight into the process: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/11/07/after-uwc-complaint-two-students-wait/
    Note that in *that* instance, the “respondent” prevailed (to the “complainant’s” ire) and, indeed, that outcome seems reasonable.

    Thus it is possible that (1) the current process also was reasonable or; (2) something changed between then and now (e.g., the alleged ramp-up of fed-dollar-based Title IX pressure). [Also, please note: the charge likely was “sexual misconduct,” not “rape” (“Just the facts, ma’am”).]

    On a diff. but related topic, I note that the “independent fact-finder” in the above-linked case is a LAW ’82 social worker at Yale’s Child Study Center’s Trauma Section. How “independent” is *that* (given LAW’s and the role’s likely leanings)?

    And given the UWC panel is made up of members of the Yale community, to include grads & undergrads, faculty & fellows, one might question whether that universe could call itself “unbiased” (vs., say, the real world; remember, this is the hothouse that rejected Bass’ millions, because Western Civ — and that was when Yale was *less* imbalanced/safe-spacey/snow-flaky).

    Given the above, the “preponderance of evidence” standard makes no statistical sense. Assuming that in a pure “he said, she said” situation one STARTS at 50/50, tipping the scales the 0.1% needed toward the more empathetic character seems, if not a foregone conclusion, at least perhaps a more-common-than-reality outcome (esp. if, as some allege, gubmint thumbs were on the scales).

    On the flip side, given that the coming lawsuit was entirely predictable (duh), one must allow for *some* level of conviction (sic) — or even legal defensibility — on the part of the UWC and Dean H., esp. given the resultant expulsion and concatenate humiliation (public) and lifetime consequences (earnings and reputational), not to mention tangible and intangible costs to Yale re:a lawsuit.

    All of these questions present themselves even *before* one considers the possible asymmetry of consequences to the respondent versus to the complainant (one wonders what value the actuaries would assign to each).

    Jiffy Pop®, anyone? First round’s on me.

  • Boott Spur

    “USAY’s statement made a similar argument, noting it was “highly unlikely” that Yale would be anything other than reluctant to expel the captain of a men’s basketball team in the middle of its most successful season in 50 years.”

    Or the exact opposite — if you’re a university that has just endured a slew of nationally-covered protests about race and sexual assault, expelling the captain in the midst of a crucial season makes you look really, really tough on sexual assault, thus placating the activists for whom Salovey, Polak et al (excluding Gendler) are so eager to play Neville Chamberlain.

  • Bruce Coleman

    What’s with the apparent CENSORSHIP of Diqus comments to The Yale Daily News stories?!…I tried to post a comment to a YDN story earlier today and just like the comment I tried to post approximately six months ago, upon sending my comment for print, up pops a notation that reads reads “Hold on this is waiting to be approved by the Yale Daily News”…and in this instance just as before, the comment is never posted…so what’s up with that?…am I to believe that the censorship policy at the Yale Daily News is far stricter than at other college publications?…I ask that because in the past I have posted comments to miscellaneous stories/articles in The Daily Princetonian, The Harvard Crimson, The Pennsylvanian and plenty of comments to articles in the newspaper at my alma mater, The Duke Chronicle [well in excess of 500 comments] with out problems…so YDN, pray tell what is going on with my comments here?…Bruce Coleman, Duke ’82

  • George Wyatt

    In considering this case, a couple of very basic facts need to be considered. First, there is no rape epidemic. The overall incidence of rape has fallen (not risen) dramatically in recent years. Second, college campuses are not exactly hotbeds of sexual assault. The overall incidence of rape on college campuses is somewhat lower than society as a whole.

    For anyone who cares about “facts”, consider all of the following from “New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized” […]. In case, you aren’t inclined to believe The Federalist (a conservative web site), the data is actually form Obama’s Department of Justice (www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsavcaf9513.pdf).

    “A new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data. And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.”

    That’s actually wrong, “several orders of magnitude” would have to be at least 100 fold. The data shows that the incidence of rape is roughly 30 fold less than “one-in-five”. Quote

    “The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.”

