Emerson properly investigated a student's rape allegations, judge rules

A federal judge today dismissed a Title IX lawsuit against Emerson College, saying the college properly investigated a student's rape and harassment allegations that Boston and Cambridge police found not credible.

US District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor says the evidence showed Emerson not only investigated the allegations, but went to considerable lengths to help the student in the aftermath of the alleged incidents in 2012 and 2013.

Title IX does not guarantee that an investigation will yield the outcome that a complainant desires. Nor does it require that all complainants be deemed credible, simply because they are complainants. A school satisfies its obligations if it engages in a reasonable process for investigating and addressing claims of sexual harassment. ... Whether or not every decision Emerson made in the course of its investigation was correct is not the appropriate focus of a Title IX claim. Again, there is no genuine basis for dispute as to whether Emerson’s response and investigation were clearly unreasonable under the circumstances.

The woman alleged two rapes at the hands of another female Emerson student and a male student at MIT, one allegedly at an MIT party in Cambridge, one in an alley off Boylston and Tremont streets in Boston. Saylor noted that Cambridge Police found no evidence to support her allegations and that the other two people had alibis for the second alleged incident - the woman provided proof she was on a bus to New York City at the time and the man showed proof he was a patient in the MIT infirmary then.

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    Comments

    I mean....if the accused

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    I mean....if the accused provided proof they were not responsible....shouldn't the accuser be facing serious charges?

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    Complex

    Perhaps the woman was raped as she claims but was mistaken in who she accused. There might be more to the story then is reported here.

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    Yeah but

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    The man that was wrongly accused, how does he get his reputation back?

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    She was raped on two separate

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    She was raped on two separate occasions by the same two people but then she incorrectly identified two different people twice? It sort of stretches the limits of credulity. She should face serious jail time.

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    Yes, let's tar and feather her and send her to ...

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    ... jail for a long, long time. That'll be a good lesson to anyone who has been raped and reports it.
    Seriously, I think there is more to this story than has been made available to the public. I am withholding judgement.

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    Lee,

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    judgement has been made. You may withhold yours as you see fit.

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    For multiple reasons

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    I don't claim any legal grounds here, but emotionally she should be facing 3 sets of 'charges';

    1. Criminal charges for filing false police reports.
    2. School discipline (when she was a student) for the same reason
    3. Civil liability for filing that non-sense lawsuit

    . I mean....if the accused provided proof they were not responsible....shouldn't the accuser be facing serious charges

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    Perhaps

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    she is not facing criminal charges because she appears to be mentally ill, and because of that, none of her victims chose pursue criminal charges against her? Especially if her delusions are being propped by parents who are helping with the lawsuit, they may be too afraid to tangle with it.

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    Incredible Fact Pattern

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    Wow. I just finished reading the ruling. Wow.

    I'm surprised the plaintiff was allowed to continue at Emerson. Given the lower standard of proof that an educational institution uses, I can't see how her behavior doesn't violate a code of conduct.

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    A possible theory

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    They didn't want to be hit with another lawsuit for retaliating.

    I haven't gotten all the way through the decision, but man, she does not come across well in it so far. Perhaps mental health issues.

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    A fine line

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    I really feel for the administration. I'm guessing that you are right about fearing the retaliation suit from the plaintiff.

    But what about the threat of a lawsuit from Student A? The gist of it would be that you, Emerson, failed to reasonably protect me from harassment from Jane Doe, leading to emotional distress, reputational damages, etc. My first piece of evidence is Doe's repeated violation of the Code of Conduct, for which she was not punished. The non-enforcement of its own policy shows unreasonability.

    Almost damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    (And I assume there must be some mental issue at play here. It's the only way I can square this.)

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