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Campus Rape Experts Had No Idea What to Do When One Accused Another of Sexual Assault

Illustration for article titled Campus Rape Experts Had No Idea What to Do When One Accused Another of Sexual Assault

A few weeks ago, Jason Casares, an administrator at Indiana University, was accused of sexual assault. Both Casares and the woman who says he assaulted her are members of a nationwide group of campus administrators who work on student sexual misconduct cases. Somehow,though, the group seems to have had no idea what to do with a sexual assault allegation in their own ranks.

As Jezebel noted at the time, Casares is IU’s deputy Title IX director, tasked with enforcing the federal laws against gender discrimination. Jill Creighton, the woman who says he sexually assaulted her at a December conference, works in the Student Community Standards office at New York University. Both are members of the Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA), which, theoretically, should know how to handle things like this.

According to a new piece from Mother Jones, that was not the case. Creighton told the magazine she felt the process was fundamentally unfair; the ASCA’s lawyer admits that they’ve never dealt with a sexual assault claim internally. From the piece:

The ASCA’s leadership had never been faced with a claim like Creighton’s before, according to Anthony Icenogle, the group’s attorney. As student conduct officials, they knew how to investigate sexual assault without the involvement of law enforcement. But in an interview with Mother Jones, Creighton says the inquiry did not reflect their training. “The processes that we run on our campuses are designed to be fundamentally fair to everyone involved,” she says. “At no moment was I provided with fairness.” Among other things, Creighton says that Casares was allowed to hear and respond to her presentation to the board, while she wasn’t allowed to do the same for his.

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The final report, written by an independent investigator, an attorney, concluded that Creighton’s claims “could not be substantiated.” Creighton alleges that the report seemed focused on what she might have done wrong:

When Creighton received an excerpt of Hutcheson’s report, she says she was shocked: “The report blames me for being in the same hotel room, blames me for not crying out for help in the moment, blames me for not taking physical pictures [of my injuries]…and blames me for confronting him.”

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Casares didn’t comment for the Mother Jones piece; he released a statement through an attorney in early February saying the allegations are false. His attorney told the Huffington Post they are “investigating the possibility”of legal action against Creighton.

Fort Worth police are reportedly still investigating the claims, and no charges have been filed against Casares to date. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports, it’s having other ripple effects: IU has ordered a review of 18 student sexual misconduct cases Casares was involved in hearing.

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Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Jason Casares. Screenshot via Fox 59

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DISCUSSION

Can someone please explain what the benefit is ove investigating sexual assault without involving law enforcement? Other than just protecting the university itself.

Side note: I was raped in college in the 1980s and the path for me to report it thru the university was incomprehensible. And when I went to the police, I was told to consider carefully if I wanted to report because basically “everyone will know it was you.” And let the icky memories flow...

Nowadays I would choose a different route and report it, go on the news, buy a billboard, print up TShirts - all emblazoned with his name.