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'Rape culture' leads to manhunts on campus
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By Andrea Peyser
August 11, 2014

'Rape culture' leads to manhunts on campus

Ethan Peloe swears he just did what comes naturally for any red-blooded American male university student. He says he had a threesome. And it cost him, big time.

The University of Cincinnati junior had had a few drinks in March when he met a couple of young ladies. One thing led to another, he claims, and the women guided Peloe to one of their dorm rooms on campus.

This is where a night of fun turned into an Orwellian nightmare.

Lady No. 1 soon claimed she awoke from slumber to find Peloe attempting to have sexual intercourse with her, told him no and ran from the room. Lady No. 2 claimed she woke up and found Peloe having sex with her sleeping body.

Were these women Peloe’s victims? Or did they suffer from regret or shame? An investigation by the university’s police department found that Peloe did nothing illegal. His lawyer, Mike Allen, told me cops collected evidence using rape kits and took statements from witnesses. They also reviewed surveillance video that indicated the women were not intoxicated.

Cellphone records showed that the gals, who claimed to be passed out on the night in question, sent text messages to Peloe and later joked about the case. Members of a grand jury declined to indict him for a crime. The case should have ended there.

It was just getting started.

Moms and dads, be afraid for your sons. All across America, men are getting snared in what feminist activists and leftists call a “rape culture’’ that supposedly exists on college campuses.

In April, the Obama administration released a report concluding that nearly 1 in 5 women attending institutions of higher education become victims of unwanted sex acts. Legislation has been proposed in the Senate to tackle this “epidemic.”

Never mind that one of the sources of the 1-in-5 statistic was a 2007 online survey in which some respondents, who were rewarded with $10 gift certificates, equated drunken hookups and men’s attempts at stealing kisses as examples of sexual assault, according to Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. She spoke out against the nonsensical notion that huge numbers of women are being sexually assaulted on campuses at a June panel conducted in Washington by the Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative think tank.

“I think this is a war on men that started a long time ago in gender studies classes and in women’s advocacy groups eager to believe that men are toxic,’’ Hoff Sommers told me. She believes that a more reliable statistic was contained in a 2003 report by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found that 1 in 40 college and university students are sexually assaulted. Still too many? Yes. But that does not excuse what happened to Ethan Peloe.

Peloe filed a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati and its assistant dean of students in May, claiming that his civil right to due process was violated after the school conducted an administrative hearing that he likened to a “kangaroo court.’’ Last month, he added the claim that the university made him the victim of gender discrimination.

Peloe testified at his hearing, as did his accusers. But he was not permitted to introduce any evidence that might exonerate him. He was found guilty of violating the university’s code of conduct by engaging in “physical abuse or harm” and “harassment’’ against his accusers, who were identified in public papers only by their initials, “A.D.” and “A.R.” Peloe’s name was no secret.

A panel of faculty and students nailed him based on a “preponderance of evidence’’ — meaning that it’s 50.1 percent likely that he committed these offenses — rather than the reasonable-doubt standard that rules courts of law.

Around the country, 33 men have sued institutions of higher education for railroading them through these kinds of tribunals. A student attending New York’s Columbia University claims the school unjustly branded him as having committed sexual assault against a girl after she declared, falsely, he said, that she never consented to a night of passion.

University of Cincinnati spokeswoman M.B. Reilly told me “college campuses are expected to serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, juries and courts of appeals all in one.’’

This is not fair to anyone involved.

Things went cuckoo in 2011 after the US Department of Education threatened campuses with the loss of federal funds if they failed to crack down on sexual-assault allegations. The result is that little has been done to prevent real sex crimes while schools chase phantom rapists. These guys could be people you love.

This could even happen to you.

©2007-2024 Andrea Peyser and; No Reuse without permission.
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