Report: Cornell Student Accused of Stealing Underwear (Without Proof) Found Guilty of Sexual Harassment

Feb 3, 2017 by

Campus justice at work?

A Cornell University student was found guilty of sexual harassment by a campus investigator after a female classmate accused him of stealing her underwear.

A report by the university’s Judicial Codes Counselor had found “no evidence whatsoever” linking the accused, or anyone else, to the alleged theft. Despite that, the university investigator found the male student guilty of sexual harassment after determining that the accuser was more “credible,” in accordance with Cornell’s sexual misconduct policy.

The story is recounted in the opening paragraphs of a Cornell Daily Sun feature on the controversial policy, which examines whether the school has followed through on changes recommended in the wake of an internal review last year that found the existing policy was “fraught with inequities.”

The male student eventually appealed the decision and had the investigator’s ruling overturned due to lack of evidence. Otherwise, he could have been suspended, and his Cornell transcript would have branded him a sexual harasser for life.

The university’s police that deals with sexual misconduct has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights currently has five open investigations involving Cornell, more than any university in the country, all of which concern the school’s sexual misconduct policies.

Earlier this month, a New York district court judge argued Cornell’s interpretation and enforcement of its own sexual misconduct policy was “made out of whole cloth,” and the policy itself was overly vague, amounting to a “meaningless mouthing of words.”

The court finding was the result of a lawsuit brought by a male Cornell student accused of sexual assault who charged that a university investigator had discriminated against him because of his gender.

Source: Report: Cornell Student Accused of Stealing Underwear (Without Proof) Found Guilty of Sexual Harassment |Heat Street

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