A New York Times article about a sexual assault case at Columbia University demonstrates that the vexing issues surrounding the adjudication of these cases do not solely plague the military. A panel at the university found the student guilty of sexual assault, but after a federal lawsuit and settlement the student has now received a cash payment and his status at the university has been restored. Nevertheless, "In a statement, Columbia said that it had not withdrawn its findings against Mr. Feibleman...."
In this case, unlike in most, we have an audio recording of the events:
"They are talking about sex almost as soon as the tape begins. Her voice sounds drowsy, sometimes slightly slurred. When they are not whispering, his voice sounds clear and in control. He tells her that he wants her “so bad” but not “when you’re drunk.” She asks whether he finds her attractive, and he says she is “gorgeous.”
“Show me,” she says.
“Not tonight,” he says.
“In the morning, you’re going to thank me for leaving,” he says about eight minutes into the recording.
Minutes later, the tape takes a sudden turn in tone.
“Jesus Christ, OK — wait,” the woman says. “No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No, wait. No. What’s going on?”
Mr. Feibleman answers: “Um, you want me to have sex with you.”
Continuing to sound confused, she notices that she does not have any pants on and asks him, “Is that weird?”
He says she took them off.
“That sounds like a lie,” she says.
Soon after she says, “I need more information.”
Mr. Feibleman tells her what happened that night. She says she does not remember any of it.
At the end of the recording, as Mr. Feibleman is finally leaving, the woman says, “Please, please, Ben, I want you.” He asks her for a kiss good night and she says “No,” twice. He says good night, pets the cat on the way out, then signs off the audio saying, “That was a really dangerous situation.”"
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