Skip to comments.Harvard judged a student guilty of rape using an evidence standard it didnít define. A judge upheld it.
Posted on 06/23/2020 8:06:03 AM PDT by MarvinStinson
He wrote for Black-ish and The Simpsons but wont get his diploma
A federal judge allowed Harvard to judge an accused student guilty with an undefined evidence standard that may be less than 50 percent, dismissing his lawsuit against the university on Monday.
TV writer and former Wall Street analyst Damilare Sonoiki sued Harvard last fall to clear his name and finally receive his diploma after he was accused of sexual misconduct two days before commencement in 2013.
Despite meeting all requirements for graduation, investigators were sufficiently persuaded that Sonoiki was responsible for sexual misconduct. The Nigerian immigrant sued Harvard last fall to the graduating class but received an empty envelope when he walked at graduation.
U.S. District Judge Denise Casper ruled that Harvard was not obliged to use either of the two most common evidence standards in campus disciplinary proceedings, the higher clear and convincing or the lower preponderance, which is often dubbed more likely than not.
That means most of the evidence in Harvards investigation could have favored Sonoiki when it judged him guilty of sexual misconduct. The Obama administration required colleges to use preponderance in its 2011 Title IX guidance, compelling compliance from schools that used the clear standard, including Princeton.
As a student, Sonoiki served as the president of the universitys Black Mens Forum and was selected by classmates to be the male Orator for his graduating class.
Professionally, Sonoiki worked for Goldman Sachs and left the firm to write TV episodes for Black-ish and The Simpsons. In a January interview with Robby Soave at Reason, Sonoiki said he engaged in insider training so that hed have enough money to sue Harvard for his diploma and protect his career.
In a phone interview, Sonoikis lawyers Kristina Supler and Susan Stone told The College Fix they were disappointed with the decision. They declined to comment on whether to appeal until they had reviewed the merits of the ruling and spoke with Sonoiki about his options.
Harvard has not responded to phone or email queries. Criminal defense lawyer Scott Greenfield tweeted that the upshot of the ruling was that there will be no relief for an innocent black male Harvard student.
A penal institution that is enigmatic and incomprehensible to students
Sonoiki was accused by three women and investigated in all three cases simultaneously. According to Soave, two of the accusers were white and the third was not black. (The suit claims implicit racial bias because there was at most one black man besides Sonoiki involved in the adjudication process.)
Two women filed allegations on the eve of commencement in late May, and the third followed in June. Under Harvards policies at the time, Sonoiki was not allowed to cross-examine witnesses and accusers at an in-person hearing. He was also not told who were the adverse witnesses against him.
Sonoiki filed suit six years later, arguing that he was in good standing at the time of graduation as officials had not yet launched an investigation and that Harvard no longer had jurisdiction after his graduation date.
The suit opened with a passage from a Harvard Crimson editorial that called the Administrative Board, which adjudicated his case, a penal institution that is enigmatic and incomprehensible to students.
The accused student denied the allegations. He claimed that the director of Harvards Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Sarah Rankin, pressured all three complainants to accuse him, and that she used Associate Dean Jay Ellison to apply additional pressure.
Nevertheless, both Rankin and Ellison served on the so-called Ad Board and Rankin continued to personally advise the complainants during the process.
Ann and Betty both accused Sonoiki of having sex with them while they were asleep. He claimed Ann consented and was not incapacitated during their 2011 encounter after a party, and Betty agreed that several of their sexual encounters were consensual when they lived together as interns in 2012.
Cindy accused Sonoiki of sexually assaulting her during a formal event in 2013, but he maintains that she led him to the basement and consensually participated.
According to Judge Caspers ruling, Sonoiki was interviewed over Skype, was not allowed to submit questions to witnesses, and was not allowed to attend interviews of the complainants or the witnesses.
Harvard prohibited direct involvement and advocacy by an attorney adviser at the time Instead, it allowed Sonoiki a representative on the Ad Board who was not to advocate for him, but simply to ensure that his perspective was clearly presented. The representative was not even required to grant him confidentiality.
The Ad Board voted to require Sonoiki to withdraw from Harvard and recommended his dismissal to the Faculty Board in November 2013, using the evidentiary standard of sufficiently persuaded. (The standard is not defined in Ad Board regulations.)
The students appeal was denied and his dismissal finalized in December 2014.
