Peer sexual assault is a significant problem on American college and university campuses. On April 4, 2011, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education sought to address this problem by issuing a new “Dear Colleague Letter” that provided enhanced guidance on how educational institutions should adjudicate such incidents. The letter has the perverse effect of complicating matters further by blurring the already fine line between victim protection and due process for the accused, and it exposes a potential liability trap for educational institutions. This Note explains why the law surrounding victim protection and due process is difficult for institutions to apply and argues that the Department of Education should produce a model judicial policy so that institutions, victims, and accused students will have more certainty in this complicated arena. In furtherance of such a policy, this Note offers specific due-process protections f or accused students that should be embraced by educational institutions and the Department of Education alike.
Matthew R. Triplett, Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Seeking the Appropriate Balance Between Due Process and Victim Protection , 62 Duke LawJournal 487-527 (2012).
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol62/iss2/6