    Figure 2 from the same DOJ report shows that overall incidence of rape has fallen by at least 50% since 1997.

    Why then is America is wracked with accusations (some of them clearly hoaxes) of a “college rape epidemic”? Several reasons come to mind. The first is the most obvious. Colleges may not be hotbeds of rape (they aren’t), but they are certainly hotbeds of radical feminism. Conjuring up a mythical “college rape epidemic” gives power, authority, and a (bogus) legitimacy to radical feminists who might otherwise be simply ignored.

    Perhaps the best way of understanding this is the history of McCarthyism. There certainly were communists in the U.S. government in the 1930s and 1940s (including a few highly places ones). See the Venona project for details. However, by the time McCarthy launched his crusade, the era of large-scale communist influence in government was over. His anti-communist campaign might not have been factually based, but it certainly game him and his supporters considerable power and publicity before it crashed down upon itself.

    Like it or not, today’s radical feminists are using the same tactics, the same methods, and the same distortions as Joe McCarthy more the 50 years ago. Hopefully, there fate will be every bit as miserable.

    While the above observations are well substantiated. There is clearly more to the story. Any reading of the history of recent rape accusations shows that they are being used for ethnic politics as well as sexual politics. Stated directly, they are being used to vilify a class (the dreaded, much feared, and generally terrifying “middle-class non-minority male”) irrespective of the facts. The UVA and Duke rape hoaxes were obviously (and in the UVA case admittedly) motivated a political agenda. By contrast, the terrible Vanderbilt case (where the defendants were found guilty on all charges and in some cases don’t deny them) has attracted almost no national interest. The even worse UVA case where the victim (Hannah Graham) was raped and murdered has attracted almost zero publicity.

    If radical feminists really cared about rape and rape victims (for reasons other than how they can be exploited to advance a political agenda), they would focus on non-college, lower-income women who actually more likely to be attacked. Of course, the attackers in those cases would also be less likely to serve the PC agenda, making such a course of action unthinkable.

    Overall, this is a poorly timed and very ill-considered case, particularly given that the core factual premises are simply wrong. There is no rape epidemic. There is no college rape epidemic. There is no credible evidence that Jack Montague did anything wrong. There is however, an epidemic of rape hoaxes of late. This observation is not based on any statistics and may not be correct. However, after the University of Virginia rape hoax, the Duke rape hoax, the fraudulent charges against Julian Assange (who is clearly a sleaze, but not a rapist), and the very questionable accusations of Emma Sulkowicz. This case probably won’t enjoy the credibility it once might of. Of course, if any told the truth, that the crime of rape is in decline and not centered on college campuses they would be crucified by the vengeful gods of Political Correctness.

  • LJreader

    To some of the commenters here: If I am not mistaken, the university committee’s finding in this case was not “rape” but “non-consensual sex,” which could indicate any of a number of situations. Yale has a pretty broad definition of non-consensual sex which is taught to all incoming students, and they are warned of the consequences during orientation week (including, potentially, expulsion in some cases). One can debate the reasonableness of Yale’s policy (and many have), but at least the students are forewarned about what constitutes a violation.

    From Yale’s sexual misconduct policy – “Sexual activity requires consent, which is
    defined as positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary. Consent to some sexual acts does not constitute consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act constitute present or future consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.”

    • George Wyatt


      Consent can be non-verbal? Really? How about getting back into bed with the person who supposedly assaulted you? What sort of non-verbal message is that? How about waiting for more than a year before reporting a supposed assault? How about rumors that the girl was pressured into making the accusation? For better or worse, the behavior of the supposed accuser clearly establishes a preponderance of evidence that Jack Montague is innocent. Yale should apologize, readmit Jack Montague, and settle out of court. Firing all those involved in the malfeasance of justice is clearly indicated. For a good example of how this should be handled, Mike Nifong was removed, disbarred, and jailed. Different circumstances to be sure, but directionally correct. .

      • LJreader

        Why ask me? I didn’t write the policy!

