This interview originally aired on The Rich Zeoli Show on Talk Radio 1210am WPHT on May 7, 2020.
Rich Zeoli: No doubt in my mind that due process rights matter, they always matter no matter what the charge is. But sadly the previous administration weaponized Title IX to go after young men in college campuses. Welcome back to the show. Glad you’re here, the “Zeoli Show” on Twitter @Richzeoli and facebook.com/zeolishow. So great to have you with us today. I’ve been talking about this for years, for years, because it’s really important to talk about the idea that due process rights don’t matter on college campuses, that the constitution is somehow suspended on college campuses. Of course, that’s utter nonsense, it can’t be that way. There’s been a guy who’s been fighting this fight for a number of years. I want to welcome back to the program, Andrew Miltenberg. He’s an attorney who specializes in Title IX and campus assault due process. He’s been fighting a number of Title IX cases around the country and he joins me, again, live on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. Andrew, good morning. Welcome back.
Andrew Miltenberg: Good morning, Rich. Thank you for having me again.
Rich: Before we get to the efforts that the secretary of education undertook yesterday, could you give an overview for people of what the problem has been?
Andrew: Absolutely. Back in 2011 of the Obama administration, and specifically in the irony won’t be lost on you, Joe Biden worked very hard, made it one of their primary goals to pass some laws that made Title IX sexual assault on campus a matter which universities really had to be very aggressive about and, at the same time, a respondent having very little rights. So, what turned out to be something that started very calmly turned into an absolute bloodfest against young men over the last seven or eight years. Every time someone pointed a finger and said, “That person is creepy. That person sexually assaulted me. That person sexually harassed me,” a young man with virtually no rights went to a hearing and was expelled or suspended.
Rich: Expelled or suspended just based on the accusation, not based on an actual court process in any way.
Andrew: That’s correct. Based on the accusation with no real access to evidence, no access to an advisor or an attorney, and no access to understanding the protocol for a hearing. Eventually, there would be a hearing in most cases, and you’d walk in blind and that hearing would have the impact of having someone suspended or expelled. And that changed the career paths and the educational paths of everyone who was involved in that process because you now had to report on your transcript that you were subject to a sexual assault disciplinary matter.
Rich: You know, Andrew Miltenberg, one of the things about this too is that it’s the kind of situation where weeks after the incident, a young woman could revoke consent, for example, and it would just be the same situation, right? The guy would be dealt with the same way?
Andrew: Absolutely. In fact, we have cases where it occurred years later where a couple broke up, they had been dating for a long time. A young lady would see her ex-boyfriend with someone else, and lo and behold, within several days it would be a complaint of sexual assault that could have gone back several years. We’ve had a number of cases where, in the days before graduation, allegations were made and young men were pulled from graduation lineups and could not walk at graduation and couldn’t receive their diploma until a phony investigation and sort of show hearing was held.
Rich: And so, I guess the question becomes, I’ll play devil’s advocate, but so what? These people have been accused of horrible things and so they’re thrown out of college. Big deal. I mean, it’s not like they’re being thrown in prison.
Andrew: Well, and that’s the first thought that everybody had back in 2011, 2012. And you’re not taking someone’s liberty away, it was said. And so, what’s the problem? And if you recall, it was Joe Biden, our current presidential candidate who started the “It’s On Us” campaign, which put the responsibility on universities to do something about what they saw was a problem of sexual assault. And sexual assault, Rich, could be something as simple as having a couple of beers and having some…an intimate moment or an intimate evening with a young lady. And it was thought that this was not going to be significant in someone’s future. They just would go to another school. The reality is, there are a number of professions, law enforcement, government, the medical profession, the banking profession, military chief careers, law that become either off-limits or there are severe hurdles to entering if you have this on your record. And it took a couple of years for everyone to realize that the impact of these hearings was such that it would literally irrevocably change the lives of the accused.
Rich: Andrew Miltenberg joins me. He is an attorney who specializes in these Title IX cases where young men are automatically found and presumed guilty, I should say, presumed guilty in these campus sexual assault matters. You’ve been fighting this fight for years, you’ve been advocating for change. When Betsy DeVos became the education secretary, early on, she started to talk about this issue. You played a big role in getting attention to this matter. So, what did she announce yesterday?
Andrew: Well, it took years and years of work, but yesterday, things that your listeners probably take for granted that occur when someone is accused of something were now actually put in place, and college campuses have certain rules they have to follow now. For example, there has to be a live hearing and there must be some form of cross-examination. That didn’t occur before. Now, the evidence has to be given to the accused. That didn’t necessarily happen before. The jurisdiction of schools has been refined before Betsy DeVos’ new rules came down.
An alleged event could occur overseas, it could occur over the summer when school was not in session, and the school would still exercise Title IX jurisdiction over it. In fact, the school would exercise Title IX jurisdiction over it, whether or not the accuser went to school. And so, when you say earlier that this was weaponized, it became a very powerful tool for, in most cases, young women were punitive towards men and they took advantage of it. They knew that if they made this allegation that it would change whether or not a young man could stay at that school. And schools were complicit in that. For example, even if a complainant withdrew her complaint, the school would still go forward. Thankfully, Betsy DeVos changed that as well.
Rich: Well, that’s good news. Go ahead, Andrew.
Andrew: And now you get a copy of the evidence and you get it at least 10 days before the hearing. I’ve had cases where 500 pages, 1,000 pages of supposed evidence was dropped on us the evening before the hearing. And it’s just an impossible hurdle to overcome when that happens. And now schools can no longer hide the ball.
Rich: Yeah. Good. I mean, I’m glad. This is really important, this kind of a fundamental change here. Andrew Miltenberg is an expert in these matters, he’s in New York. If anyone has problems with this, if anyone has been accused of something, please reach out to Andrew. Andrew, where can people find you?
Andrew: They can find me in New York City, on the internet, just Andrew Miltenberg, or my office is in Manhattan and we handle cases all over the country.
Rich: All right, well, listen, thank you for your efforts on this. It’s very important that we preserve due process rights, it doesn’t matter what the accusation is. Everybody deserves their presumption of innocence. We’ve got to file that, especially on college campuses. So, Andrew Miltenberg, thanks for your great work on this.
Andrew: Thank you very much for having me.
Contact Nesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP for Title IX Representation
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