[Ed. – This is unfair to men. The fault here lies with everyone who was ever in a position to tell these kids that promiscuity is dangerous in every way — and didn’t. It’s not more the fault of either sex, and it’s not a greater problem for one or the other. The injuries are different, depending on which sex you are, but neither women nor men get off easy.]
A Duke University disciplinary panel didn’t find [student Lewis McLeod] gave her alcohol or used force. But the panel concluded it was “more likely than not” the woman didn’t agree to sex and was too intoxicated to consent. Regarding a degree, Duke lawyers later said: “Mr. McLeod is not entitled to that honor.”
Two weeks before he was to graduate, he became the first student Duke expelled for sexual misconduct under a new university policy.
Mr. McLeod, 24 years old, is suing Duke for his diploma, arguing the university unjustly made him an example to show a get-tough approach. “I believe that I’m wrongfully accused,” he says. “I believe that it was an unfair process and I believe I had something I earned taken away from me.”
His case is part of a broad and rapid change in how U.S. colleges and universities deal with sexual-assault allegations. Campuses have rewritten policies to lower the burden of proof for finding a student culpable of assault, increasing penalties—sometimes recommending expulsion. In the process, schools find themselves in legal minefields as they try to balance the rights of accuser and accused.
Mr. McLeod’s suit is one of more than 30 that men have brought against U.S. campuses since January 2014 alleging due-process violations in sexual-assault cases, says A Voice for Male Students, an advocacy group.