    • marcedward

      How does an outsider know if consent was given when one party says it wasn’t and the other party says it was?
      Nobody is arguing for non-consensual sex, they do seem to be arguing for due process.

      • LJreader

        Some of the commenters seemed to be conflating rape with Yale’s more broad definition of non-consensual sex. My comment was intended only to point out that the Yale hearing addressed policy violations, not criminal charges. To put this in a different context for a moment, West Point prohibits public displays of affection (hand holding, kissing, and such) between consenting couples in uniform. This policy is made known to all incoming students. If the policy is violated, the students may rightly face disciplinary action. No crime needs to have been committed or suspected. As to the separate question of due process or lack thereof, argue on!

  • Mulberry Field

    Am I the only one who thinks that Yale is currently acting like the Vatican? Are people actually satisfied that a potential rapist has been shuffled off to another city and is strictly no longer the problem of the Yale campus? This guy has lost his Yale degree, his stud status, and his basketball career, but does that serve society? Is that enough? I don’t understand how it could be acceptable that a university discourages their students from going to the police as if they were a Fundamentalist Mormon cult.

    If this guy had been given the fair trial that all Americans deserve (especially the ones that are presumed guilty) he would have been given the benefit of the doubt that is deserved of all citizens within a democracy. The lack of a criminal investigation taints this entire story and endangers everyone’s rights. Had Montague not been a star basketball player in a historic championship he would have fulfilled the operative of this secretive solution and kept his anonymity.

  • Dittersdorf451

    Why the Title IX coordinator filed the complaint is not clear at this point. This is only supposed to happen in unusual circumstances (IIUC a threat to safety). Yale’s lack of transparency about this and other matters lessens their credibility IMO.

  • George Wyatt

    Consider a few cases

    Duke Lacrosse – Totally PC, massive left-wing hype, completely
    UVA Jackie – Totally PC, massive left-wing hype, completely fake
    UVA Hannah Graham – Rape (likely) and murder (Graham is
    dead) but “feminists” don’t care because the crimes can’t be used to
    advance a political agenda
    Vanderbilt – Real rape (with videos) and a hate crime, but
    “feminists” don’t care because the crimes can’t be used to advance a
    political agenda
    University of Tennessee – Real rape (and murder) but “feminists”
    don’t care because the crimes can’t be used to advance a political agenda
    Columbia Sulkowicz – Totally PC, massive left-wing hype, almost certainly fake
    Yale – Totally PC, massive left-wing hype, almost certainly fake

    The pattern should be clear here. Feminists and their PC allies don’t really care about rape. Rape is only offensive if the alleged perpetrator can be used to advance the PC

  • Tucker Pendleton

    In these situations, public comment often does more harm than good with such little factual information available. However, people who question their assumptions, like “she wasn’t assaulted because she had had sex with him before” can assist in the outcome. True, that could be unusual for such to happen, but if the young women was raped, under a damning fact pattern, God be with her — imagine her plight, how alone she feels. Questioning your assumptions would help such a victim; to wit, the facts could encourage assault because those favoring a perpetrator make impunity more likely. On the other hand, debunking the Coordinators and UWC determinations could potentially help a wrongfully persecuted and branded young man — one with a very bright but now slandered future, despite facts favoring him, the gravity of the damage severe, if innocent. Speculating is imprudent at this point: Some people are wrong (we don’t know which); in commenting, some harm the unknown victim and help the unknown perpetrator. Instead, I suggest commenting on the processes, rules and tribunals by which the determinations were made. That could lead to some justice by exposing bias.

  • twogen

    The correspondence between “one of 10 formal UWC hearings result in expulsion” and the etymology of “decimation” is no doubt coincidental. However, through history, armies have punished limited numbers of soldiers chosen at random to emphasize the seriousness of infractions, without too drastically reducing the number of soldiers available for duty. Expelling a prominent athlete underscores a message. There’s a question of whether fairness to the accused may have been a minor consideration in the bureaucratic thinking behind the expulsion.