Miltenberg: “Many Sexual Assault ‘Perpetrators’ Deserve a Government Apology,” Orlando Sentinel

9.4.19

A male UCF student spotted a female acquaintance walking through campus one day. He gave her a hug. He thought it was harmless. She did not and alerted UCF’s Title IX office. “He was brought up on sexual assault charges,” said attorney Andrew Miltenberg, who represented the student … In many cases, students didn’t know they’d been charged until they were handed their convictions. They were not allowed to face their accusers, cross-examine witnesses or present evidence. Title IX hearings can’t send you to jail, but sexual assault is a life-altering charge. Criminal courts require proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The campus requirement was “preponderance of evidence,” the lowest burden of proof. Schools were required to investigate “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” Like a completely clothed male hugging a completely clothed female in front of people during the middle of the day. The unidentified male student spent six months fighting for his future. “If you’re suspended for sexual misconduct, you’re essentially branded a rapist or sexual predator,” Miltenberg said. The student eventually was found not guilty, which made him luckier than hundreds of others.

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