Thursday, June 15, 2017

Intersection of the law and Title IX?

It's not been fun being a fan of Michigan State lately with the arrest of gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, as well as the arrests and indictments of at least three football players for some degree of sexual assault as well.  Obviously there have been some abominable problems there that need to be fixed.

That said, one interesting thing about this is that apparently, one coach was arrested for "interfering with investigations" when his apparent crime was....talking to the indicted players about the circumstances of that night.  Also noted was the coach's failure to follow university policy led to his arrest.

In other words, it suggests that one thing in play may be that Title IX regulations requiring aggressive prosecution of sexual assault cases--to the point of abrogating Constitutional protections by using "preponderance of evidence" as a standard for guilt--may be affecting how local police prosecute obstruction of justice and interfering with investigations.

And writing as someone who has personally counseled victims of assault to talk to the police, I'm troubled.  The ugly fact of the matter is that victims don't always know that what they've experienced is a criminal matter, and it takes a little bit of learning to get to the point where you are ready to tell them "you really ought to take this to the police--I'll go with you if you like."

So while it's entirely possible that this article understates what the gentleman is accused of doing, those who have the chance to help victims get to law enforcement ought to take note.  It could be just at MSU, just at colleges, or it could be nationwide, but something very interesting is going on.

1 comment:

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