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NCFM Adviser Michael Conzachi, “The College Sexual Assault Investigative Process Now seems to be Compromised by University Police and May be in Violation of Federal Law”

March 26, 2016
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sexual assaultThe College Sexual Assault Investigative Process Now seems to be Compromised by University Police and May be in Violation of Federal Law

by Michael Conzachi

As reported recently by The College Fix[1], Inside Higher Ed[2], and F.I.R.E.[3], the University of Texas Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has developed a behemoth, 174 page manual titled “The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault.[4]

As a contrast, the federal indictment for Usama Bin Laden was only 8 pages[5].  Did I miss something?

While I have posted many articles decrying the college sexual misconduct investigative “kangaroo” investigative and hearing process, I have emphatically called for sexual misconduct allegations on college campuses to be handled by law enforcement professionals.

After reading this so called “Blueprint,” it appears that this is an attempt to skew the law enforcement investigative process, rather than allow for a neutral fact-finding law enforcement investigative process; as it should be, and how it is designed.

I believe that we need to carefully look at this “Blueprint” as the trend is leaning towards actually restricting law enforcement investigative efforts, rather than enhancing them.  This trend relies more on just the word of the alleged victim, and less on common sense law enforcement investigative practices.  It would appear that the “believe the victim” mantra has taken a new turn to now include the university police, to further that narrative by not asking pertinent questions and not documenting evidence of innocence.

While I would agree that sexual assault victims do experience some forms of trauma and respond differently, the law enforcement investigative approach still must be neutral and fact finding.  There are of course, good things in this “Blueprint” but there are also some troubling issues.

Some things contained in this “Blueprint” go against the grain of common sense law enforcement investigative protocol.  Some of the troubling directives are the manner in which law enforcement investigators should conduct their investigations; specifically, to anticipate potential defenses by accused students, limit documentation of possible contradictory statements by alleged victims and witnesses, and reduce the number of reports by investigators as a precaution against discovery requirements.  This “Blueprint” also gives more power to the alleged victim as to how the investigation is to be conducted.  If the victim does not want certain people contacted, then, according to this Blueprint, the U of T should accommodate the wishes of the alleged victim.

We saw how well that worked out with the Rolling Stone article about “Jackie” and UVA.

One would think that if those in the college sexual assault grievance cottage industry are so outraged with what they falsely believe is a sexual assault epidemic, then one would also logically think that all law enforcement resources, experience and abilities should be used to identify, locate, arrest, and prosecute the alleged offender.

But, according to this Blueprint, that’s not really what they want.  Rather, what they want is for the alleged victim and her or his advocate to restrict the investigative process and cherry pick only that information which is favorable to them, not to the determination of the truth.

Here are some points from the ‘Blueprint.”

“Investigators should consider common defense strategies used in sexual assault cases, which include;

  • Denial
  • Identity
  • Consent”

“Investigators should consider three common defense strategies that are often used to challenge written reports including impeachment by omission, impeachment by contradiction, and motion to suppress.”

“For a better understanding of how best to counter these defense strategies in the written report, reduce the number of reports prepared by investigators.”

The translation here is if information and statements disfavor the accuser and favors the accused, then just leave it out of the report.

Pardon me; but this flies in the face of common sense police work, and that is to establish that a crime has in fact occurred, identify the perpetrator, and provide essential services to the victim.  Police just can’t leave out information in a report, that points to the fact that maybe; possibly; a crime DID NOT happen, or that a particular person of interest IS NOT the suspect.

Cops are not prosecutors.  It is the job of a prosecutor to anticipate defenses, not the cops; and especially not in the investigative process.

How many times have we seen instances where convictions were overturned because of the fact that police or prosecutors refused to turn over evidence of innocence to defense attorneys, or failed to obtain evidence of innocence?

So now we have a college investigative and quasi-judicial adjudication process, that is staffed with ill equipped and ill prepared participants; or what we have all been referring to as “kangaroo” courts, but now, through directive and policy, colleges are flat out telling their own law enforcement officers to,

just leave out the bad stuff if it involves the alleged victim or witnesses; don’t write it down.

I was floured by reading that this policy wherein it actually states that law enforcement investigators should anticipate possible defenses, eliminate repeated questioning of the accuser, and minimize the number of actual reports they produce so they can avoid compliance with Brady (Discovery) requirements.

Repeated questioning of victims and witnesses is an integral part of the law enforcement investigative process, just to make sure the facts are correct, not specifically to try and find the liar in the bunch, although determining the truth of the allegations IS part of their job.

Law enforcement officers do this daily for any crime that is reported to them, but only in sexual assault allegations, we should now just forget about that common sense little annoyance; like trying to do their jobs and determined if in fact a crime has been committed.

Can you imagine any law enforcement officer, not properly interviewing or documenting information or evidence of a fraud perpetrated upon an elderly person; a kidnapping of a child, or of a drunk driver who blew through a red light and broadsided another car injuring a family of six?  So why is it encouraged and by policy and design mandated only in cases of sexual assault?

