The Other McCain

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‘This Unfortunate Incident’

Posted on | August 14, 2015 | 51 Comments

If Zachary Kane is a brutal rapist, whose fault is that? This is the central question at the heart of a lawsuit filed against Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC), which is either (a) a small Methodist college in Norfolk or (b) Rapeville, USA. Amid the nationwide furor over claims of a “campus rape epidemic” that allegedly claims 1-in-5 female college students as victims, the case presented in the $10 million Jane Doe lawsuit against VWC highlights the nature of the controversy.

Is there or is there not an “epidemic” of sexual assault on America’s college and university campuses? Consider this: The Jane Doe lawsuit against VWC includes a chart (Exhibit A) demonstrating that this small Methodist college had “the highest per-capita rate of sexual assault” of any campus in Virginia. VWC boys are on a notorious rampage in Norfolk — this is from federal data — and so, we might expect, these Methodist monsters would be perpetrating sexual assault at rates even higher than the 1-in-5 national statistic touted by President Obama and Vice President Biden, among others. Yet a look at Exhibit A in Jane Doe’s lawsuit shows that the reported per-capita rate of sexual assault at VWC in 2010 was less than 0.5%. Fewer than one in 200 VWC females reported being sexually assaulted, and this at the campus that led the entire state of Virginia in such reports.

It is impossible to reconcile this data with the 1-in-5 statistic. There were a total of six sexual assaults reported at VWC in 2010. According to U.S. News, VWC’s total enrollment is 1,459, of whom 61% (890) are female. In order to calculate the likelihood of any student being raped during her four-year college career, we must take the average number of annual rapes, multiply it by four, and then divide that number into the total female enrollment. So if 2010 was an average year for rape at VWC, then 6 times 4 equals 24, and 890 divided by 24 equals 37, so that the reported sexual assault rate at VWC is 1-in-37* — a frightening statistic, but far below the 1-in-5 rate claimed nationally. This number, keep in mind, is based on federal data for a school that led the state of Virginia in reported sexual assault cases in 2010, and as Elizabeth Nolan Brown of Reason magazine points out:

In 2011, zero sexual assaults were reported and in 2012, there were three. Virginia Wesleyan is a small school, with only about 1,300 students at any time, so that works out to a sexual assault rate of about 0.2 percent. Even making the fair assumption that there are more assaults than get reported, the picture is hardly one of a rape culture so widespread that school officials should treat every freshman female as one party away from being attacked.

However, the situation at VWC was bad enough that freshmen were specifically warned “students could be provided drinks spiked with drugs to facilitate rape,” according to Jane Doe’s lawsuit, and officials at the college “knew that female students faced an especially high risk of rape from lacrosse team members, as acknowledged by Dean [David] Buckingham.” This is exactly what the lawsuit says happened to Jane Doe, on her third day at Virginia Wesleyan in August 2012, immediately after the orientation where freshmen were warned about the risk of rape.

In alleging negligence by VWC, Jane Doe’s lawsuit points to the role played by a student “peer advisor” named Troy Katzer, who “invited numerous teenage freshman students to an on-campus party at his townhouse” where alcohol was served. According to the lawsuit, “Katzer had previously himself exhibited predatory behavior towards freshman teenage girls,” behavior that the lawsuit alleges “was known to agents of the school.” This upperclassman was assigned as a “peer advisor” and — surprise! — Jane Doe alleges she and her friends began feeling dizzy after having just one drink at the party. She ended up in the dorm room of Zachary Kane, a lacrosse player who “repeatedly and brutally raped, sodomized and forced Plaintiff to orally copulate him until she vomited, for approximately five hours,” according to the lawsuit.

In February 2013, there was a campus hearing at which Kane was found responsible for sexual assault and expelled from VWC, although subsequently the record was changed to allow Kane to “voluntarily withdraw.” Now, as part of the discovery process in Jane Doe’s lawsuit, “VWC is seeking to compel Doe to identify ‘any individuals with whom (she has) had sexual intercourse at any time and… any individuals with whom (she has) had a romantic relationship’ since the alleged assault,” Brown writes at Reason:

The school says this is necessary to determine Doe’s credibility in regard to the trauma she says she’s suffered and whether she was, as claimed in the school hearing, a virgin before the attack.
Why should Doe’s virginity matter to the case? It doesn’t per se. But Doe testified (of her own accord) during a school adjudication hearing that she had been a virgin before the rape. The college claims to now have “a good faith basis for believing” that this was not true. While her virginity or lack thereof has no bearing on whether she was raped, lying about her virginity unprovoked might not bode well for her broader credibility. The school states that “if they knew (Doe) had provided false testimony” during the hearing, campus officials may have come to a different conclusion in the original case. . . .
“Virginia Wesleyan College has carefully reviewed the facts of this unfortunate incident and the allegations in Jane Doe’s Complaint,” it said in a statement last fall. “While the College sympathizes with Jane Doe, Virginia Wesleyan denies any allegation of improper conduct and will vigorously defend this lawsuit.” . . .
“VWC acknowledges that Plaintiff’s sexual history is a sensitive subject,” the school states in its motion to compel the info. “However… Plaintiff has put her sexual history at issue by arguing she is unable to have sex, does not have any interest in sex, and has experienced difficulties in romantic relationships due to her inability to have sex and lack of interest in sex. Given the significance of these claims in a case where $10 million is at issue, VWC feels compelled to explore Plaintiff’s sexual history.”

For the record, Zachary Kane “claims the two participated in consensual sexual activity, including intercourse, for about 45 minutes. He apologized for any pain he might have caused Doe, but insisted that he was neither aware she had been drugged nor that she didn’t want to have sex with him.” Whether we believe Kane is irrelevant to the problem that concerns Elizabeth Nolan Brown, namely that college officials are not qualified to investigate rape cases:

Regardless of how this all turns out, the story already embodies everything that’s wrong with colleges handling violent assault cases. First, we have a student who feels her rape allegations were diminished by the school, causing her even more distress. Second, we have someone accused of assault whom, if innocent, was wrongly kicked out of school and branded a rapist without ever having the chance to mount a real defense and, if guilty, was merely kicked out of school and not subject to punishment, a criminal record, or any measures that may limit his ability to commit future assaults. And finally, we have a college now forced to spend time and money defending its lack of crime precognition while also dragging a former student’s sexual history into the public record. Why do so many people find this preferable to leaving rape cases to the criminal justice system?

This is the problem: Federal law (Title IX) has forced college administrators into this situation of setting up campus hearings to adjudicate sexual assault accusations in cases where no criminal charges are filed and no police investigation occurs, and where the due process of law is effectively null and void. Feminists who supported these policies in the name of “equality” now denounce the consequences of these policies, using exaggerated statistics to depict all male college students as a menace to all female students, while denouncing as “rape apologists” anyone and everyone who dares to question feminist propaganda.


* In the comments below, John Bradley explains how I’ve miscalculated the rate. According to his math, the likelihood of a female VWC student being sexually assaulted is no more than 1-in-65, not 1-in-37.



51 Responses to “‘This Unfortunate Incident’”

  1. Quartermaster
    August 16th, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

    Reread my last paragraph. You’ve said basically the same thing.