Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Bisexual Rapist German at Columbia

Generally when there are a lot of allegations of sexual assault against a single person, the chance that person is a criminal tends to go up. For example, most everyone suspects Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi might not be angels, for good reason.

However, each allegation stands on its own merits and must make sense independently in order to establish a pattern of behavior. One attempt in this exercise of justice is the case against a one Paul at Columbia university. Recently, Paul filed suit against the university - the complaint available here and here.

Writers at Jezebel are eager to point out there have been FOUR complaints against Nungesser:


With the suit filed by Paul and Jezebel's own reporting, we can establish the list of accusers:

  1. Emma, the visual arts major receiving credit directly related to her allegations against Paul
  2. Jane Doe #1, a woman that claimed Paul tried to kiss her at a party
  3. Jane Doe #2, Paul's first girlfriend at Columbia that apparently "felt obligated" to sleep with him
  4. John Doe, a queer black man that claimed Paul pushed him on a bed and sexually assaulted him

It could all be true - Paul could be that creepy exchange student with undefined sexual preferences that does not understand boundaries that thinks what happens in the United States stays in the United States.

But the underlying unfairness to Paul is when people hear the word "four complaints", a reader may typically understand that these complaints fit some sort of meaningful pattern of behavior. Instead, they are a confusing mashup of severity and subject, creating an unbelievable profile of the alleged assailant and showing how simple it is for something to be categorized as a "complaint".

Paul's defense is based on his accusers being vindictive and/or mentally ill liars. Additional complaints do not have to erode his defense - in fact, the carnival of complaints that publications like Jezebel like to run with make it look like a concerted effort to make something - anything - stick against Paul. Defenders of Paul can simply dismiss the circus as a conspiracy to save Emma's reputation.

As the UVA case has shown, it simply isn't true that "listen and believe" always has tactical value and more often than not it has collateral damage

Campus rape is not an issue to be "won" by the sheer number of Title IX complaints filed - in fact, "feminist" activism may be undone by the appearance of frivolous complaint inflation. When everything is problematic, nothing is.

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