New York Times
12.29.16 | By JOE DRAPE and MARC TRACY
At Stanford University, in a conference room above a Starbucks and other shops, a panel of five gathered in June 2015 to decide whether a sexual assault had occurred on campus. Several months later, after a process marred by procedural errors, five different panelists convened to rule on the matter again.
The case involved a woman, a sophomore, who had met a player on Stanford’s powerhouse football team at a fraternity party one Saturday night. They went back to her room where, she said, he raped her. He said they had consensual sex.
Seeking to avoid the trauma of a police investigation, the accuser turned to the university’s in-house disciplinary board, one of many on college campuses that adjudicate sexual assault cases, and it would decide whom to believe. If the panel had found that sexual assault had taken place, the man could have been expelled.
Both times, three of the five panelists — drawn from a pool of administrators, faculty members and students — concluded that the man, who remained on the football team throughout the case and is on the roster for a bowl game Friday, committed sexual assault.