Michael Swartz / Sep. 4, 2015

New York Attacks the Rights of the Accused

A new law on campus sexual assault means trouble.

Chalk it up to California starting another trend. Come October, amorous co-eds in the state of New York will be subject to rules regarding sexual assault similar to the overly vague law signed by Democrat California Governor Jerry Brown last year. These so-called “affirmative consent” laws are colloquially known as “yes means yes” — a spin on the “no means no” slogan of feminists. Contrary to Democrat talking points, no one advocates rape. But these laws turn the legal concept of innocent until proven guilty on its head, placing the burden of proof on the accused where the stakes are often expulsion from the institution or worse.

Despite the problems with inconsistent and even biased enforcement of affirmative consent rules that most often favor female accusers, New York is plowing ahead with its new law and placing a dozen senior New York State Police investigators on the campus rape detail. Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo, who credits his three college-age daughters with making him more attuned to women’s issues, noted, “It’s not about whether the woman said no before she was attacked. It’s whether she said yes.” Unfortunately for her beau, if she recants due to morning-after, week-after, or even months-after regrets, she won’t carry the burden of proof once she lodges the complaint.

Proof, however, is nebulous when it comes to the subject of sexual assault on campus. A dubious Rutgers University study claimed that it’s not just one in five women who are victims on the modern campus. Now the odds are even worse.

“One in four undergraduate women who participated in the survey (24 percent) reported that they had experienced some type of sexual violence before coming to Rutgers-New Brunswick,” said the report, which was based on an Internet questionnaire. Never mind that the definition of “sexual violence” even includes unwanted remarks about appearance and other faults pointed out by critics. Since the study was commissioned by Barack Obama’s Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and his Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, you can bet the results were shaped by the narrative.

There’s also this little tidbit in the Rutgers study that will likely set up the next class of victims: “[S]tudents who did not identify as 100 percent heterosexual had two to three times higher odds of experiencing sexual violence both before coming to Rutgers-New Brunswick and since becoming college students, as compared to their counterparts.” Get ready for a new round of targeting anyone opposed to homosexual behavior with “sexual assault.”

Leftists claim women are “plagued” by predatory males on campus, but who gets the benefit of the doubt when a Missouri boy insists he’s a girl and wants to use female-only facilities? How odd that no one was asked for affirmative consent in that case.

Again, no one advocates for rape or rapists — aside from Islamic extremists about whom feminists are silent. But our legal system has imported protections for anyone accused of a crime. And in the name of feminism and general man-hate, these new laws are undermining the foundation of civil society.

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