Federal judge lets Harvard use evidence standard for rape that may be under 50 percent certainty by The College Fix on Scribd
Harvard was not required to apply a legal standard of evidence
Judge Casper dismissed all four of Sonoikis counts: breach of contract, denial of basic fairness, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and estoppel and reliance.
She ruled that Harvard fulfilled its contractual obligations to Sonoiki in the Harvard Student Handbook and other relevant Ad Board policies.
The university did not overreach its jurisdiction and was entitled to withhold his degree, the judge said, since the accusations made days before his graduation were unresolved. Harvard met its obligations through its procedure giving accused students a representative who acts as a liaison with the Ad Board.
Harvard did not owe Sonoiki the right to know witness identities or have an advocate present during the interviews, Casper ruled, citing the express terms of the contract in the Handbook.
As for the sufficiently persuaded evidence standard, Harvard was not required to apply a legal standard such as preponderance or clear-and-convincing to their disciplinary process, the judge said.
While Sonoiki claimed the evidence standard was so insufficient and unrecognizable that its ambiguity rendered the contract unenforceable, he didnt show that the Ad Board reached an arbitrary, capricious or bad faith decision using the standard, according to the judge.
Journalists including Soave at Reason and Emily Yoffe at The Atlantic have highlighted anecdotal reports that nonwhite men, and especially foreign or immigrant students such as Sonoiki, are disproportionately likely to be accused of campus sexual misconduct, often by white women.
But Casper was not persuaded that the allegedly racially monolithic composition of the Ad Board, which numbers approximately 30 members, showed bias against Sonoiki as a black man.
Sonoikis core problem was that Harvard didnt make him more generous promises in contractual documents, the judge suggested.
Rankin and Ellisons allegedly compromised roles did not preclude their participation as members of the Ad Board; Sonoikis representative was not obligated to be confidential and the length of the process was not promised; the Ad Board was not restricted from simultaneously investigating three accusations; and Sonoikis claim that adjudicating bodies were not independent amounts to speculation, Casper said:
[T]he procedures that Harvard followed in initiating, investigating and adjudicating the complaints against Sonoiki complied with the policies and procedures enumerated in the Handbook and the ancillary contract documents.
Also, does anybody have Auntie Fa's or BLM's phone number?
Too effin’ bad for him.
Not sure I really care.
Sleep with dogs and you get fleas.
What a $hit$how.
Too effin’ bad for him.
Not sure I really care.
Sleep with dogs and you get fleas.
What a $hit$how.
That’s what you get for going to Harvard.
We have abandoned our children.
Universities of higher learning have morphed into Propaganda Centers for the Democrats like the Lame Street Media who are engaged in a coup to unseat the President.
Nigerian Americans are apparently excluded from the new aristocracy of grievance groups. They’re much too successful and self-reliant to fit the Left’s agenda. They may even be prone to voting Republican.
I wonder if any of them were 1/1024 Native American.
One, two, three, four, five
Everybody in the car, so come on, let’s ride
To the liquor store around the corner
The boys say they want some gin and juice
But I really don’t wanna
Beer bust like I had last week
I must stay deep because talk is cheap
I like Angela, Pamela, Sandra and Rita
And as I continue you know they getting sweeter
So what can I do? I really beg you, my Lord
To me is flirting it’s just like sport, anything fly
It’s all good, let me dump it, please set in the trumpet
A little bit of Monica in my life
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita is all I need
A little bit of Tina is what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun
A little bit of Mary all night long
A little bit of Jessica, here I am
A little bit of you makes me your man
Kangaroo court, plain and simple.
Universities should not be judging rape. If someone thinks a rape has been committed then they should report it immediately to law enforcement. If someone has committed rape, they should have more to worry about than not getting their scrap of paper from the indoctrination daycare center. Things like iron bars, and their new husband, Bubba.
Denise Casper...Osama Obama appointee.
Someone needs to tell Black Lives Matter and their Pantifa (always in a bunch) friends about this travesty of justice against a black man by the elite-of-the-elite (self-anointed).
They got away with using LESS than “preponderance of the evidence”.
Colleges are the full implementation of fascism.
Can’t help wondering what he thinks of Justice Thomas, versus what he may have thought prior, if his politics is similar to that wretched ‘university’
I’m not sure I’d go to college these days, given the contracts you sign that essentially say “if someone accuses you of something, we can ruin your life, but keep all the money you paid us”.
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