Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Accused college sex offenders deserve due process.

In a recent Colorado appellate decision, the court recognized that colleges ("private educational institutions") owe to their students "a duty of care in the course of [their] investigations and adjudications of allegations of non-consensual sexual contact...."  

This is significant because it means colleges that expel students accused of sex offenses on the weakest of allegations and evidence can be sued for damages.  As the court put it, "[a] mere allegation of sexual misconduct can be devastating to the accused. A determination that a person engaged in non-consensual sexual contact can potentially destroy the accused’s educational, employment, and other future prospects."

The court explained that "[a] student who is dismissed after the culmination of a partial or unfair investigation will likely suffer a diminished earning capacity and stigma from the expulsion, and may be prevented from engaging in their chosen profession."

The case - Doe v. University of Denver, 2022COA57, announced 5/26/22 - is a welcome affirmation of due process of law.  

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