In the fall of 1991, I was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
I don’t need to tell this subreddit that it was bullshit. I had met this girl, call her Alice, by chance in the common room of my dorm one Saturday afternoon in September. We hung out the whole afternoon, and ended up at her dorm that night, making out hot and heavy.
She wanted to have sex—but I didn’t because there was something about her which I thought was a little bit off. Besides that, I had other (better) prospects, and I didn’t want to get tied down to someone I wasn’t that interested in.
She got pouty when I turned her down for sex, so I sweet-talked her with bullshit about wanting to get to know her better, how we’d hang out and do more stuff together at a later date, blah-blah-blah. She seemed mollified, so I figured, “All good.”
I left her place and went back to my dorm—and I didn’t get in touch with her after that. I just found her a little weird, and besides, I was busy with other girls I liked more.
About a week later, by the student mailboxes, I was talking up one of these girls I liked more, when who should stroll by but Alice and a friend of hers.
I said, “Hi Alice!”, but she gave me a look—clearly pissed that I hadn’t called her. Even the girl I was with noticed it—and of course liked me more because of it. Because it was clearly a look of jealousy.
I forgot about Alice and continued with my life. But two weeks later, I got a notice saying that I had been formally accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
I was stunned when I read the letter, and read Alice’s attached photocopied statement. Handwritten by her, it claimed that I had gone to her room on Sunday—not Saturday, when we’d actually hooked up—and that I had tried to forcibly kiss her. She claimed she had pushed me away, said that I was being “selfish” for trying to kiss her, and had sent me away.
After that, she claimed that I had sent her obscene email messages. She said that she couldn’t produce these messages because she had deleted them—claiming that she had not wanted to have any of that “filth” on her computer.
This was 1991, recall. We’d just gotten our email accounts, and nobody was that sophisticated about them. Nobody realized that emails can never be deleted—and Alice certainly didn’t.
I quickly mounted a defense—and it quickly turned out that not only did the campus computer center have copies of all our emails, there hadn’t been a single one between me and Alice, let alone any obscene ones.
Furthermore, I could produce witnesses—ironically all of them women—who could swear I had been with them or in their presence at the time of this alleged sexual assault.
Alice kept changing her statement, pushing the time of our alleged encounter to later and later in the day. She changed her statement, of course, every time I produced a witness claiming I had been speaking to them at that time, and so could not have been assaulting Alice.
In her first statement, she had claimed I’d assaulted her “around lunchtime” on Sunday. In her fourth and final statement, she claimed it had happened on Sunday night—when I didn’t have an alibi.
But the changes to her various statements were so blatant—and the computer department’s conclusion that I hadn’t sent her any obscene emails was so categorical—that I figured that I was set:
There was no way anyone halfway honest could believe her.
Finally, the charge itself: The “sexual assault” was of me forcibly trying (but presumably failing) to kiss her. It just seemed ridiculous. (She completely denied that we had hung out together all of Saturday afternoon and evening, and made out at her dorm room that night.)
The whole thing seemed ridiculous—and I went into the disciplinary hearing totally convinced that, if anything, Alice would get in trouble for lying.
God I was naïve.
When I walked out of the hearing 90 minutes later, I was suspended for a full academic year.
My First Mistake: Overconfidence
Everything I said that could be proven to be true turned out to be true—and everything Alice said that could be proven to be a lie turned out to be a lie.
Precisely because the truth was on my side, I was way too overconfident. When I got to the disciplinary hearing, I was practically smiling. I wasn’t taking the situation as seriously as it warranted, because it was so obvious that the girl was lying.
The blatant way her statements changed—not to mention her outright lying about the obscene emails—all made me assume that everyone in the disciplinary committee would see that she was lying, and I was telling the truth.
It made me assume that there was nothing for me to worry about.
Fucking idiot. Me. Fucking . . . idiot.
The fact that the truth was on my side made me cocky and overconfident—and blinded me to the dangers I was walking into when I got into the disciplinary hearing.
My Second Mistake: Not Understanding the Politics of the Situation
This was back in 1991, when campus Feminism was just rearing its ugly head.
Only recently had my college instituted a Sexual Assault and Harassment Counselor position. She was the one advising Alice during the proceedings. It was this woman’s job to find men guilty. The Women’s Resource Center, which had assisted Alice during this whole process, also existed in order to find people—men—guilty.
