Just as the shootings in Ferguson and (especially) Charlotte were the wrong vehicles to make a point about police brutality, this case appears to be the wrong vehicle to make a point about Title IX and due process. I haven't followed this case closely, but it sure seems like a textbook example of a case where the school needs to take action even if the criminal justice system isn't.
I think this is very well said.
Here's what I don't quite get--it seems like they should be able to piece together a prosecution with this insane number of witnesses. Also, is it correct that they were suspended from football but not from school? If so, that's not exactly life ruining, particularly given that these guys don't have much eligibiity left.
Having read through most of the police report, it doesn't shock me that the prosecutor declined to pursue charges. I think people in general really underestimate how hard it is to prove such charges beyond a reasonable doubt, especially in a case where by all accounts the sexual contact started out consensual and one party claims consent with withdrawn and the other party (parties) says otherwise. The victim here was impaired and, in her interview with the police, had substantial gaps in her memory of the hours long encounter.
Beyond all that, I wonder if the victim did not want to pursue the case. The statement from the prosecutor's office was, "There is insufficient admissible evidence
for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either force was used, or that the victim was physically helpless as defined by law in a sexual encounter". The bolded is what caught my eye. The police can have all the victim statements they want, but a lot of that is hearsay and inadmissible if the victim doesn't want to testify.
Additionally, another layer of weirdness in this case is that the victim and the players reached a settlement back in early November. The victim had gotten a restraining order against several of the players. Due to the fact that the victim was employed at the football stadium, the restraining order prevented several of the players from being at or playing in the home games. On Nov 2nd, the parties reached an agreement where the victim agreed to drop the restraining order and the players agreed to have no contact with the victim and agreed to not file a civil lawsuit against the victim.
On the day the settlement was reached, the victim read a statement in court, "This has never been about punishing anyone. I just wanted to feel safe. Because of the resolution we came to, now I can.”
I could very well be over parsing and over interpreting statements, but given the prosecutor's statement and the victim's statement at the settlement and her agreement to drop the restraining order, it sure seems to me that the victim simply wanted to move on with her life and did not want to testify at a criminal trial. Who can blame her, as that process is brutal for sexual assault victims. But for a case that hinges entirely on consent, the prosecutor would have no choice but to decline charges in a situation where the victim does not want to testify.