California Outlaws Due Process for College Rape Allegations
Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., has signed into law the state’s controversial “yes means yes” sexual consent bill for disciplinary procedures at public colleges, which defines consent narrowly and leaves accused students without due process rights.
California’s bill, S.B.967, is the first in the nation to define consent as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement,” but also codify into law that a “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.”
Non-verbal consent, such as a nod, is acceptable under the law, but because the law’s text requires consent to be “ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time,” the likelihood that a university could determine signals were misinterpreted is high.
That’s because the law gives no due process rights to the accused. It requires universities provide accusers (labeled “victims,” which itself suggests a bias) with counseling services, but doesn’t offer any services for the accused.
The law also codifies the “preponderance of evidence” standard for campus disciplinary proceedings instead of the “without a reasonable doubt” criminal standard. This is a low threshold for establishing guilt and means that a panel of campus advisers has to be just 50.01 percent sure the accuser is telling the truth.
In effect, any young man who values his future will have nothing to do with women attending the same school, as all it takes is the simple allegation he did something wrong to get him branded as a rapist, which’ll mark him for the rest of this life.