According to a now-expelled male student who has filed a Title IX lawsuit against Occidental College, a sociology professor at the Los Angeles liberal arts school believes she knows exactly how to spot a rapist.
This fall, a pseudonymous female student accused the pseudonymous student, John Doe, of rape.
Doe claims the professor, Danielle Dirks, indicated that he “fit the profile of other rapists on campus in that he had a high GPA in high school, was his class valedictorian, was on [a sports] team, and was ‘from a good family,’” reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil rights organization.
Under pressure from the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to respond to allegations of campus sexual assault (and a lawsuit filed by Gloria Allred), Occidental officials kicked Doe out of school after finding him “responsible” for raping the female student despite a series of text messages that seem to indicate her sexual enthusiasm.
The incident occurred in the wee hours of Sept. 8, 2013.
According to evidence gathered by private investigators retained by Occidental, the female student, asked Doe via text “do you have a condom” and sent an eager text to friend reading “I’mgoingtohave sex now” [sic]. This second text ended with a smiley-face symbol.
She and Doe planned for her to leave her dorm room and come over to his for a sexual encounter.
All of this texting and planning occurred in a span of 24 minutes, says FIRE.
Both students were freshmen. Both were intoxicated.
In the days after the sexual encounter, the female student sought counseling from Occidental employees. Among those employees was Dirks, the professor who, Doe said, believes she knows how to spot a rapist based on his background.
Police investigated the incident, interviewing the students and various witnesses. On Nov. 5, local district attorney Alison A.W. Meyers chose not to prosecute. According to FIRE, she wrote: “Witnesses were interviewed and agreed that the victim and suspect were both drunk, however, that they were both willing participants exercising bad judgment.”
Meyers noted that it would have been reasonable for Doe to conclude that the female freshman wanted to have sex because “even though she was intoxicated, she could still exercise reasonable judgment.”
At that point, police and the district attorney were done with the case, Occidental wasn’t satisfied, though. The school hired a local lawyer, Marilou Mirkovich, as an “external adjudicator” to rule on the case.
There was a hearing. During that hearing, Doe had no ability to conduct cross examination — the bedrock of the fact-finding process in any real American courtroom.
Also, the standard of proof in the hearing was a “preponderance of evidence,” which basically means just a 50.01 percent certainty. (By comparison, the much higher standard of proof in any actual criminal case involving a charge of rape is “beyond reasonable doubt.”)
Bizarrely, Mirkovich ruled that Doe’s accuser was “engaged in conduct and made statements that would indicate she consented to sexual intercourse.” However, Occidental’s handpicked adjudicator said, the female student was “incapacitated” so she couldn’t give meaningful consent.
It’s not clear how the unnamed accuser suddenly became incapacitated if, in fact, she excitedly left her dorm room on quest for sex and texted friends about it with a smiley-face.