Miltenberg: “Colleges Contest Anonymity of Women Suing Over Sexual Assault Cases,” The New York Times


The identity of rape victims is often a closely guarded secret in court records. But when a former college student, identified only as S.B., filed a lawsuit against her university accusing it of failing to properly investigate her rape allegations, the university fired back demanding that her full name be disclosed for all to see. It is common for students to file sexual assault complaints under pseudonyms, which allows them to seek justice without shame, and universities have gotten into the habit of allowing it. But in two recent lawsuits — S.B.’s case against Florida A&M and a suit by nine women against Dartmouth — the schools have demanded that students stand behind their claims by publicly revealing their identities. Sexual assault experts say it may be a newly aggressive stance by universities in such cases. “What you’re seeing in this particular case is real hardball,” said Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who typically represents men accused of sexual assault. “And it’s still not the way most lawyers or schools handle it. They’re a little bit more gracious about protecting someone who was their student.”

Click to view article