When people’s jobs depend on finding a certain group of people guilty, they will find them guilty.
The people on the disciplinary committee—three students, three professors, and three administrators—were also more inclined to think I was guilty, because they wanted to “fight sexual assault and harassment on campus.” They didn’t want to be on the wrong side of that issue. So they were predisposed to finding me guilty for no other reason than because I had been accused—evidence be damned.
They needed to find me guilty—so that they could feel good about themselves.
My Third Mistake: Not Frightening the School’s Administration Into Being Fair
A big part of the reason for these kangaroo courts in colleges and universities is of course Title IX. This law, which was supposed to fight discrimination in college’s athletics programs, has been used by Feminists as a weapon to hurt men.
Colleges acquiesced to this because they are terrified of losing their Federal grants. That is the thing they most fear.
So for colleges and universities in the US, they are inclined to find men guilty rather than innocent—because of fear over losing Federal funding because of Title IX. Remember, sperm are cheap, but eggs are dear. Easier to get rid of a male student than a female student.
But college administrators also fear bad press. In fact, they fear negative public attention more than anything else—and if they get a call from a skeptical journalist, they positively freak out.
What I should have done was get some journalist to call the administration before the hearing. That would have put them on notice that there was awareness beyond the college campus of what was going on—and pressure to be perceived as “fair”.
Note my language: Perceived as fair.
The other thing I should have done, but in all honesty could not have done at the time because I didn’t have the resources, was to have some lawyers call up the administrators and make them aware that any finding of guilt would immediately lead to my filing a suit against the college.
Like I said, in my particular case, it was too obvious that the girl was lying her ass off. The email issue alone should have been enough to have scuttled this whole farce.
But see, the college administrators had no incentive to scuttle it.
Having a serious lawyer call up and say that there’ll be legal action immediately would have given them the incentive—and protected me.
There are a lot of ways that a college or university can quietly shut down a disciplinary hearing before it happens. If I had put legal pressure on the administration before the hearing, it likely would have been scuttled—and quite easily, in fact: Alice’s blatant lies about obscene emails that did not exist would have been enough justification. Enough CYA for the college administrators to make the whole thing go away.
But I wasn’t smart enough to do this. And I didn’t have the experience.
My Fourth Mistake: Not Lining Up Allies Before My Hearing
After the hearing—after being found guilty—I reached out to college conservatives: The Young Republicans, the conservative paper, etc.
After the hearing—after being found guilty—I reached out to lawyers and whatnot.
After the hearing—after being found guilty—I reached out to journalists, telling them my tale like the Ancient Mariner.
Too late, and stupid as well: I had already been found guilty by this kangaroo court. Even though it was a horrible miscarriage of justice, the word “Guilty” was stamped on my forehead. So none of these people could help me after the hearing.
They only could have helped me before the hearing.
See, it is much harder to repair damage than to avoid it. By being found guilty, the damage was done. My mistake was in not fighting with all I had to prevent the hearing from happening to begin with.
All’s Well That Ends Well
This story has a happy ending.
When I was suspended, I had no money, no contacts, no place to go. But I quickly talked my way into a job in D.C., found a place to live (a basement apartment in a suburb outside the city), and generally got my shit together.
Best thing that ever happened to me. I realized how resourceful and determined I could be when the chip were down.
When I returned to campus after my suspension—much wiser and more cynical, natch—I ignored everything except my studies, proceeding to graduate in record time. Not only did I graduate on time with my class, I graduated with honors.
I went on and made a successful life for myself.
The lessons I learned from this episode—lessons I learned because of the mistakes I made—are actually the most valuable lessons I learned in my life. And they are lessons that I’ve applied over the years.
Never assume you will win just because you’re right.
Always understand the motivations of everyone involved.
Frighten your opponents enough that they realize that fighting you might not be worth it.
Line up your allies before you get into a fight—so that you might not need to get into the fight.
It is harder to repair damage than to avoid it—so avoid it.
Sun-Tzu in The Art of War said that, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” That about sums it up.
Hope these lessons help.
TL;DR: The truth will not help you if you are accused by some girl in a he-said-she-said type situation. To stop this type of situation from wrecking your life, you have to make it too damaging for the institution to continue.
If you want to check out more of my rants and raves, go to my YouTube channel, Coach Red Pill