Astonishing to say the least, and if anyone can explain this reasoning to me, please feel free.

As I indicated, and as I have said all along, that when an alleged victim of rape reports the assault, common sense compassion dictates conducting a responsible investigative and multi-faceted approach, and affording the alleged victim the essential services that he or she needs.

That common sense approach also includes documenting inconsistencies, misinformation, motives, and looking for evidence of guilt as well as evidence of innocence.

This Blueprint by the very words contained in this gargantuan document seem to suggest through design and policy, that U of T police officers should consider violating federal law ONLY when investigating cases of sexual assault.

Let’s take a look at Title18 United States Code § 1512 – Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant[6], and see if some of these policies of the “Blueprint,” apply.

(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

(2) cause or induce any person to —

(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;

(B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;

(C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or

(D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or

(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(c) Whoever corruptly—

(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or

(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

I think that federal law makes it clear, that any attempt to obstruct a criminal probe; at whatever stage it is in, is a violation of law.

Just last month, the Austin American-Statesman reported on yet two more lawsuits[7] by wrongly expelled males for sexual assault; cases that were investigated by law enforcement and prosecutors, and were closed without any charges being filed.  Despite investigations by investigators and prosecutors; individuals with considerably more experience investigating crimes that resulted in no filing of criminal charges, the UT expelled them anyway.

Based on this new lawsuit, it seems as it doesn’t really matter that law enforcement and prosecutors took no further action after conducting an investigation, but the school was hell bent on expelling the students anyway.

This is where we are at right now.  As we are seeing on college campuses; we are seeing the same thing in our military.  An allegation alone is sufficient to expel from college and to court-martial in the military.  Not only that, but it is policy in both institutions to ignore evidence of innocence, not even bother to document evidence of innocence, or that the accuser might not be telling the truth with inconsistent statements.

The truth doesn’t matter; only the allegation matters and come hell or high water, the investigative process is by design, policy, or fiat, to facilitate an EXPULSION or CONVICTION, by any means necessary.

Through constant and repeated training (brain-washing) of university law enforcement by the zealots/hysterics in the college sexual assault grievance cottage industry, it would appear that they now think it is ok, and within policy, to just ignore evidence that the accuser may be lying, and ok to ignore; and not even write down evidence of innocence of the accused.

Does this trend worry anyone?

We have heard the claims time and again that a woman doesn’t lie about being raped.  But I think that we have all seen; with the explosion of false allegations, that women do in fact lie about being raped; and lie A LOT!

In this modern day me-me-me reality TV show narcissistic culture; most college students; if asked would think that Russylnn Ali (the author or the Dear Colleague Letter), is the transgendered Muslim cousin of the Kardashian’s.

Nowhere in this “Blueprint” are there any provisions for sanctions for false accusers.  In fact; on page 90, the “Blueprint” reveals the following are generalizations, barriers and misinformation.

“Belief that many sexual assault accusations are false. Sometimes officers cite a flawed study that found 41% of all reported rape cases were false allegations, but the study has been discredited due to major methodological errors.”

“Belief that victims falsely “cry rape” for a number of reasons, for example, they regret consensual sex, want to get someone in trouble, or are vindictive.”

I have news for you U of T, that is not misinformation; that’s FACT.

I could get into another thousand or so ludicrous statements and misinformation contained in the “Blueprint,” but I can only be nauseated for so long before I have to take a break.

So the question must be asked is whether or not the designers of the “Blueprint” have just signed their name to a conspiracy, if in fact a college student; wrongly accused, had his constitutional and due process rights violated, or had been wrongly convicted; would the designers of the “Blueprint,” be held accountable as well???

It sure makes for an interesting debate and argument; doesn’t it?

[1] The College Fix, University of Texas tells its police to hide evidence that favors students accused of rape, http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/26614/

[2] Inside Higher Ed, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/01/u-texas-announces-new-protocols-investigating-campus-sexual-assault

[3] FIRE, University of Texas ‘Blueprint’ for Campus Police Raises Fairness Concerns  https://www.thefire.org/university-of-texas-blueprint-for-campus-police-raises-fairness-concerns/

[4] The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault https://utexas.app.box.com/blueprintforcampuspolice

[5] http://fas.org/irp/news/1998/11/indict1.pdf

[6] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1512

[7] Austin American-Statesman, Men accuse UT of unfairly punishing them for sex assault allegations, http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/crime-law/men-accuse-ut-of-unfairly-punishing-them-for-sex-a/nqQcf/


Michael Conzachi is a retired three decade law enforcement veteran in Southern California, and private investigator with approximately 35 years of law enforcement and private investigative experience. He serves on several child abuse and victim advocacy group boards, is a contributing writer for several similar advocacy organizations and has authored a restraining order legislative change proposal to the California State Senate.

national coalition for men

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