Schools’ “Sexual Misconduct” Policies Starting to Trigger Lawsuits

by Welmer on April 19, 2010

A former Brown University student, William McCormick III, is suing the school in federal court for interfering with his efforts to exonerate himself following a rape accusation. The student, a star wrestler and straight-A student from Wisconsin, had been attending the Ivy League school on scholarship, when fellow student Marcella Beth Dresdale (identified by the Crime and Federalism blog) made a complaint that he was “following her” in the student dorm they both lived in.

Ms. Dresdale’s friends weighed in, calling Mr. McCormick “creepy” (i.e. beta and poor), and after she spoke with her father, prominent alumnus and donor Richard C. Dresdale, he contacted the school. Shortly thereafter, school officials pressed Ms. Dresdale to identify McCormick, which she initially did not want to do because she “did not want anything bad to happen,” and add to her complaint. According to Ms. Dresdale, she felt that school officials were “yelling at her” in an effort to get her to amend the complaint to include rape. At the time, she was distressed because she was missing sailing lessons and needed to study for a test. To get it over with, she wrote a statement, with the help of her resident coordinator, claiming that Mr. McCormick had raped her.

Immediately after she had done this, Mr. McCormick was summoned into the dean’s office, told he had been implicated in “sexual misconduct,” and given a one-way plane ticket back to Wisconsin. He has said that the school threatened him with criminal charges if he did not sign off on the expulsion.

Throughout this process, police were never notified, and Mr. McCormick was never given a chance to give his side of the story.

This case brings up an interesting point, which is that these sexual misconduct policies are often supported wholeheartedly by parents of the mainly female students at these schools. In fact, without parental support for these policies, I doubt the feminists would have been able to put them in place. As universities become increasingly female, there will be more and more support from wealthy daddies such as Richard Dresdale, who operates a multi-billion dollar company, for measures that treat any males in their daughters’ vicinity with extreme suspicion.

Some people may sympathize with Mr. Dresdale, but he’s part of the problem ordinary men are facing. In order to extend his protection and control over his daughter, he flaunts his wealth and power to trample on the concept of due process. If Mr. Dresdale is so protective of his daughter, why send her away to school where she will live on her own? If he doesn’t think the police are up to the job of protecting her, shouldn’t he keep his precious daughter at home so he can look after her until she’s married off to some suitably wealthy young man? Rather, Mr. Dresdale’s choice is to throw his weight around to bully men, just like the crooked cops beating Carlos Ferrell in front of his ex-wife.

As for Marcella Dresdale, we have no idea whether she was telling the truth or not. Evidently, she didn’t want to write a statement accusing McCormick of rape, so she may not have felt that he raped her in the first place. It isn’t even clear whether the two actually had sex. Nothing’s clear, because her daddy made sure it was all handled abruptly and extrajudicially. Personally, I’m inclined to think McCormick did not rape her. If he had, he probably would have happily accepted the offer given him by the school and never uttered a peep about the matter to anyone, thankful that he got away with a crime that could put him behind bars for years. However, it seems that when he came to his senses after being railroaded by Brown, he chose to challenge the school.

This lawsuit should prove to be an interesting test for the sexual misconduct policies that have been springing up around the country. However, no matter how the lawsuit goes, men will win this one. If McCormick wins, Brown will have to shell out more money – hopefully more than it has received from Mr. Dresdale – to settle. If Brown wins, it will become known as a place where men are no longer welcome, and the school will begin to wither on the vine, although that may take decades. Ultimately, the best thing about this is that more people will open their eyes to the fact that men, whether innocent or guilty, have very few rights at all.

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